Blu-ray, as a home theater playback format, has reached a place at which properly photographed productions, whether shot as data or film, can be totally transparent to their original formats as they reach Blu-ray.
Anything that has been taken through a digital intermediate stage is difficult to screw up. As such, over the past couple of years, we've seen the zenith of various processes, all reaching Blu-ray with perfection.
Universal's Les Miserables is one of the latest of these.
Shot on several different Kodak film emulsions, in S35 3-perf toward a final 1.85:1 projected ratio, we're seeing everything that has gone into this production, as a perfect blend of production photography and digital effects as 2k data.
Audio, with voices recorded live, is no less of interest. This is a technical feat that should not be passed over as one views the film. It's only occurred a handful of times, with most every musical created using play-backs. Mr. Harrison's vocals in My Fair Lady may have been the first. You can tell that he's about to sing by the shape of his knit tie.
Les Miserables was one of my Best Films of 2012, along with Django, Silver Linings, Zero Dark and Argo. All of these are superb Blu-rays.
Looking at Les Miserables as a musical -- and this is something troubling to some, especially those uninitiated to no speaking, only singing -- it comes across as a miraculous entertainment. And certainly one of the best since the golden age of the musical on film. These only now seem to come around every decade or so.
A stupendous piece of filmed entertainment with extraordinary performances, direction, editing, cinematography -- we can list the crafts. I make note of second unit camera crews, who along with the cast, were fully costumed, so as to blend in with crowds while shooting. Just great stuff.
No numerical scores for DI-based productions reaching Blu-ray, but Les Miserables is as good as it gets.
Very Highly Recommended.