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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:02 PM

URGENT MUST SEE - "LES MISERABLES" -- It Is The Movie Of Our Time -- GOP Featured --

How little has changed since the time of Victor Hugo. This movie should have been out before the election. Look for the elephant in the movie. This movie is one of the most left wing movies that you will. And it is a metaphor for our times and what austerity is about and what the GOP wants for American and the capitalists represented by multinational corporations and the uber rich want for the world.

The voices are credible. The best voices are the rebellious young men. Jackman does a very credible job as Jean Valjean. Russell Crowed does a very good Javert. The movie works and the sets and atmosphere of 19th century France probably looks like France was like then.

If this movie had been released a couple of weeks before the election, the RW would be screaming bloody murder.

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Reply URGENT MUST SEE - "LES MISERABLES" -- It Is The Movie Of Our Time -- GOP Featured -- (Original post)
TheMastersNemesis Dec 2012 OP
lunatica Dec 2012 #1
graham4anything Dec 2012 #2
exboyfil Dec 2012 #5
elehhhhna Dec 2012 #12
exboyfil Dec 2012 #15
elehhhhna Dec 2012 #23
Moonwalk Dec 2012 #25
exboyfil Dec 2012 #26
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #32
exboyfil Dec 2012 #35
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #43
adieu Dec 2012 #17
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #30
adieu Dec 2012 #34
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #36
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #3
politicat Dec 2012 #6
Kablooie Dec 2012 #8
truedelphi Dec 2012 #11
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #33
Kablooie Dec 2012 #4
exboyfil Dec 2012 #7
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #21
Gregorian Dec 2012 #9
aint_no_life_nowhere Dec 2012 #13
Gregorian Dec 2012 #14
frazzled Dec 2012 #20
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #10
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #39
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #42
1monster Dec 2012 #16
tblue Dec 2012 #18
frazzled Dec 2012 #19
politicat Dec 2012 #24
Stardust Jan 2013 #44
question everything Dec 2012 #22
haikugal Dec 2012 #27
OneGrassRoot Dec 2012 #28
noel711 Dec 2012 #29
rjones2818 Dec 2012 #31
TheMastersNemesis Dec 2012 #37
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #38
bhikkhu Dec 2012 #40
Berlum Dec 2012 #41

Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:06 PM

1. The element that makes great literature persist is it fits any time.

Our modern times aren't so modern. If we ever overcome disparity then we'll be in 'modern times'. Until then we'll just be repeating history.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:12 PM

2. It is also about racism and sexism like found in the 1850s and 1950s and 1960s

 

to just say it is about capitalism does a great disservice to it and to Victor Hugo

btw-Jackman and Crowe are professional singers, Crowe has released many records over the years. No surprise either of them can sing here.

And Anne Hathaway could have a second career as a singer. Her Dreamed a dream last night is already #53 on the ITunes top 100.

and Seyfried was in Mama Mia.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:30 PM

5. Hathaway was stunning

I hope she wins the Oscar. Jackman did a good job, and Crowe sounded good when he was not singing with Jackman. Crowe and Jackman together was ok. The rest of the cast was great. The visuals are stunning. It is easily the best musical ever filmed in my opinion.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:18 PM

12. agree on all the above and

eddie redmayne surprised the hell out of me, as well as the gal who played eponine.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:28 PM

15. There is a guy who lists the top 10 things he hates about

Les Miserables (kind of done in fun). A big one for me was usually the woman who plays Eponine is more attractive than Cosette not to mention being far more resourceful and interesting. If you have steak in front of you, why go look for a lamb chop. Marius is an idiot. I would have told granddad I was kidding and ask for an advance on the inheritance and move away with Eponine - setting up a new life for her. That is just me.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:29 PM

23. It's a great part - the best after Fantine. Cosette is a bore

a singing prop, although being played by amanda seyfreid probably didn't help

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:43 PM

25. Can you give a link to this list? Would love to read it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:58 PM

26. The language is very crude

but here is the list. He makes some good points. Not to slam the musical because it is my favorite, but it does have some issues which he brings out.

