Les Misérables has far and away been one of my most anticipated films of the year. With three weeks to go before its US release on Christmas Day, the anticipation is high, and the Oscar buzz is very impressive.

The full-length trailer that debuted last month was beyond immense, and now Universal have released the first five clips from the film, each exemplary in demonstrating why the film has so much promise and so much early praise surrounding it.

“Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.”

Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried lead a fantastic cast, with a terrific supporting cast headed up by Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Samantha Barks, and Isabelle Allen.

Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) is directing from a script by William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands), who adapts the original classic novel of the same name by Victor Hugo and the world-famous stage musical.

As you may already be aware, every single note of this production was sung live on the set – rather than recorded before or after in a studio – and that makes the anticipation all the greater, for what promises to be one of the year’s finest films, and quite possibly the finest musical of all time.

Les Misérables will be released in the US on Christmas Day, and will be arriving in the UK slightly later for an 11th January release, also earning an IMAX release on our shores, too. I can’t wait. For now, here are the first five clips to help tie you over. Enjoy.