Do not expect the “Les Mis” you saw in high school.

Les Miserables

Universal


As the trailer opens, we hear Fantine’s voice, pained and terrified, expressing the longing of a desperate woman as she sheds her own hair for money, desperate to feed her daughter, Cosette. The musical is back. It’s big. And it’s live.

Director Tom Hooper has chosen to film the most recent version of “Les Miserables” — adapted from the stage musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel — without reliance on voice-over recording, the first-ever movie-musical to do so.

This gives actors the range and freedom of a live production, coupled with the scope and possibility of the camera. After all, could there really be a better way to experience such themes of love and loss, banishment and redemption?

The show transcends generations, a powerful reminder of a people’s strength as they band together, relying on the human spirit. And if the trailer is any indication, the latest incarnation will be magisterial in its grittiness and its realness.

In answer to the question posed by those iconic lyrics: “Do you hear the people sing?” the answer is yes. Yes we do.

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