One of two exceptions in this collection where the focus is on one actor. Hathaway has her moment in “I Dreamed a Dream,” and Jackman has his in this opening from the rousing “Who Am I.”
The now-respectable Valjean — hiding in plain sight as the businessman and mayor known as Monsieur le Maire — again encounters Crowe’s Javert, this time as a police captain. Javert suspects this man is the fugitive parolee he has been chasing for years, but then begs his forgiveness when another man is caught and accused of being Valjean.
That begins this song for Valjean — does he reveal himself to save this stranger’s life, destroying everything he has built for himself (and the jobs he provides for others), or does he allow this man to suffer an undeserved fate, forever protecting himself from suspicion — but perhaps damning his soul?
It’s one of Jackman’s finest moments in a movie full of them, and releasing this clip now could be aimed at underscoring that for voters considering him for Best Actor, which is one of the toughest fields this year.