Les Misérables review – Philip French on the best screen version of Victor …

First published in 1862 to a mixed reception, Victor Hugo’s massive Les Misérables – a rousing example of the expansive Victorian novels Henry James dubbed “large loose baggy monsters” – has enjoyed a continuing popular success and been filmed several dozen times since 1897. Always known by its original French title, the book appears high on lists of the 10 longest novels but never on the 10 best, and the most famous judgment on Hugo is that of André Gide. Asked who was the greatest of all French poets, he replied: “Victor Hugo, hélas!”

Les Misérables is an uplifting, heartbreaking, sentimental 1,500-page assault on oppression, exploitation and cruelty in which the ex-convict Jean Valjean, the Christ-like victim eternally seeking redemption, is pursued from Toulon to Paris by the implacable upholder of the law, Inspector Javert. It’s a seminal thriller, set between the year of Waterloo and the failed

Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jan/25/les-miserables-raymond-bernard-dvd-review-best-film-adaptation

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