After a long wait, my family and I went to see Les Miserables on the screen last night. We were not disappointed.
I have loved the story since we first saw it at the Kennedy Center back in 1998. We have seen it several times since, have the orginal cast recording, I’ve watched the annivesary concerts and yes, I’ve read the book.
The movie version is, to say the least, amazing. The cinematography is stunning. Because you can do things on film that you cannot on stage, additional depth was added to the story line. I was pleased to see that elements added were faithful to the book.
As for the perfomances, Hugh Jackman did not disappoint, but the unquestionable star was Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are the Thénardiers. If there is a weak link, it is the singing of Russell Crowe. At the same time, his performance adds a depth to the inner struggle of Javert that does not translate from the stage.
My favorite casting was Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop. Wilkinson was the original Jean Valjean when the show originated in London’s West End in 1985.
If you love the musical, see the movie. But don’t expect the same experience. If you love the story, see the movie and read the book.
The story of Jean Valjean’s redemption is the story of the grace of God.
Timeless. Eternal. And grace that can redeem from the lowest depths.
Photo: Universal Studios