Friday, December 28, 2012

Les Misérables

We saw Les Misérables yesterday and I thought it was wonderful – two and a half hours of delightful entertainment and gripping emotion.
by Charlie Leck

The human spirit is amazing! How unconquerable it can be in certain people and under special circumstances! Isn’t that what Hugo’s wonderful story is about

On any authority’s list of the world’s greatest novels, one would find Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I had to read it both in high school and college (and I've reread it as an adult, when I could appreciate it more fully). The book caused tumultuous excitement in France when it was released in 1862. Hugo was in exile when the first printings were released. Napoleon III had sent him away for criticizing his rule. The great French writer used the novel and the character of Jean Valjean to describe and criticize the corruption that had crept into every aspect of French life.

The novel is a work of well over 1,000 pages in almost every edition and, of course, the play (now made cinema) can not cover all the aspects of French history that Hugo touched on in his epic account. Yet, one sees enough to get the idea; and what one sees is glorious in its color and emotion. It is a grand love story on so many levels; yet it is first the story of corrupted government and human cruelty – both conquered by powerful love.

Unless you hate musicals, you musn’t miss Les Misérables on a big screen.

The extraordinary movies of 2012 only begin with Lincoln!
I’ve seen some powerful film productions lately. 2012 may be a historic year for very high quality and meaningful movies (I saw Anna Karenina just the other day). Zero Dark Thirty has been released in New York City and Los Angeles and I cannot wait for it to get here. Skyfall, with the brilliant Daniel Craig as James Bond, was also on my schedule last week. Quite exciting for the James Bond fan. Craig was thoroughly remarkable as an aging Bond (and I am a Dame Judith Dench fan and she played M with distinction). And Lincoln, which I wrote about two weeks ago, is the most exciting and remarkable of them all.

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1 comment:

  1. A New York Times video review of Les Miserables was not kind to the film (and I strongly disagree with it). The Times reviewer did not like the direction of the movie and complained about the poor camera angles and complex scenes. Frankly, I thought the camera work was brilliant and exciting. Someone is wrong here. CL