Tom (The King's Speech) Hooper's panoramic direction is breathtaking. What struck me is how rivetted and captivated throughout the movie the audience was. No one went to the rest room or to the concessions counter. They were planted in their seats with their eyes on the screen. Great applause afterwards. Most of these people know the stage production very well, yet Tom Hooper's adaptation and the cast's performances have added new layers and a deeper emotion/gravitas to Victor Hugo's story."
In particular, Toronto's own Colm Wilkinson's scene with Hugh Jackman is one of the most moving and impactful. They are two vocal and dramatic powerhouses holding forth, forming a spiritual Valjean "pere et fils" union that culminates in the final scene. Tom Hooper's use of the bishop's two silver candlesticks is inspired, as they are an effective and moving motif that recurs throughout the story.
This is great storytelling... It's an operatic transformation of cinematic musical theatre!