Les Misérables 2019

Directed by Ladj Ly World

In the crime-ridden suburbs of impoverished Paris, the line between corrupt cop and upstanding criminal is not so clearly defined, in this explosive, Cannes Jury Prize-winning French thriller.

Aug 23

Event Cinemas

Sep 02

Event Cinemas

France In French with English subtitles
104 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
R13
Violence, offensive language & sexual references

Director

Producers

Toufik Ayadi
,
Christophe Barral

Screenplay

Ladj Ly
,
Giordano Gederlini
,
Alexis Manenti

Photography

Julien Poupard

Editor

Flora Volpelière

Production designer

Karim Lagati

Costume designer

Marine Galliano

Music

Pink Noise

With

Damien Bonnard
,
Alexis Manenti
,
Djebril Zonga
,
Issa Perica
,
Al-Hassan Ly
,
Steve Tientcheu
,
Almamy Kanoute
,
Nizar Ben Fatma
,
Raymond Lopez
,
Luciano Lopez
,
Jaihson Lopez
,
Jeanne Balibar
,
Omar Soumare
,
Sana Joachaim
,
Lucas Omiri

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition) 2019

Awards

Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2019

Elsewhere

About as far from being a rousing stage musical as is possible, Les Misérables’ exhilarating, engrossing portrait of war on the streets between a swaggering Anti-Crime Squad and the myriad gangs they are trying to police shared the Jury Prize at Cannes.

In sharp contrast to the opening scenes of a unified France celebrating its 2018 World Cup win on the Champs-Élysées, the film takes place in a troubled Paris suburb over the course of a tightly-wrought couple of days, recalling Training Day with its portrayal of compromised cops, the crossing of ethical lines and the conscience of a newcomer. But director Ladj Ly’s rendition of the drug- and poverty-stricken banlieues of working-class France is less Hollywood and more naturalistic à la The Wire, with astonishing performances by everyone from his three lead thugs to the indignant crooks, beleaguered immigrant families and children caught in the crossfire.

Ly’s 15-year career in documentary, focusing on sociopolitical issues arising from events such as the 2005 Paris riots, clearly informs his approach to this fictional, but all-too-relevant, tale. Les Misérables is his first dramatic feature, but his realist fingerprints are all over it, notably in a key plot point which remarkably derives from autobiographical experience.

Complex in its morality, lacking judgement of its characters, Les Misérables is a high-energy, contemporary musing on the problems explored by Victor Hugo over 150 years ago. — Sarah Watt

 “When the police, through brutality, have lost the trust of their neighbourhood, it doesn’t matter who’s really in charge; violence is inevitable. The curtain between uneasy peace and outright war is gauzy indeed.” — Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“This… slice of realist French cinema… bursts out with the same vigour, passion and realism as Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine.” — Richard Mowe, Eye For Film