Les Miserables (2012)
I was familiar with the background of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and I knew the musical version existed, but I had actually never seen the stage version or previous movies of it until this movie; I was pretty impressed. Prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) put in jail for stealing bread for his starving family leaves on parole; when a priest offers the prisoner a second chance, the man makes the most of it, becoming a mayor, but skipping out on his parole -- Javert, an officer who goes by the extreme letter of the law has pursued Jean Valjean for a number of years. Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is removed from a paying job for having an illegitimate daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). She works the dangerous streets, and sells her hair and some of her teeth to survive. She manages to find a family for Cosette to live, but they don't take very good care of her. Jean Valjean vows to help Cosette as a favor to Fantine, and pays them to take her away from the home. Fast forward several years, Cosette falls in love with Marius, but they can't be together for long because Jean Valjean must escape from Javert yet again. Marius and his revolutionary friends vow to fight against having another emperor of France by creating an uprising. Fast forward again, all of the other revolutionaries have fallen except Marius and the students' small hold-out in a fort made out of furniture. The French military essentially comes in and slaughters them, except for an injured Marius who escapes, barely, only because Jean Valjean drags him through a sewage duct. Marius and Cosette finally can be together... but at what cost. From the opening scene, I knew this was going to be absolutely epic. The size and scale of the movie, the scenery, the music, the production team did an extraordinary job. The singers are exceptional (except Russell Crowe, who clips off every. single. phrase he sings.), and the movie was nominated for a slew of awards, and won 3 Academy awards, including Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress. This is a monumental film coming in at nearly 3 hours long, and don't except an entirely happy ending... its called "the miserables" for a reason. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Les Miserables - Victor Hugo book; Les Miserables (1998 DVD) with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman.] -- recommended by Jeremiah J. - Bennett Martin Public Library
[Also available in Motion Picture Soundtrack on CD, traditiona print formats.]
[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Les Miserables web site ]
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