Friday, January 4, 2013

Les Miserables, C'est Magnifique!

On Wednesday, I finally got to see the newest film version of Les Miserables, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Ann Hathaway.  I'd been pretty much dying to see it ever since the first trailer for the movie came out on T.V., with Hathaway singing her haunting version of the song "I Dreamed a Dream."  The movie came out on Christmas day, and on the 26th, my husband and I, along with four of our sons and two of their girlfriends, tried to catch a matinee...but like fools, we didn't order tickets ahead of time on-line, and every single showing was oversold that day.  It was so disappointing!  (We were quite malhereux--you might even say miserable!  However, we chased away the doldrums by going bowling, which actually turned out to be quite fun.)

Anyway, you get the idea that I've been eagerly waiting, and waiting, and waiting to see this latest Les Mis...and today, I finally got to see it, with my husband and my youngest son.

I don't know how many ways I can tell you how much I loved it.  I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!  Five stars out of five!  I'd go again in a minute!  It's almost worth it just to watch Ann Hathaway's deeply affecting performance as the long-suffering Fantine.  If that girl doesn't win an Oscar, then I think we can only assume that there is voter fraud within the Academy.

I read one negative review about the film, by someone who gave it a C-rating.  (Boo!)  Then I read a positive one in which the reviewer praised the director's decision to film the actors while they sang, instead of studio-producing the sort of showstopping numbers you usually find on a movie soundtrack--and my guys and I agreed that this made the movie that much better.  Almost every single line of dialogue was sung rather than spoken, which was quite extraordinary.  The actors didn't stop what they were doing and break into song; they sang as they were doing things.  I thought that 3 hours of constant singing might get pretty old for my son (19-year-old boys and musicals don't often go together), but he enjoyed the movie as much as his father and I did.  We all agreed with one woman in the audience who proclaimed loudly, as soon as the credits began to roll, "Well, that was just awesome!"

Now, I'm getting motivated to finally read Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, which has been the inspiration for so many films and theater productions.  My paperback version is 1463 pages long, and the print is small.  I'm not afraid of long books--Gone with the Wind was almost as long, and I devoured that one (twice!).  But for some reason, the two times I've tried to tackle Les Miserables in the past, I haven't gotten past page 200.  After watching that beautiful film version of the story (you must see it, you really must!), I have been inspired to give the book the old college try once again.
Now that is one fat book!
Wish me luck!  I think I'm going to need it!


  1. I think Val and I are going to see it tomorrow while Mike and Jim are at drill. I can't wait!!!!