Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Observations on Les Miserables

1)  It was such a relief to see Catholicism portrayed in a positive light!  A merciful monsignor in the film's opening scenes, the compassion of a group of nuns throughout, and characters spending time in front of, and putting into action, the crucifix. 

2) I went to the movie with a bunch of young adults, mostly it looked like boyfriends dragged their by their girlfriends, the point being it wasn't like I was at the film with a bunch of people who you would expect to see at a movie like this. 

I bring this up to note that for nearly three hours you could have heard a pin drop in the theater.  I've been to a lot of movies, and I have NEVER seen anything like that.  It was almost like people recognized they were in the presence of beauty, and that they were being silent out of respect.

3)  This same theater of mostly young adults actually APPLAUDED when the film was over.  I've been to the midnight showings of Star Wars movies, Lord of the Rings movies, and Harry Potter movies - despite the rabidity of those fan bases, when those movies ended, no one applauded, but there was something about Les Mis that elicited the applause of most of the audience.

4) The movie is long, but I think it seems longer because there is so much tension in the film.  My only request would have been more humor or more relief from the tension.  That being said, I was shocked in a good way by the two comedic performances by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. 

5) One of my favorite books, A River Runs Through It, has the following dialogue between a father and son about a dead son/brother who was had turned fishing into an art form:

"I’ve told you all I know. If you push me far enough, all I really know is that he was a fine fisherman.

You know more than that,” my father said. “He was beautiful.

The film had amazing acting, music, etc., but it was more than just a film, it was beautiful.


  1. I really enjoyed it,this one is my favorite of 3 versions. One small complaint, this adaptation moves very fast in the beginning. in the book victor hugo takes 110 pages to get to the part where the Bishop gives valjean the candlesticks.
    I haven't read the book (1280 pages). Les mis used to be on the church's forbidden list. hugo never spoke against the churches doctrine, but he felt great antipathy towards the church heirarchy. because he felt they should of done more politically for the poor. hugo was exciled from france for a decade around 1860's (this book released in 1862 took him 17 years to write) when Napoleans grandson become emporer.
    I can only assume les mis was on the do not read list because it insited riots. for 80 years the french had been rapidly changing governments after multiple revolutions. the ones in the 1860's quickly spread through europe and as far away as south america. often they led to a lot of blood shed without real change. hugo's first big hit (1828) was the hunchback of notre dame. its popularity increased tourism, with so many people visiting notre dame the church decided to give it a major renovation.

  2. I love the music and have for years having seen the stage production twice. I too love the values protrayed by the main charater after receiving mercy from another. It shows that goodness is a choice and one we should all strive to choose everyday.