Les Miserables, or, in English, the super happy people, is a film adaptation of the famous stage musical, which is itself an adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. It’s about French people. NOT French Canadian, though, so it’s cool.
The story of Les Miserables is a classic. The main character is Jean Valjean, who is imprisoned for 19 years for stealing bread to feed his starving sister, and for trying to escape. After being released he is almost sent back for stealing from a Bishop, but the Bishop has mercy and helps Jean, who starts a new life with an assumed name elsewhere, and he prospers.
At Jean’s factory, one of his workers, Fantine, has an illegitimate chid and when this comes out the other women turn against her, and she is fired. She has no money or way to care for her daughter, so she becomes a prostitute. After being arrested for fighting back against a bad customer, Fantine is ultimately saved by Jean.
At some point, a man is falsely accused of being Jean, and as he is a good man, Jean gives himself up to the court and admits that he broke his parole and took on a new name to start anew.
Before being imprisoned again, Jean runs off to find Fantine’s daughter, who he has promised to help take care of. He has to go into exile again, and eventually is caught up in rebellions and other extraordinary circumstances in Paris. He saves the life of the cop who is hunting him, and the cop, Javert, commits suicide because he cannot decide between being good to Jean and doing his duty.
Finally, Fantine’s daughter Cosette is married, and now that he has completed his life’s duty of taking care of her, Jean dies.
And there’s singing.
Les Mis will be directed by Tom Hooper, who doesn’t really have musical experience, at least on film, I’m not sure if he’s worked on stage before, but he did direct The King’s Speech, for which he won an Oscar, so he doesn’t totally suck.
Les Miserables Trailer
Les Miserables Release Date
December 25, 2012.
Who’s In It?
Anne Hathaway … Fantine
Amanda Seyfried … Cosette
Helena Bonham Carter … Madame Thénardier
Hugh Jackman … Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe … Inspector Javert
Sacha Baron Cohen … Monsieur Thenardier (rumored)
Eddie Redmayne … Marius
Aaron Tveit … Enjolras
What’s Good About It?
The story is a classic, and the play has been a smash for years and years. The cast is pretty good, as I read recently that Hugh Jackman’s one man show has been a huge success on Broadway, and the rest of them can act/sing pretty well too.
What’s Bad About It?
It’s a musical. Unless there’s a twist and Jackman pops the Wolverine claws and Anne Hathaway dons her Catwoman outfit I doubt I’ll be that interested. I’m just not cultured enough.
Our Clever Prediction
I expect Les Miserables to do very well next December. It’s a classic story, it should be epic on film. Also, a fair number of people really like musicals. I bet my parents will love it. Again, I should reference my preference for Wolverine and Catwoman over dance numbers.
Reference my preference. Heh.