Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Les Misérables: C'est Magnifique
Victor Hugo's 151-year-old epic — with its sweeping themes of honor, dignity, loyalty, love, kindness, cruelty and obsession — resonate with 21st-century moviegoers because these are the themes that define our lives.
The newest retelling of this captivating drama, the movie in theaters now, honors Hugo by remaining faithful to his story. It's not a Broadway show that's morphed onto the big screen. It's a grand opera worthy of Lincoln Center or La Scala.
Hugh Jackman as the star-crossed Jean Valjean gives an impeccable performance both acting and singing. If only the same could be said about Russel Crowe, as Javert, his nemesis. Why a non-singer was cast in this role is one of those Hollywood mysteries.
But then nothing in life, or art, is perfect and this movie comes as close as is humanly possible. The story is heart wrenching, the music is glorious, the characters are compelling, the plot is absorbing.
Les Misérables reveals us at our best and worst, our suffering and our joy, our strongest and weakest, our cruelest and most compassionate. And we can't look away.
Check out the cast.
Listen to the music.