Plus, PEOPLE's movie critic contends that Hugh Jackman delivers an Oscar worthy performance

By Alynda Wheat
Updated December 13, 2012 05:10 PM
Laurie Sparham

I admit to nothing.

I will not confess to sobbing – twice – during director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the hit musical Les Misérables. That never happened.

I certainly did not gasp when Anne Hathaway, broken and degraded as Fantine, forced to sell her teeth and her body to feed her child, utterly crushed her solo, “I Dreamed a Dream,” by beckoning the audience in instead of belting.

There is no evidence that I said that Hugh Jackman and his glorious tenor could rival Daniel Day-Lewis for an Oscar.

And I emphatically do not support the notion that musical Les Misérables is one of the year s most satisfying films. That giddiness is reserved for Les Mis nerds, devotees of Jean Valjean (Jackman), the ex-con who finds God, saves Fantine’s child Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) and becomes a hero of the Paris uprising of 1832.

No, what a clear-eyed observer like me must note is that, at 160 minutes, the film is too long, with music that doesn’t always live up to the story’s grandeur. (For a musical that’s almost entirely sung through, it’s quite talky.)

A cynic such as myself might also neglect to mention that My Week with Marilyn‘s Eddie Redmayne, playing rebel Marius, has a startlingly fine voice, and that while we re talking Oscars, Hathaway damned well better lead that conversation.

But I would never, ever gush.

Les Misérables opens Christmas Day.