Tom Hooper’s flawed but frequently dazzling “Les Misérables” is a hot-blooded musical fantasia full of songs, songs and more songs. There’s barely any spoken dialogue so basically everyone sings for nearly three hours without giving us a chance to take a deep breath! If this isn’t your cup of tea, now’s your chance to run for the nearest exit. But that would be a shame, because the movie hits more than it misses. First we get to see Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, locked up for nearly 20 years for stealing bread. Then he escapes and makes a respectable life for himself as a small-town mayor. But he is almost caught again when he tries to help the poor Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a factory girl who would do anything (even sell her hair) to support her child, Cosette. The brilliant Hathaway will blow you away when she sings how “life has killed the dream I dreamed.” Her performance will probably earn her an Oscar for “best supporting actress” but that’s another story. As for Jackman, he handles his songs in high style and acts the role perfectly well, even if he looks as French as Big Ben. Now for the bad news: Russel Crowe as Inspector Javert, Valjean’s adversary. In the book, Javert is supposed to be heartless and inhuman. Here, he’s almost laughable (even Geoffrey Rush did a better job in the 1998 version). Not to mention his singing voice (you’ll know what I mean once you hear it). Look, I may be babbling, but so is the movie at times. I appreciate the fact that the actors performed their own songs live in front of the camera. And most of the songs are well realized. But there’s no reason on earth for it to take almost 3 hours to end. The book is huge and dares to take its time, but as a musical, it could have been easily trimmed. Complaining aside, “Les Misérables” overflows with romance, heartbreak and even humor at times (leave that to Borat’s Sacha Baron Cohen). It may be less than perfect, but I found it entertaining and still worth checking out.