Les Miserables is nothing short of a Masterpiece!
I often tell my kids that they are morons because they can watch a movie over and over and over. With that in mind, I have entered the realm of the moronic because I have watch Les Mis twice and I could easily watch it again!
I am seldom this blown away by a movie, but this movie has everything!
The music alone will keep you captivated, but add to that the incredible cast of multi-talented actors, and Victor Hugo’s classic tale of poverty, love, politics, inhumanity, kindness and valuable lessons learnt, and you have two and a half hours of sheer heaven!
Set in 19th Century France, the musical starts in 1815. The French Revolution is over, but the poor of France are far from happy. Jean Valjean (played by the incredibly talented Hugh Jackman) has just been paroled after 19 years of imprisonment and hard labour, for stealing a loaf of bread. This extraordinary man, although labelled dangerous, decides to ignore the terms of his parole and start a new life, with the help of a kind Bishop. Eight years later, he is the mayor of a town in France. He is wealthy and highly respected, and doesn’t look back, until Police Inspector Javert (Played by Russel Crowe) starts suspecting that he is indeed Valjean, and he once again becomes a fugitive on the run from the law! In the middle of all this, he makes a promise to Fantine (Played by Anne Hathaway), on her death bed, that he will take care of her daughter, Cosette, (Played by Isabelle Allen) who is being cared for by a corrupt Inn Keeper (played by the witty and colourful Sasha Barron Cohen) and his roguish and equally colourful wife (played by Helena Bonham-Carter). .
The outcome is poignant and heartwarming, sad and beautiful. I am weeping just thinking about the climactic ending!
What makes the movie unique is that it is much less theatrical than previous productions, BUT although it is essentially an epic movie, 99% of the dialogue is sung, as opposed to spoken, and it works brilliantly!
And, if you have any doubts that Les Mis is a masterpiece, it has received affirmation from the top! The film won the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Hugh Jackman won the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Anne Hathaway won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, and it is has been nominated for nine BAFTA Awards and Eight Academy awards, including Best Film.
My only gripe is that I can’t lay my hands on the soundtrack! It seems it is not available in SA yet.