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Thread: Les Miserables (2012)

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    Les Miserables (2012)

    I think this has to be one of the most moving films I have ever seen in my life (after The Passion of the Christ). The story is filled with themes such as redemption, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

    I have seen it on the stage two times and have been moved every time. But the film version brings a completely different dimension to the story. The actors actually sing their parts "live" while filming. This made the story so much more REAL. To see a close up of an actor crying while they sing made them seem like they were right there in the room with you living out their lives. I've really never experienced anything like that in a movie.

    Bring a fist full of tissues with you and enjoy this well-written, well-acted, well-sung, well-produced, well-directed story.

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    Senior Member Jeremy D. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Les Miserables

    My wife was waiting for it for quite a while. Last year, when I got some extra unexpected income, I surprised Meghan with tickets to see it on stage in Boston. I was truly blown away by the production. A Broadway-par musical was new to me so I had no clue it could be done so well.

    I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I did enjoy the movie very much. I appreciated the ability to follow the plot line much more easily than on stage. I thought everyone was pretty great though Crowe was rather weak. Eponine was again my favorite character. Something about her moves me. Hathaway's Dream was very good, even with all the hype. And I agree with my wife who keeps reminding me of Redmayne's great performance of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.

    All-in-all, I'm glad I saw it in the theater. Won't be one I'd watch over and over, but I liked it.

    A group of Nazarene pastors including my wife's cousin (John "Jay" Nielson), Doug Samples (professor at SNU), and Nate Burns all wrote a sermon series together based on the songs from Les Mis in anticipation of the movie and as part of Dr. Samples' sabbatical. If you're interested, you can see it all here:
    http://thelesmisproject.wordpress.com/
    Thanks Julie Reed, Lorie Hatcliff - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Les Miserables

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy D. Scott View Post
    My wife was waiting for it for quite a while. Last year, when I got some extra unexpected income, I surprised Meghan with tickets to see it on stage in Boston. I was truly blown away by the production. A Broadway-par musical was new to me so I had no clue it could be done so well.

    I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I did enjoy the movie very much. I appreciated the ability to follow the plot line much more easily than on stage. I thought everyone was pretty great though Crowe was rather weak. Eponine was again my favorite character. Something about her moves me. Hathaway's Dream was very good, even with all the hype. And I agree with my wife who keeps reminding me of Redmayne's great performance of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.

    All-in-all, I'm glad I saw it in the theater. Won't be one I'd watch over and over, but I liked it.

    A group of Nazarene pastors including my wife's cousin (John "Jay" Nielson), Doug Samples (professor at SNU), and Nate Burns all wrote a sermon series together based on the songs from Les Mis in anticipation of the movie and as part of Dr. Samples' sabbatical. If you're interested, you can see it all here:
    http://thelesmisproject.wordpress.com/
    Thanks for the link. I will definitely check the sermons out.

    I have to agree with your wife's assessment of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables". Although all the performances were fantastic, that one really stood out to me.
    Thanks Jeremy D. Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Host Book, Movie & CE forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Les Miserables (2012)

    I know this is a film version of the musical and not of the novel, but I'm wondering how people view it in comparison to the Liam Neeson version from the late 90's? I enjoyed that movie quite a bit, even though I recognize they truncated the story a great deal.
    ...just my $.02.

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    Assistant Site Administrator/Forum Host Jon Twitchell's Avatar

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    Re: Les Miserables (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I know this is a film version of the musical and not of the novel, but I'm wondering how people view it in comparison to the Liam Neeson version from the late 90's? I enjoyed that movie quite a bit, even though I recognize they truncated the story a great deal.
    I think that the Liam Neeson movie is a great way to be better grounded in the story. The stage production is amazing and overwhelming... I think it was my first (maybe second) real Broadway show, and we sat in the VERY back row of the Colonial in Boston.... so I was overwhelmed by the production (and pretty far away from the action). Consequently, I don't know that I entirely followed the story. I understand that the turntable is no longer featured in the touring production... but the turntable was so visually stunning for me that it's the thing I remember the most from seeing the stage presentation.

    The 98 film staring Neeson is a great adaptation that focuses on the story. While it leaves out Eponine and shortens several other things, I actually think it does a better job telling most of the plot.

    This current film adaptation is incredibly powerful... for me, made more so because I had watched the 98 film a couple of weeks ago... so I felt that I really understood the plot and could really focus on the characters. There's also something pretty intense about the singing performances... (and while the theater purists may disagree), I think it's an emotional intensity that you don't get in live theater... or that most stage actors couldn't bring night after night after night.

    As I wrote on facebook, I can watch an entire movie about horrible things happening to lots of people and not shed a tear... but end with a song about resurrection/heaven... and you have me bawling like a baby.
    I had heard the last song before (we saw the stage production... and I own the original cast recording)... but I never really got it the way I got it last Sunday. And as soon as they started the section on "The Garden of the Lord," I audibly sobbed with joy.

    Anyway... Say what you want about Russell Crowe... or about Amanda Seyfried... or about the song they left out... or the song they added... I don't care. It was the most powerful film I've seen in a long time.
    Grace and Peace,

    Jon Twitchell


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    Senior Member Tyler McCarthy's Avatar

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    Re: Les Miserables (2012)

    I thought that the director got a little tipsy with his camera angles. But that's his style, so he was doing what he is known for. I've seen the show on the Broad-way, so the music is 100x better live, that being said take this next statement with a grain of salt. The music seemed flat. There were 2-4 songs that actually moved you and got you caught up in the moment. (Lovely Ladies, I am Jean-Val-Jean, One Day More, and Do you hear the people sing [just before where Intermission would be]) The music just didn't lift me up and sweep me away like I was expecting. The vocal performances were amazing, but they needed a orchestration to match the singing quality. (I think they downplayed the music to show off the voices.) For example, Master of the House, my favorite number, is supposed to be a big production number, but it was dull and boring. I've seen clips of high schools that did that show that bring the house down. Yes it had star power and good acting and epic sets and great singing, but the music the very heart of the musical left you wanting more, and not in a good way, the heart of this musical was on life-support.
    Gone but not forgotten.

    - Ty

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    Senior Member Charlene Clevenger's Avatar

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    Re: Les Miserables (2012)

    I knew next to nothing about the story until just before we went to see this movie. I googled the book and the musical production to learn the basic plot so I wouldn't get lost. I loved this movie. I hope I can go see it again. But I can appreciate that the big production numbers like Can You Hear the People Sing? would be more awesome in a live theater production. Still, the intimate songs like Valjean's Soliloquy and I Dreamed a Dream were incredibly moving. One fun fact I learned: Colm Wilkinson, who played the priest in the movie played Jean Valjean in the original London West End production. The interview with producers that I saw said that during filming Colm's handing the candlesticks to Hugh Jackman felt like he was passing the baton and giving his blessing to the new Valjean.
    Thanks Gina Stevenson, Tyler McCarthy - "thanks" for this post

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