Jean Valjean, the hero of Victor Hugo's expansive 1862 novel, goes from decrepit ex-con, to reformed small town business magnate, and back to fugitive from the law while caring for an ailing prostitute and her young daughter and dodging a dogged police inspector throughout revolutionary France (how's that for summing up a 1,463 page book in less than 50 words?) in this screen adaptation of the enduring Broadway musical. "Les Misérables" is a highly anticipated project, and when reviews began to pour in ranging from lukewarm to scathing, I began to prepare my "musicals are a highly subjective genre" review. Now I realize this is not a case of a bad movie, though it is that, but rather a poor stage-to-screen adaptation. There are so many things wrong with the film, but they begin with the music. Director Tom Hooper has been roundly commended for his decision to film his actor's singing live, rather than in a studio post-filming, but this decision does nothing to aid the film, which should be a primary concern, and voices and sound come off as flat, inaudible, and unimpressive. Hugh Jackman has never been any great shakes as an actor and despite his background in musical theater, his voice is all wrong for Valjean. Russell Crowe would have been ideally suited to the role of Javert, but since this is an almost exclusive singing outing, he comes off poorly with, again, a voice ill-suited to the role. Anne Hathaway, who has been generating awards buzz, is again way too much and may as well have been belting, "Please Give Me The Oscar" during her "I Dreamed a Dream" number. Hooper's intimate, close-up heavy mise-en-scene (which I thought would have played well) is disorienting and not conducive to the material. Also, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen turn up in recurring anachronistic roles which serve only as a reminder to "Sweeney Todd", a far superior musical rendering. I wanted to love this movie, I really did. I liked a filmed stage version I had watched prior and have listened to the original soundtrack, but this movie left me feeling disconnected from the characters and their interrelationships and, sadly, it instilled in me a moderate hatred for the material.