Les Misérables gets to be my first movie of 2013. It moved me to tears several times and had me in awe at the amazing talent of several of the actors involved! I knew Hugh Jackman could sing, but I had no idea he could sing like that, while acting so well that his Jean Valjean truly impressed me! (will someone just give him the Oscar already?!) And what about Anne Hathaway?! Woah!!! That girl can SING! It's a good (?) thing her role isn't any bigger, or she'd steal the show from Hugh Jackman! (ditto on the Oscar comment)
Also: did it really last 2h 1/2??? The cinema's website had it listed as 1h 1/2, which I thought was a pity ('cause how can you tell that story in only 90'?), and when the movie ended I really felt like it had barely been 90'. I was shocked when my dad said we'd been in there for almost 3h!!! Not once did I look at my watch or feel antsy in my chair. I was enthralled the whole way through!
Another little aspect that made me (others might not care so much) very happy: about 90% of the dialogue is either singing or in a slightly chanting voice (usually between songs). Why was I so glad about this? Because they don't dub the singing in musicals here in Spain! So that means there was so little dubbed dialogue in Spanish it barely registered with me and I got to enjoy all the actors' voices most of the time! :o)
Les Misérables? The movie trailer mostly centres on the amazing songs (see below), and it might trick you into thinking that Anna Hathaway has a more important role than she really does. This is the story of Jean Valjean, a man who served 19 years of forced labour for having stolen a loaf of bread. He is paroled and released shortly after the fall of Napoleon and the restoration of the monarchy in France (so 1815). Unfortunately paroled does not mean free. It means his documents state that he is a "dangerous criminal" (so no one will give him work, no town will take him in), and he must report every month to the authorities to prove he is abiding the law. Of course he eventually breaks and is thus forced to commit a more serious crime than he was originally convicted of... but you might say a heavenly intervention forces him to reconsider his life and abandon his hatred and embrace God's plan for him (no this is not a religious movie, although Valjean becomes a very religious man). He becomes someone else, changes, and finds his place in society. Unfortunately having thus broken his parole he is now a fugitive from the law and his nemesis Inspecteur Javert (Russel Crowe, who can't sing but his scenes with Jackman are tense and thrilling, particularly the last one) is relentless in his pursuit of him throughout the movie. All the other characters are secondary. They are there to provide inflection points in Valjean's life, on his path to redemption. Through Fantine (Hathaway) he will meet Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) whom he raises as his daughter and provides him with a new set of motivations in the final third of the movie (in Paris in the 1830s when Revolution is once again in the air). All in all it's a fascinating story of a man's life, one of Victor Hugo's masterpieces. I think I've read it twice, once as a teenager and once again I can't quite remember when (I grew up reading 19th century French literature, yes I know I'm weird!), and both times it was hard for me to put the book down once I had gotten into the depths of the story (like most 19th century novels -of any nation- it's a bit hard -lengthy- to start, but once it gets going it's fabulous!). And now I really want to read it again... but as usual after Christmas I have several new books waiting for me! :p
I'll leave you with the trailer, and the recommendation to GO SEE IT! If you've already seen it share your thoughts with all of us below in the comments! ;o)