Just take a moment and look at the contrast between these two men. On the surface it looks like the makeup team deserves the praise, but Hugh really embodies the humble determination of Jean Valjean. Most people might typecast Hugh Jackman as the cocky Wolverine, when in reality Hugh is quite the opposite. He is open and grateful for his success, just like Jean.
Now that we’ve gotten past that he is a good person we can get to the important part of his performance: The Wolverine is a baritone. It’s not enough that he’s a terrific husband, is an A-list actor, or that when he dies and his body reaches perfection he will look exactly the same, but Hugh Jackman can sing. Not only is he an accomplished baritone on Broadway, but the role of Jean Valjean was originally meant for a tenor. That means he not only had to focus on his acting, but reaching the very limits of his vocal range at the same time.
For example let’s take a look at this church scene, in which Jean Valjean has just been released from 19 years of slavery, and immediately attempts to steal silver from a church where is is caught and instead of being handed back to the authorities, is offered hospitality from the Bishop.
There’s nothing like questioning your existence in a church. If this scene didn’t make you cry then you’re not me. We can see the passion and concentration nearly bursting out of Hugh’s forehead! The only other time we see this level of emotion is when Anne Hathaway sings I Dreamed a Dream after selling her hair and prostituting herself for the first time. This was seriously a heavy movie, but who is to complain when the casting is so perfect? Russell Crowe can act and fight. Hugh Jackman can act, fight, and sing. Hugh – 1, Russell – 0.
IMDB site: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0413168/?ref_=tt_cl_t1