Thursday, December 6, 2012

Haven't been this excited in a long time

I am so excited! I've not been this excited about the release of a movie in a VERY long time. I think that the last time I was this excited was either Star Wars Episode 3 or one of the Harry Potter movies.

What movie am I talking about that has me over the moon? Well it is the musical phenomen of Les Miserables. If you've not seen the trailer, watch it! In my personal opinion, this movie has Oscars written all over it.

Here is one of the trailers.

I love musicals. I've grown up watching Oklahoma and Sound of Music and others of that era. I own quite a few of these classic musicals on dvd.

I've seen several Broadway musicals. I've seen Grease, Wicked, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Phantom of the Opera to name a few. I've also seen several movie adaptations of the Broadway shows, though in the case of Grease and Seven Brides I'd seen the movies long before seeing the plays. These movies include Chicago, Rent, Phantom, Mamma Mia, and Hairspray. While I've enjoyed each one, there's something to be said for seeing the show live and onstage.

My obsession with Les Mis came about in college. I'd taken a theatre appreciation class and we watched a video recording of one of the London productions. I fell in love with the music, the story, everything about it at that time. I'm pretty sure that that summer the Liam Neeson version of the film came out and I loved it - even without the music. I didn't get a chance to actually see the musical live for several years. While I kept waiting patiently for it to arrive in Houston, I read an English translation of the book and still loved it. I finally got to see the show live about 8 or 9 years ago and it was all I'd anticipated. I even bought the soundtrack and would find myself jamming to the music while at work (still do). One of the most moving, for me at least, songs/scenes from the show was the song "Empty Chairs." Maybe it was the choreography of how this scene was done onstage. But I remember sitting in the theatre with my friend and when Marius is singing of how his friends and he used to come there, the friends come out and stand behind the chairs. It's just so beautiful. Yet this musical isn't a happy musical like Oklahoma or Show Boat.

The story of Les Mis is really the story of Jean Valjean. Valjean has spent the past 20 years in jail and when he's finally set free he doesn't know any other life. Until a kind bishop sets him on a new path. Over the course of the next several years and decades, Valjean tries to show that he's been redeemed. The one officer, Javert, who has hunted him for years firmly believes that redemption isn't possible for a man like Valjean. Add some students who believe in fighting for the poor and unfortunate, a blossoming love between the girl Valjean's raised as his own daughter and one of the young students, and Valjean finds himself in the midst of a fight for freedom. There will be causalities, but the biggest question is whom.

 Let me recommend the link for the film. I've had fun watching the videos over and over.

Les Miserables film

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