Tom Hooper caught a lot of grief as his ‘The King’s Speech’ rode the Oscar campaign trail two years ago, primarily because his excellent film was deemed “not as excellent” as David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ by vocal film columnists. But in the process of arguing for ‘Network’ (which is great), most overlooked the fact that ‘Speech’ is deftly directed and superbly acted. Hooper’s the real deal, and he’s the perfect fit for ‘Les Miserables,’ which we get a good look at today.

Universal shared photos from its anticipated December musical with USA Today and the film’s official Twitter page, showing us Hooper’s outstanding cast and some behind-the-scenes images. The director nabbed Hugh Jackman (above) and Russell Crowe as his Jean Valjean and Javert, respectively. Anne Hathaway joined the cast as the put-upon Fantine, while Amanda Seyfried accepted the role of the orphaned Cosette.

Hooper’s wrapping production, and likely will begin an intense editing session to hit the studio’s Dec. 14 release date – dropping Hooper right back into the Oscar race (thankfully Fincher doesn’t have a movie due in theaters at the same time, as well).

Images are great and these look fine. But we really want to hear the cast sing, and get a listen to Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical landscape for the Tony-winning ‘Les Miserables’ score, for that will be the factor likely makes or breaks the film’s chances of success. We'll have to wait until later this week when the trailer officially goes live for that.

Here are the new pics from 'Les Miserables.' What are your thoughts?

All photos courtesy of Universal Pictures