&playnext=1&list=PLACDF6E7D9AF907D2&feature=results_main

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:21 PM

32. Can't possibly beat Chicago or Cabaret! The best musicals ever made, IMO. Or close to it.

Then there's South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel, The Music Man. Stiff competition in the "best musical" category.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:23 PM

35. All great

That is the nice thing about opinions - everyone has one. I would throw Man of La Mancha on that list as well (watched that this evening via Netflix). Fiddler on the Roof and even Phantom of the Opera (Masquerade with its choreography and visuals is probably the best large cast dance/singing number) . I won't argue - everyone has their own personal favorite.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:01 PM

43. Never seen La Mancha, but Fiddler on the Roof is way up on the list.

Phantom of the Opera...it's really really good, but I'd put it lower on the list than a lot of others. It's operatic, which is not my favorite. Plus, I've seen it on TV and the play, but not the movie. Don't know how good the movie is.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:31 PM

17. There weren't too many

different races back then in Hugo's France. It's more a classism, with the rich looking down their noses at the poor.

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Response to adieu (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:13 PM

30. Which ties in to the economic exploitation epitomized by the capitalist system.........

in any age since capitalism arose in history.

Nope, I haven't seen the movie or the play, but I AM a Marxist and we know some things never change.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:22 PM

34. Capitalism

means using capital (money) to make money. Back then, it wasn't so much capitalism as complete lassiez-faire libertarian anarchy backed by acceptance by the monarchy or whatever ruling system. Basically, it was the transition from feudalism to capitalism.

I'm not a 100% fan of capitalism, but what Marx and others were fighting against wasn't so much capitalism as it was plutocracy and fascism. When the rich use their capital to buy votes and legislators to write laws in their favor, that's not capitalism. It's fascism. True capitalism allows for people's monetary bets to lose and a capitalist has to accept that potential loss. Those who are too scared to lose use the capital to buy legislators to modify the rules to help them not lose the money. Well, bullshit and Marx, et al, was right to call on their demise.

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Response to adieu (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:36 PM

36. True that Marx wasn't so much "against" capitalism as he was..........

expecting it to be superseded by the next historical stage, i.e., socialism and then eventually communism. And this period was a transitional time between monarchism/feudalism and capitalism. Marx would have said (and did say) that capitalism was an advance over feudalism.

But I will disagree with your second paragraph. Once capitalism became entrenched as THE social, political, and economic system du jour, AT THAT POINT HE WAS AGAINST CAPITALISM. AND he didn't expect capitalism to go away easily. He thought that the next historical system, socialism, would HAVE TO BE BORN REVOLUTION. I DO agree that he would have also been against plutocracy and fascism.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:26 PM

3. This movie and the Hobbit are on my xmas movie list

and after I see them . I will read the books. I have read the Hobbit a long time ago but never les Miserables.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:35 PM

6. Read the Julie Rose translation.

It's a new translation that is much closer to the intent of the original French than the older one.

Some people don't like the Rose translation because the language feels modern, but as someone who has read LesMis in French (senior year of HS) the Rose is much cleaner, and it reads better. It also lacks the late Victorian circumlocutions and obfuscations.

Skip the ebook versions -- the ones that are well programmed have lots of typos, the clean edits are badly scripted, and all rely on the somewhat bowdlerized late Victorian translation.

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Response to politicat (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:52 PM

8. I think modern language translations of classic books are more correct.

Most books were written in the current vernacular, not in some archaic version of their language.
In order to get the effect the author intended a modern translation should, in theory, be the most accurate.

English books are the exception.
If it was written in 18th century English we continue to read it that way in spite of the language making it seem more distant and foreign than it was to contemporary readers.

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Response to politicat (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:13 PM

11. Good to know. Thanks for this tip. n/t

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:23 PM

33. The Hobbit was excellent. And I say that not as a Hobbit fan. nt

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:27 PM

4. The Republicans can easily see it as supporting their own philosophy.

Jean Valjean brings himself up out of the gutter by his own efforts to become a successful businessman.
His business creates jobs for hundreds but the government keeps persecuting him which destroys his business and eliminates all the jobs.

