Sat Sep 29, 2012, 04:17 PM
obamanut2012 (11,900 posts)
Les Miserables and Feminism
Okay, this isn't the least bit "academic," it's just me spitballing after seeing the Les Miz movie trailer.
Before I start, let me say the movie looks REALLY good, and even though I like Anne Hathaway, and know she's a trained singer who has sung at Carnegie Hall, I was a bit apprehensive. Just by the trailer, she is fantastic. Actually, I think all of the major actors are trained singers, and of course Samantha Barks is trained musical theater singer. ANYWAY!
I don't think Victor Hugo was any kind of proto-feminists, but he did "get" the plight of women in his society, especially the grisettes (working class young women) and prostitutes, and how they were helpless against not just men of power, but men in general, and how nice poor girls could so easily be discarded and have her life ruined, because of becoming pregnant or rebuffing sexual advances.
Fantine: fun-loving factory grisette, who is thrown aside by the man she thought loved her because of having his child, loses her job because of refusing a man's sexual advances, and gives her health, her life, her self respect, her BODY PARTS to keep her child
Cosette safe. Cosette, who overcomes an abusive fostering and the stain of being illegitimate to find a good man (which in and off itself is the only real choice she had, except for prostitution or menial work).
Eponine -- Raised by sociopathic parents and then forced into a life of poverty and crime, who only wants the man she loves to love her, and sacrifices all to prove her love. I find her almost as tragic as Fantine.
Madame Thénardier -- kinda despicable, but I am so glad Helena Bonhan-Carter is playing her in the film!!!
Also, there are very noble and loving male characters in the novel and play, so am not saying all the guys suck! Jean Valjean is, imo, one of the best male characters ever in a novel.
The trailer, for those who may want to see it. It starts Christmas Day!
on edit: the actors sung live on set, not to playbacks, and even though I know it's tweaked, the singing is live, as much as the dialogue is,
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