Les Misérables

Les misThe advantages of joining the club at Cinema City are free tickets and 10% off at the bar, both of which are guaranteed to drag us out into the drizzle. Our latest freebie at the flicks was the musical blockbuster, ‘Les Misérables,’ adapted from the all-conquering stage musical. Les Mis follows the fortunes of on-the-run ex-con, Jean Valjean, ducking and diving his way to redemption from the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815 to the abortive Paris uprisings of 1832. Anyone who is familiar with the Victor Hugo tale will know the misery of the revolting masses is relentless. The film slaps on the despair with a technicolor trowel from the epic opening act right through to the desperate insurrection of the final scenes. The historic ex-Royal Naval College (now university) at Greenwich is used to great effect as the grand backdrop to the bloody revolution. I presume the lofty burghers of Paris didn’t provide the right tax breaks to the production company.

The complicated score of Les Mis requires pipes of semi-operatic quality and it was entertaining watching various Hollywood divas straining to hold a tune. Apart from Russell Crowe’s flat notes, on the whole it wasn’t half bad, and Anne Hathaway’s exquisite performance as the luckless Fantine was a tear-jerking revelation. The film is 2 ½ hours long which befits one of the longest novels ever penned. The Glums canters the distance well enough. Misery was never so much fun.

14 thoughts on “Les Misérables

  1. I am reading the novel in FRENCH right now! Revamping my French – I actually studied Victor Hugo, a writer like Dickens with a great social conscience (and lots of words). I can’t imagine it as a musical, truly, haven’t seen it yet. Yes, true melodrama indeed and it seems to have been a huge box office hit. Up for some awards!

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    1. Well, I am tres impressed! I’ve seen the stage show a couple of times. It always gets me going so that’s why I was interested to see how the movie would pan out. The voices on stage are much better but the sheer scale of the film is truly epic.

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  2. I loved loved loved this movie. As much as the musical theatre version (maybe a little bit more?) I cried a lot too. I saw it the day I arrived in Oz so will plead jet-lag…

    Will also look up the non-musical version Petchary mentions – Geoffrey Rush is brilliant in anything so quite frankly that would be reason enough.

    Did I mentioned I loved it?

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