The Thenardiers, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter who steal money from everyone, will be seen as Republicans by Democrats, and as Democrats by Republicans.

The revolutionaries will be seen as the gun loving conservatives who try their best to protect themselves but the government destroys them.

It's a perfect metaphor for the Extreme conservative viewpoint as well as the liberal on

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:37 PM

7. You have to start with the premise

of 5 years for stealing a loaf of bread. That sounds big time conservative to me. The folks at the barricade want to see society enforce justice - that is a liberal idea as well. The idea of personal charity is neither conservative or liberal, but the fact that an elite class exists who does not consider the needs of the poor is a conservative paradise. To not have redemption or forgiveness or help for a woman with an illegitimate kid - that is conservatism - no welfare or foodstamps for you classic. Sell your hair, sell your teeth, sell your body - just don't expect society to help.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:48 PM

21. Our 3-strikes law out here put a guy away for life, for stealing pizza

if it was his "third strike"..

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:55 PM

9. Yep. I mentioned it several times this week. Absolutely amazing. The 1935 version is great!

It's shocking how relevant it still is.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:20 PM

13. My favorite of them all is the 1934 French version

I own a copy of the epic trilogy of films of Les Miserables in French that lasts about four and a half hours and is said to be the most accurate depiction of the book. I love Frederic March in the 1935 English language version you mention, but as great an actor as he was, I think Harry Baur was better. Baur was considered one of the greatest actors who ever lived and was Rod Steiger's idol. Unfortunately, Harry Baur, a Jew, was tortured and murdered by the Gestapo during World War II. The three part French version of 1934 played on TCM just a few nights ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables_%281934_film%29




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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:26 PM

14. I was going to watch that a few weeks ago, but saw how long it was. Thanks.

Now I've got something to look forward to.

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:47 PM

20. I saw this as well, and it was superb

?1328128297

This new movie-musical version has been getting pretty, shall we say, less than enthusiastic reviews for being over-the-top schmaltzy:

As he showed in “The King’s Speech” and in the television series “John Adams,” Mr. Hooper can be very good with actors. But his inability to leave any lily ungilded — to direct a scene without tilting or hurtling or throwing the camera around — is bludgeoning and deadly. By the grand finale, when tout le monde is waving the French tricolor in victory, you may instead be raising the white flag in exhausted defeat.

http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/movies/les-miserables-stars-anne-hathaway-and-hugh-jackman.html


Ever since 1985 when the English-language musical version began devouring the world, nobody says “Misérables.” Now it’s just “Les Miz,” and that evokes an altogether different state of despair. The miz don’t need food, shelter, or clothing — there are catering and production crews for those. They need good lighting, a stirring arrangement, and an ecstatic audience. Miz is a condition of abject showmanship. It’s walking to downstage and belting out your torment. It’s still the same human condition that took up 1,200 pages in Hugo but with razzmatazz.

... After 2½ hours, the movie’s become a bowl of trail mix — you’re picking out the nuts you don’t like and hoping the next bite doesn’t contain any craisins. All the carefully crafted misérables turns into a pile of miz.

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/2012/12/24/movie-review-les-miserables/3ZvMp7CeETZxfZWeRoeV2N/story.html

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:10 PM

10. People in this couintry like watching the poor from theatre seats. Not so much mingling...

When the stage play Les Misérables appeared on Broadway in NY, onstage were players showing the tragedy in the lives of the poor in France. Outside were people from the Martinique, an early effort at housing the homeless and those with low or no income. Some of the more enterprising would go beg outside the theater when it let out.

The owners and other tenants had police arrest and harass them to keep them away.

