1. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean.
Finally, a sexy Jean Valjean. A VILF, if you will. Unlike other Hollywood A-listers who get shoved into movie musicals, Jackman actually has the musical theater background necessary to pull this role off.
2. Anne Hathaway as Fantine.
She’s been desperate for a leading role in a musical ever since she sang her way through a Saturday Night Live hosting gig. And whatever doubts we may have had about her, she crushed “I Dreamed a Dream” in the trailer.
3. Things don’t end well for Fantine.
So if you hate Anne Hathaway, this is the movie for you. Enjoy your schadenfreude, jerks.
4. Taylor Swift is not Eponine.
Remember when we almost let Taylor Swift ruin this movie? But we didn’t. We got Samantha Barks instead, and she is great, even if she isn’t a top-earning pop star. She’s got personality and fire, and she can actually act. Which is kind of important.
5. That trailer.
Just watch it again. Remember how it made your heart feel.
6. All the actors sing live.
I know, I know, they keep harping on this. But it’s important! It makes Les Misérables a completely unique movie musical experience. Bonus: you don’t have to endure an Auto-tuned version of “On My Own.” Speaking of…
7. “On My Own.”
You love this song. You used to close your bedroom door and belt it through tears while thinking about your impossible high school crush. You cried when Joey sang it on Dawson’s Creek. Finally, a chance to see it on the big screen.
8. No “Dog Eats Dog.”
Of all the song cuts they could have made, this was the wisest. No one likes “Dog Eats Dog.” No one.
9. The Thénardiers aren’t in it much.
If you were worried that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter might take away too much attention from the, uh, more seasoned performers, worry not. Without “Dog Eats Dog,” their roles are limited. Remember Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd and breathe a sigh of relief.
10. Eddie Redmayne as Marius.
Those who saw My Week With Marilyn or Savage Grace know Redmayne is long overdue for stardom. The role of Marius is a chance for the English actor to show more of his versatility, and a chance for audiences to get exposed to his charm and freckles.
11. Aaron Tveit as Enjolras.
Hey, it’s an actual Broadway star! You may not know him yet, but he’s a fantastic performer. And Tveit is perfect for Enjolras: I have no idea if I’m pronouncing either of their names correctly.
12. Guaranteed tears.
I can think of no better reason to see a movie on Christmas day than the promise of unrelenting sobs. We love to cry in the simulated privacy of a movie theater, and Les Misérables loves to repeatedly stimulate our tear ducts with very bad things happening to very underserving people. And lots of ballads.