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The Boston Globe



‘Les Miz’ is just as epic on DVD

Watching “Les Misérables” (2012) on disc, you can easily see the point ­— and the power — of translating the musical mega-phenomenon to film. Despite a clutch of Oscar nominations, critical reception was mixed for this sweeping incarnation of Victor Hugo’s story, directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), and starring Hugh Jackman as redemption-seeking Jean Valjean; best supporting actress winner Anne Hathaway (above) as lost woman Fantine; and Russell Crowe as Valjean’s relentless pursuer, Inspector Javert. Even on a smaller screen, Hathaway’s heartbreaking, tight-close-up rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” is something the stage version can’t give us (and a number that vaults her from solid work to Oscar gold in a single scene). Blu-ray featurettes include a look at the unconventional live recording process that helped Hathaway, Jackman, and the rest to emote the way they do. Eddie Redmayne (“My Week With Marilyn”), who tackles revolutionary-in-love Marius, notes that normally, the cast would pre-record songs in a studio, and “you have to make all your acting choices three months before you’ve even met the actor you’re working with.” Wondering what vocally limited Crowe is doing here? Maybe take a look on disc for “30 Odd Foot of Grunts — Texas,” a decade-old documentary about his bar band sideline. Other tie-in picks from the DVD back catalog: the 25th anniversary concert salute to “Les Misérables,” recorded in London in 2010; Jackman’s career-making work in the West End revival of “Oklahoma!” in 1999. (Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; available Friday)


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