Les Miserables

WLRN, our local public television station, is showing an anniversary concert of “Les Miserables”, which is my favourite musical and novel.

If you’re unfamiliar with “Les Miserables”, it’s complex and contains several plots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It explores many themes such as the nature of law and grace, moral philosophy, religion, justice, and love set in a tumultuous France during the early nineteenth century. It is tragic and beautiful, a novel that moves me deeply. It’s a great literary achievement. My parents did brilliantly in naming me after one of its characters.

I equally love the musical adaption of the novel. It’s impossible to recreate every scene, but the musical really captures the spirit of the novel. “Les Miserables” is definitely a piece of art I want to share with Theo and it looks like I may get the chance. I’ve read on a few  Broadway forums that the show may be returning to Australia this year.

There have been a number of film adaptations of “Les Miserables” and I’ve never liked any of the ones I’ve seen, but that could change soon. Last October, it was posted on Hugh Jackman’s Google+ that he is set to star in a movie adaptation of the musical. That could be promising. Jackman has said he auditioned hard for this project and he is a great choice to play Valjean. Russell Crowe will play Javert, which I think is an excellent choice as well. Eddie Redmayne is a strong choice for Marius, a nice change from the weak and whiny Mariuses most movies offer. I’m less confident about Anne Hathaway playing Fantine, but I generally like her so we shall see. The casting choices for Cosette and Eponine haven’t been officially announced though several names, including Amanda Seyfried, Taylor Swift, and Lea Michele, have been tossed around. I think Seyfried would make a wonderful Cosette.

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