There's probably security around the movie theater, keep 'em at a safe distance.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:33 AM

39. Why 'this country'? Les Miz is a global mega hit, on stage and on screen. The stage production start

in France in French, came to the UK in 85 or so in an English version, at the Barbican Center. It was not performed in the US for about 6 years after the premier in France.
The film version is produced by a British company, directed by a Brit and has almost no Americans in the cast.
And of course, when Hugo first published the book, it was too expensive for the poor to buy. The story has always been directed at those who have more, and it is about what they should do about that fact. Perhaps you think that audiences well off enough to spend money on entertainments should only be offered fluffy, empty fare? That there is no value in showing them a larger world than their lives offer them?
It is a piece of entertainment, a work of art. It is not a program to solve the problems the government can not, which charity can not address fully, such works do not claim to be such things. The objective is that the viewer might think, might feel, and thus be moved to action, to evolution, to solution.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:50 AM

42. Because in this country we have docmentation of low-income people being arrested


outside the theater for begging, after the complaints of two-faced patrons who sit on their asses eating popcorn while watching tragedy of such a life lives on the screen.

I have not found that anywhere else, though it may have happened

The fluffy, empty-headed audience had the facts of grade school kids who had no food staring them in the face, parents with barriers those people wouldn't have in their worst nightmare. while they complained that it was interfering with their enjoyment of "observing" those lives of other. No movie or stage play could offer better "facts".

But you make the point well, it is entertainment. Hungry, desperate kids in the street around you aren't, apparently, "artsy" enough.

Perhaps in your view they can eat straw, and thus the straw man presented above.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:29 PM

16. I plan to go see it, but it will have to had really strived to be as good as the stage

play... THAT was an incredible experience.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:36 PM

18. The French Revolution is a lesson both sides can learn from

The 1% should beware of the rest of us and we should be aware of the power we possess.

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Response to tblue (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:44 PM

19. Except it's not about the French Revolution

It's set (or at least its latter half is set) during the Paris Uprising of 1832 (43 years after the French Revolution), sometimes called the June Rebellion. It was an uprising of anti-monarchist students protesting the monarchy of Louis-Philippe, and it only lasted for two days, June 5 and 6.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 06:24 PM

24. Except the Paris Uprising was a direct result of the post Waterloo administration...

Which was a direct result of the Napoleonic empire, which was a direct result of the Revolution.

There's a reason that the book spends about 60 pages describing Waterloo.

Jean Valjean initially goes to prison just as the Terror is winding down (about 1796) and just before Napoleon begins his rise. Keeping Jean (and all prisoners) in prison is a matter of state security because prisoners of the French state were either galley slaves or used for ship building and from 1799 to 1815, the Fench needed their naval capacity at peak production.

Jean is released just after Waterloo (late 1815, while Britain and Prussia are administering France under the weak rule of Louis XVIII and Napoleon is headed to St Helena). He is released as a means of damaging the Fench naval capacity. He builds his business in the post-war years; Fantine was born during the wars and has Cosette in the early post-war years.

Under Napoleonic rule, the French made huge leaps towards a more equitable system of justice and equality (see Code Napoleon), but that suffered under the return to monarchy. It took about twenty years for the next generation to rebel... Which were the Paris uprisings. (There were several.)

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Response to politicat (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:41 PM

44. I realize this is late, but I really love your explanation. No snark, just the facts. nt

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:26 PM

22. On CBS Sunday Morning, David Edelstein really cut it down

reluctantly:


I so wanted to love the musical "Les Miserables." Trouble started in the first, oh, 30 seconds. Director Tom Hooper has his stars perform the songs live instead of lip-synched to pre-recorded tracks. And HE WON'T LET YOU FORGET IT!

The camera rushes in on actor's faces, tilts 30 to 40 degrees, gets in real close - it must have been hard for them to keep their composure as they went flat or sharp or, in the case of Russell Crowe, into an uncanny fog of atonality.

But I admired Crowe's - all of their - gumption. The movie will be a monster hit, and many will weep at the plight of Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean as he labors to shake Crowe's unshakable lawman Javert while forced to sing an octave too high.

