updated 12/13/2012 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/13/2012 AT 5:10 PM ET
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.
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.