Les Misérables is a 2012 British epic romantic musical period drama film produced by Working Title Films and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg which is in turn based on the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo. The film is directed by Tom Hooper, scripted by William Nicholson, Boublil, Schönberg, and Herbert Kretzmer, and stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne. The title literally translates to The Miserables or The Miserable Ones.
The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who, inspired by a kindly bishop, decides to turn his life around. He eventually becomes mayor of a town in France and owner of a factory in that town. He is always alert to the risk of being captured again by police inspector Javert, who is ruthless in hunting down law-breakers, believing they cannot change for the better. One of Valjean's factory workers, Fantine, blames him for her being cast into a life of prostitution. When she dies, he feels responsible and agrees to take care of her illegitimate daughter, Cosette — though he must first escape Javert. Later, when Cosette is grown, they are swept up in the political turmoil in Paris, which culminates in the Paris Uprising of 1832.
Attempts to adapt a Les Misérables film from the stage musical have taken place since the late 1980s. In June 2011, from a screenplay by Nicholson, production of the film officially began with Hooper and Mackintosh serving as director and producer, and the main characters were cast later that year. Principal photography commenced in March 2012, and took place in various English locations, including Greenwich, London, Chatham, Winchester, Bath and Portsmouth; as well as in Gourdon, France.
Les Misérables premiered in London 5 December 2012, and was released 25 December 2012 in the United States, 26 December 2012, in Australia, and 11 January 2013 in the United Kingdom.
The film received generally favourable reviews, with many critics praising the cast, and Jackman, Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks being the most often singled out for praise. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Jackman and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for Hathaway. It also won four British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), including the Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Hathaway). It received eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture(the first musical nominated since 2002's winner Chicago) and Best Actor for Jackman, and won three, for Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Supporting Actress for Hathaway.