Les Miserables

Anne and I went to see the movie last night.  It was enthralling and one of those rare movies that betters the hype.  The cinematography was flawless and stunning.  The passion was perfectly captured.  The music was wonderful and the singing, while mixed in quality at times (deliberately as I understand the singing was recorded ‘live’), was amazing because it came from a cast of such superb actors.  The storyline was always understandable (less so with the two stage version I have been to in the past) – all those little and sometimes oblique nuances became clear through the way the film was directed.
Clearly outstanding was Anne Hathaway – her ‘from the pit’ rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” was both harrowing and spine-tingling… I shed some tears… for me, she stole the show and nothing that followed (a few hours!) reached that height, although Samantha Bark’s Eponine nudged close.  I enjoyed Eddie Redmayne’s Marius (I always find that this guy surprises and steps up to new heights as an actor) and Hugh Jackman was also outstanding.  The children, Daniel Huttlestone and Isabelle Allen were also wonderful.
Clearly, the gathering of an exceptional cast of actors as the first step was the right move – that they could sing was obviously necessary and that we didn’t know they could sing so well was fantastic!  This was movie not stage – the camera was frequently zoomed in closely to the faces of the actors – they needed to be able to act!  In light of that close filming, the costuming and makeup people deserve all and any awards!
That the movie is also a witness to the power of God’s grace at work (and the cost of following the way of Christ) is the icing on the top of an already fantastic cake.
Rave, rave, rave!!!  One of those must see movies!
An excellent article on the theological politics of Les Miserables by Richard Beck,that my mate Bruce Hamill pointed me to, is well-worth a read: http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/the-political-theology-of-les-miserables.html


2 thoughts on “Les Miserables

  1. Off to see it today with our daughter who performed in the 10th Anniversary NZ Tour with Rob Guest 1999/2000. It will be bitter sweet as we remember him, but celebrate how it has finally been brought to the big screen and become available for us all to see as a film musical. Of note are the many attempts to produce Les Mis in film before. I particularly like the Liam Neeson version without the music, as it focuses on the act of forgiveness without the distraction of the singing.

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