Meanwhile, an emaciated Anne Hathaway performs the unforgettable - alas - "I Dreamed a Dream" in one take in close-up, looking like a plucked chicken, and earns every award that will surely be hurled at her skinny head.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57560643/holiday-movies-offer-a-few-lumps-of-coal/

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:22 PM

27. Wonderful thread....Thanks to all!

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:29 PM

28. Just saw it and CAN'T STOP CRYING...

I thought Jackman embodied Valjean BRILLIANTLY.

Seriously...can't stop crying. I've always cried at the thought of Valjean but now it shall be sobs.



Edit to add I agree that Anne Hathaway was also stunning. Raw emotion. Absolutely brilliant.



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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:49 PM

29. Just got back from seeing it...

Eddie Redmaine stole the show: he is one hell of an actor and singer.
And adorable, vulnerable and strong all in one.

Russell Crowe should turn in his singer's equity card: this rigorous role was above
his questionable singing talents, but no one says 'villain' like Crowe....
Even Hugh Jackman, a Broadway musical veteran had to stretch way above
his considerable talents.

The woman playing Eponine was a winner: I had a melt down at her death scene;
The Thenariere's (?) played by Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter
(hadda have 3 names to get those roles?) were perfect comic relief.

However, visually this film is a feast, a banquet. Just puts it out there.
Bring lots of tissues, and do not bring a large drink with you:
as this is a long movie, you won't last.

Altho this is often stated as a revolutionary/love story movie, this is really about the
tension between grace vs. the justice of the law.
AND the social tension between the haves and have-nots.
The ending, after ValJean dies, when they reprise the barricade scenes
with lusty singing about 'tomorrow comes..' there is the seed planted
for future change and revolution, that I believe hands on the urge
for social change to us. The last words sung by Eponine are:
rain causes a seed to grow... and that seed.. is us.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:19 PM

31. Crowe and Hathaway were the best of the actors.

I was surprised about Crowe's singing. It's not as strong as Philip Jast, but it was good. I chuckled a few times while Jackman was singing (his choices were odd). Marius was iffy up until Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, where he was allowed to belt and did great. Gravoche was...Gravoche (which is good).

The thing to remind any rw'ers is that Valjean gives the brick factory to the workers. (Rats...where are the red flag smilies?)

The movie's well worth the time. If you don't have it, get the 10th Anniversary Concert to see what it can really be. Don't bother with the 25th (although you'll probably be able to see it at PBS pledge time - it's the one with Nick Jonas as Marius (Blech)).

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Response to rjones2818 (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:26 AM

37. I Have The 10th Anniversary On Video Tape. Even In That Format It Was Excellent.

VI saw the 25th and recorded it on DVD. I liked the 25th Anniversary as well. Though some of the voices are weaker. There was NOT a single weak voice in the 10th anniversary special. Colm Wilkinson had great range and I watch that one sometimes.
Alun Armstrong was the original Thenardier in the London version. He owns that part like Joel Grey owns the master of ceremony in Cabaret.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:18 AM

38. Huge Jackman is probably the best musical theater leading man of our time.

I expect he's far more than credible, he has an amazing voice and musicality. He was fantastic as Peter Allen in 'The Boy From Oz'.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:58 AM

40. Went to see this with my kids christmas night...

I couldn't recommend it enough - its such a different thing from the broadway production...the people are real, like you'd find out on the streets any time, any city. Not young and beautiful, not perfectly groomed with perfectly trained voices, just made it so much more real...well worth seeing, it just wrecks you and forces you to look at the whole world through different eyes.

I'm glad I took my daughters, tough it was a long movie and some of it was hard. They're only complaint was "did they have to make us cry so much?"

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:04 AM

41. American Les Miserables 2012

Les Misérables: After Recession, More Young Adults Are Living on the Street - NYT

From The New York Times - 12/19/12

Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults.

Those who can move back home with their parents — the so-called boomerang set — are the lucky ones. But that is not an option for those whose families have been hit hard by the economy...

These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/us/since-recession-more-young-americans-are-homeless.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121219&_r=0

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