Over the last 30-odd years, Kurt Loder has somehow managed to remain innocent of all things Les Misérables. From its germination in Paris through its conquest of London’s West End, its 16 years on Broadway (plus another two in revival), its profusion of international productions (in some 20 languages), and its various vinyl and CD incarnations, he has until now seen not a moment and heard barely a note of this globe-throttling musical. So he is uniquely positioned to offer a fresh, nonpartisan assessment of Tom Hooper’s new film version. And as Loder reports, he was genuinely surprised by how enjoyable this picture’s earnest stew of musical and emotional overkill turned out to be.
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