The realities of poverty and life during 19th century France are brought to the big screen in this film adaptation of the beloved musical. ‘Les Miserables’ is a simply stunning movie that you won’t want to miss, HollywoodLifers!
After months of anticipation, the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Les Misérables has finally reached the big screen. With an all-star cast and live singing, this movie is a feast for the eyes and the ears. Although it’s hard to pick only five, here are the top five reasons to see this amazing movie this holiday season.
1. The Story Line:
The credit here goes straight to Victor Hugo. The movie is based off of the popular Broadway musical, which is based on the 1,500-page novel by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. The story follows ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), who is tormented by Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). Javert vows to follow Valjean and make him pay for his past crimes. But Valjean decides to break his parole and begin a new life. He becomes mayor of a small town and owner a factory, where he meets Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a troubled factory worker who turns to prostitution to pay for care for her daughter, Cosette (older Cosette played by Amanda Seyfried). After (spoiler!) Fantine’s tragic death, Valjean takes Cosette in and cares for her as his own daughter. The story continues years later as Valjean and Cosette have made a new life together. During the midst of French student revolutions, Cosette falls in love with radical revolutionary Marius (Eddie Redmayne). Les Mis follows the pair’s love, the turmoils of the revolution and of course, Javert’s endless manhunt of Valjean. The story is so intricate, and the characters are beautifully intertwined in this tragic tale of love, loss and the fight for a new life.
2. The Music:
You don’t have to be a Broadway musical fan to appreciate the beautiful music in Les Misérables. Each song fits is filled with passion and heart. Not to mention the cast sang live as they were filming! A big scene stealer is Samantha Barks as lovesick Éponine. As one of the most demanding roles vocally, the character Éponine has to be perfectly cast. And guess what? It is. But be on the lookout for the gut-wrenching “Do You Hear The People Sing?” during the middle of the movie. The cast’s amazing voices are sure to give you chills during this number!
3. Anne Hathaway as Fantine:
Although her character is only in the movie for the first 30 minutes or so, Anne Hathaway steals the show. She completely transforms into Fantine as she chops off all her hair and endures a dramatic weight loss. The story may be Valjean’s, but the audience’s hearts belong to Fantine. Her fall from factory worker to prostitute is truly heartbreaking and emotional. Anne’s rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” is honest, raw and real. There is no doubt she has proved herself as a serious actress and as a serious singer. At the end of Anne’s moving performance, the entire theater roared with applause. Now that is one Golden Globe nomination that is well deserved!
4. The Scenery:
In order to really feel like you’re experiencing life during French uprisings, you need to feel like your in the barricades and on the streets with characters. And the scenery captures this feeling perfectly! As the revolutionaries are fighting in the streets, the barricades look so real, causing you to feel as if you’re right there. As Valjean is running from the law, we’re transported to the French countryside running with him. The scenery is so perfect throughout the whole movie that you feel like you’re actually living through the French Revolution!
5. The Costumes:
It’s hard to imagine what life as a peasant during 19th century France would have been like, but in Les Mis you don’t have to! You can see it. The costumes are spot on. The best ones belong the the unbelievably trashy Thénardiers. The Thénardiers played impeccably by Helena Bonham Carter and Sascha Baron Cohen are innkeepers and thieves who raise young Cosette. Their costumes are hilarious and theatrical, perfect for this Broadway show turned movie! As if you didn’t feel like you’re in the middle of Les Misérables already, the exceptionally well costumed cast seals the deal!
Let me assure you, this is one film that lives up to every bit of hype it’s received. It’s emotional, passionate and beautiful. I encourage everyone to go out and see this beautiful story this holiday season. Les Misérables offers a ray of hope in a time when we all need to be reminded to keep our dreams alive!
Les Misérables opens nationwide Dec. 25. Rush out to see this gem, HollywoodLifers! Just be warned: tissues might be required!
– Caitlin Miller
More Les Misérables News
- Anne Hathaway & Amanda Seyfried Stun At ‘Les Mis’ London Premiere
- ‘Les Miserables’ Trailer: Anne Hathaway Sounds Great, Looks Awful
- ‘Les Miserables’ Extended First Look Video — Watch