Do you hear the people sing? Nope. Victor Hugo's great doorstop of a novel gets a straight, tune-free treatment in this handsome epic, boasting unusual literary fidelity and a heavyweight cast. Literally in the case of Gérard Depardieu's hulking Jean Valjean, the good-hearted ex-convict.
This is a severely shortened version of a miniseries shot simultaneously in English and French. But it still comes in at a whopping three hours of angelic waifs, suffering peasants and impeccably permed revolutionaries. Depardieu shoulders his way through his role as if it was a particularly stubborn door; Enrico Lo Verso's Marius is unsympathetic and John Malkovich (as Valjean's nemesis Inspector Javert) offers little more than his usual drawl.
It's left to Asterix star Christian Clavier to provide the thrills. It's just a shame there are so few of them.