Puts the Miserable in Les

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Les Miserables (12A) The Heart of Hawick

Despite box office gold and Oscar recognition, this is the worst cinematic adaptation of an iconic musical since The Phantom Of The Opera.

The songs are wasted on actors who can’t sing. The crooned dialogue is banal to the point of embarrassment.

Where scenes should be expanded the director insists on close-ups.

A wash of melodious mush fills the spaces between numbers. The period is post revolutionary France, gripped by another kind of authoritarian rule.

A convict (Hugh Jackman) jumps bail and in less than 10 years has become mayor of his town, as well as owning the biggest factory in the district. His nemesis is a gendarme (Russell Crowe) who wants to put him back inside.

Anne Hathaway, as a rape victim, is impressively miserable, while Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen have fun as brothel keepers. The rest are casualties of an uninspired script.