Matthew Lickona 10:57 a.m., Sept. 15
Less than three years after Claude Lelouch dodged the obvious expectations and delivered a clever and original update -- neither a Classics Illustrated nor the Broadway musical -- comes this unclever and unoriginal treatment under the same trusted name. Bille August, giving a gray Nordic chill to the proceedings, and gathering his population of Frenchmen from the far corners of the English-speaking world (Ireland, Australia, Scotland, America), has streamlined the discursive Hugo novel to the point, so to speak, of dullness. Speed, we well know, kills. With Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, Uma Thurman. 1998.