Les Miserables

Our Christmas movie Advent Calendar list is getting shorter. Tonight, we’re enjoying the movie version of Les Miserables, with Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. If you are not familiar with the story of Les Miserables, I won’t insult you by trying to give a synopsis here. It is another wonderful story of redemption, as so many Christmas movies are.

We have seen the stage production of Les Miserables five times. Each and every time was the first. The music, the staging, and the acting is indescribable, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Our introduction to Les Miserables came from public television as the station was playing the 10th anniversary concert of the production. We were absolutely captured by the music. It was stunning! Of course, we supported the fund raiser by making a donation for which we received a DVD of the concert.

Our first experience with the stage production of Les Miserables was at The Princess of Wales Theatre, in Toronto, Ontario. Seeing and hearing Colm Wilkinson, who literally created the role of Jean Valjean in London and on Broadway, in person, is still difficult to put into words. We were so moved by the show, we bought tickets and returned to see it again the following day.

Music is incredibly powerful. Hearing the sound of the orchestra playing and the cast singing “One Day More” at the end of the first act was almost too much. When the house lights came up there were people sobbing around us.

We saw Les Miserables again, this time in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Our final two opportunities to see Les Miserables came at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Each and every production of Les Miserables has been a thrilling experience.

Twenty-four years have passed since the night we saw and heard Colm Wilkinson sing, “Bring Him Home,” as his character, Jean Valjean, prays, pleading for the life of Marius, and yet the story and the music is still as special and new as the first.

Two men with an opportunity for redemption. Jean Valjean, a prisoner, a thief, accepted redemption that came from another and his life was changed forever. Inspector Javert, an officer of the law, was offered redemption but refused, determined instead to save himself, and was lost.

The movie, Les Miserables, is fantastic. I can’t begin to understand how producers were able to capture the wonder of Les Miz for the screen, but they did it.

For us, the best part of the movie version is Colm Wilkinson playing the part of Bishop Myriel, the priest from whom Jean Valjean steals silver. When he is caught by police, the Bishop tells them the silver was a gift. Forgiveness brought Valjean to redemption.

Wonderful.

4 thoughts on “Les Miserables

  1. My first experience with Les Mis was the movie- without it, wouldn’t have fallen in love with the musical

    Stage show- seen six times and in a month about to see it a 7th time

    Concerts- yes, I saw them (but only one in Cinemas). Only because I wasn’t a fan for two of them). The 10th and the 25th concerts I had to find a way to watch them- they had already come out before I became a fan meaning didn’t watch them in Cinemas (the 25th I was able to borrow and the 10th I somehow ended up owning before watching). It was only the 2019 concert I could watch in Cinemas.

    Liked by 1 person

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