Les Miserables is a beautifully done, inspiring movie that is a must watch for those who love musicals and phenomenal acting. Tom Hooper directed the film, and has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for previous work. He was also nominated for the British Academy (BAFTA) TV Craft Award, as well as few other awards. The stunning acting portrayed in the film was done by an incredibly talented cast. Jean Valjean was played by Hugh Jackman, Fantine was played by Anne Hathaway, Marius Pontmercy was played by Eddie Redmayne, Cosette was played by Amanda Seyfried, Inspector Javert was played by Russell Crowe, Enjolras was played by Aaron Tveit, Eponine was played by Samantha Barks, Thenardier was played by Sacha Baron Cohen, and Madame Thenardier was played by Helena Bonham Carter. The entire production of the film cost around 61 million dollars when it was released December 25, 2012.
Les Miserables tells a story of a man, Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who is treated poorly by everyone around him. He reciprocates by stealing silver from a kind bishop (who takes him in and gives him shelter and food) in order to feed and clothe himself. Valjean is captured within the morning of his crime and attempts to justify the robbery by lying to the authorities that the bishop had given Valjean the silver. Not believing an ex-convicts words, the authorities take him back to the bishop to await his inevitable punishment. The bishops next actions surprise everyone. He explains that he had, in fact, given Valjean the silver and he then generously gives him the two silver candlesticks. This moment forever changes Jean Valjean for the better. He turns his life towards service to God, and he destroys the documentation of his convictions. He begins a new life, and eight years later, he is the mayor and owner of a business in a small town in France.
Although Valjeans life and mindset have been completely directed towards God and service, Javert (the inspector who oversaw Valjeans sentence) ruthlessly hunts him down, believing that he has no ability to change for the better. One of Valjeans workers, Fantine, blames him for her termination at the company. After Fantine dies, he feels he is responsible and decides to adopt her illegitimate child, Cosette.
Years later, Jean Valjean and Cosette are involuntarily brought into new riots beginning in Paris. Cosette falls in love with one of the barricade boys (Marius, who is a leader in the riots) and Valjean gets involved in order to save his life during what is called the Paris Uprising of 1832. Javert continues to mercilessly chase Valjean until he soon discovers that he may have been wrong about people his whole life.
The acting done in this film is sensational, characters depicted by amazingly skilled actors. Every scene is done with such a believable amount of emotion, tears unintentionally come to your eyes. Although the acting is near perfection, there is a bit of a dispute over the emotion in the singing displayed by some of the actors. Jackman cut many notes short with a weak and nasally vibrato, as though he was afraid to add on the surge of emotion. Often when Crowe began to sing, there was such a lack of emotion that many watchers became unmoved. Throughout the entire last half of the movie, Amanda Seyfried sings in a high and shrill, continuous vibrato that never seems to end. Of course, we cant completely blame these actors for their imperfect singing. Director Tom Hoopers vision for the movie included raw and real sound, which he left completely in the hands of the actors. They had complete control over every creative expression, including the tempo in which they were singing, was hugely popular with the actors.
Despite the small flaws of the film, the message is unforgettable. To love another person is to see the face of God. This is sang in the very last song by Valjean, Fantine, and the bishop. I believe that this is an perfect overall depiction of the message behind the entire movie. By loving and giving Jean Valjean a chance, the bishop changed his life forever. Valjean then goes on to love Cosette so much, that hed do nearly anything for her, even if it risked him being caught by the ruthless Javert. By sacrificing something for someone else, you gain more than riches, you learn to love and to be loved. You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again, and great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves, and even loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo, book