Much is being made of his decision to film the singing live on the set and add the full orchestrations later in the mixing (the sound guys are probably shoo-ins for Oscars). But guess what? It works. Singing has become the language of the film, as natural and emotional as spoken dialog (click here for a piece on how they got the actors up to vocal speed).
The audience at my Upper West Side movie house was largely rapt, although a few people did sneak out before the 2 hour and 43 minutes film ended. Among them was one mother who hurried her tiny daughter up the aisle as a desperate Fantine was about to give up her final bit of honor.