Monday, February 18, 2013

Les Misérables

Les Misérables – 158min – PG-13

I have been putting off writing about this movie. It was such a good movie that I feel unworthy to write about it. The best way to describe it was like going to see the musical from right on stage with the performers. This movie is the musical recorded live as the performers acted on set. All of the performance were outstanding. I now have a new appreciation for this story. I have seen the other movie and enjoyed it but to truly get the scope and majesty of this story you need to see the musical. Obviously this deserves nothing less than a green light.

Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is a man who is jailed for stealing food for his starving nephew. His jailor, Javert (Russell Crowe) tells him that he is free but will always be a criminal. Jean Valjean then goes out into the world to rebuild his life. He has to face the fact that he is a criminal and that he needs to separate himself from the system that has made him into a criminal and rebuild himself completely. He breaks his parole and starts a new life. He becomes a respected member of the community but inadvertently causes Fantine (Anne Hathaway) to lose her job and forces her to sell her body, figurative and literally, on the street to get money together to send to the people watching her child. He finds Fantine and saves her from going to prison and promises to save her daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen). Fantine dies with the knowledge that her daughter will be safe. Javert catches up to Jean Valjean but he escapes with Cosette to Paris. We flash forward, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) is a young woman and they are living during the time of the revolution. She falls in love with a young man by the name of Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who is in danger of dying in the revolution; Jean Valjean saves him so that Cosette can have a happy life. As Jean Valjean has worked so hard for the redemption of his crimes he final dies with the blessings he has created through his good work. He dies redeemed.

I have given you the full over arching story but there are so many sub plots to this story you will still see lots that is new. Because each performance is given with all of the heart and soul from each performer it’s like having a wonderful full course meal for your eyes and ears. The wicked innkeeper and his wife were plated by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. They were marvelous in their roles and brought a level of vile oiliness to the parts that made you feel slimy afterwards.

The Director (Tom Hooper) is probably best known for his work on The King's Speech. He can bring out the spirit of a character through the work he does with his performers. One thing I have liked about both of his films is his dedication to the emotional connection he can build with the audience.

There was one performance that stood out to me more than any other and that was Samantha Barks and her Portrayal of Éponine was so engaging. You will need to keep an eye out for her future career because she has a very small résumé but an immense talent.

Warning Spoilers!!!! Only those who fight for the people can click on this link!!!!!

This movie was exactly what I needed, I cried my head off at the end of this movie and it all started with Anne Hathaway and lead to Samantha Barks right on the heals is Daniel Huttlestone and then finish off with Hugh Jackman. If you need a good emotional release go see his spectacular rendition of this story that is beyond compare.

I did not cry when Javert took his own life but it did shock me, I knew what we was going to do but the performance was so well done it took me by surprise.

Sacha Baron Cohen is a puzzle for me. He is an excellent performer and really enjoyed his role and his performance, but his other work really just rubs me the wrong way. I think that if he would focus on more performances like this and leave his asshattery alone he would reach a much wider audience. He is his own worst enemy.

What was the last movie that moved you to the point of tears? Why?

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