Truth be told, the lengths the filmmakers go to tug at your heart strings with Les Misérables is gutsy. From beginning to end, they’re practically begging you to feel something, anything, even daring you not to tear up as you watch the plight of the suffering. But after a while, all the hand-held camerawork, the bloated soundtrack and shameless jerking with your emotions with all those close-ups just leaves you feeling dizzy. It’s not a journey without its merits, but dialing it down a little might have helped.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Social drinking and some drunkenness depicted.
  • Language/Profanity: A smattering of profanity including bi—h, bast---, da--, hel- and sh--. God’s name is exclaimed in a couple of occasions.
  • Sex/Nudity: Prostitutes, and what they do for money, figure prominently into the storyline. Many of these women sport very cleavage-y attire. References to sexual acts and male genitalia, some instances more explicit than others. A woman is raped, and while it’s not a particularly graphic scene, it’s still absolutely heartbreaking.
  • Violence: A woman sells her teeth to have money to care for her child, and we see the act of them being forcefully removed from her mouth. A couple of scenes involving war violence with several shooting fatalities, including a scene where a young boy dies. A man walks down a street that’s filled with blood. Close-ups of battered, scarred prisoners. Instances where children are neglected and abused. A man commits suicide by jumping from a bridge.
  • Thematic Material: Injustice, whether it be of the poor, women or children, plays a leading role in the story. While there is a love story in the midst of all the madness, it’s despair that’s the most prominent.

Christa Banister is an author and full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

Publication date: December 24, 2012

For more on Les Misérables, visit www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/les-miserables-2012/.