Weekend Movie: Les Miserables

As you guys know I spent considerable time in Paris, and love all things French. You could even call me a francophile, because at a time I was pretty much obsessed with this beautiful culture and people. Today I am a bit more toned down, and my obsession has turned into inspiration, therefore, in some way, always appearing in every one of my jewelry designs, my day to day, and my overall point of view.

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjan
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway

Since I do love all French inspired things, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the trailer for the movie version of one of my favorite Broadway musicals, Les Miserables based, of course, on the novel by Victor Hugo.  Now, I know that some books, plays or even other cinematic gems should never be made into movies, and I was, like everybody else, super nervous that they would ruin this masterpiece, but, imagine my surprise when I actually saw it and was blown away. Yes, the movie is good, great actually, and the singing is fantastic and I am totally recommending it for this post holiday weekend. 

Helena Bonham Carter and
Sacha Baron Cohen as the evil innkeepers

Like I said, I love the musical.  I have seen it in New York numerous times, both with family and friends, and it never disappoints.  I love singing along with the tunes, love Fantine and love Eponine. Actually, all the characters are so well crafted, that I can't really choose a favorite.  The songs too are fabulous, and the show itself is a grandiose affair. If you have never seen the musical or read the book, Les Mis can seem a bit long, yet for anyone that loves the show, it is a great representation of what it would be to see it on stage.

Eponine as played by Samantha Barks

Anyway back to the movie. 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. Hugh Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Anne Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. Directed for the big screen by Tom Hooper, this sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo's epic tale is everything you want in a Holiday movie, and more.
I was very impressed with the acting, but more so with the singing. Who knew that Anne Hathaway could carry a tune? I'm familiar with Hugh Jackman  as a singer, as he is a Broadway star when he is not making movies, but others such as Amanda Segfried as a grown up Cosette or Ally G himself Sacha Baron Cohen as the innkeeper, really surprised me.

If you are wondering if the movie is all sung out, well yes it is.  There is very little dialogue that is not in a musical number and it was fantastic.  With only a few risque scenes, the movie is perfect for the entire family, which is how I saw it, with a big group.  

I know this week was a little tough, with a short week and a long weekend, but this might be just what you need to put the Holidays to rest. Yes it can be long, but this brilliant adaptation of Les Mis is also rewarding. Jackman is potent in the leading role, and it's nice to see Hollywood taking advantage of his versatility. The showstopper, however is Hathaway, who's tremendous as Fantine.  She is not onstage for very long, but when she is, you cannot take your eyes of her. 

Don't take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself. If you love musicals or already are a fan of Les Mis, this movie will not disappoint. Vive La France!

Love Always
Dani K

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