Sunday, January 13, 2013

So, Have YOU Seen Les Miserables?

Since we moved to Virginia, I've seen both Toy Story III and Beauty and the Beast in the theater. Tonight my sister and I went to see Les Miserables.

I listened to the musical compulsively throughout high school. I saw it at the theater in college. The movie made it much more dreary than I remembered. But then, there is a reason it's titled "The Miserables."

Powerful movie. Most of the singing wasn't as good as the CD version with the Broadway actors, but there is something magnificent about surround sound and extreme close-ups of people belting out their words. It was worth it to trade a bit less rich vocals for the intimate emotion of the actors.

I had forgotten how lovely Jean Valjean's character is.

And Marius, usually a character I view as an anemic love interest, was phenomenal. Besides being adorable, he completely redeemed the "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" song that I used to skip over. He and his barricade friends had such gorgeous voices!

I'd recommend the movie, but I don't know that I ever want to watch it again. It isn't a happy way to spend a couple of hours.

On the other hand, we've watched While You Were Sleeping the last two days, and we walk around quoting lines. Best romantic comedy ever! Totally clean, completely quotable, funny and sweet.

When I reached high school, my family would often watch movies on Sunday night. When we watched While You Were Sleeping, we finished it and my Mom said, "Rewind it [since it was still in video]. We're watching it again!"

And we did. It was a memorable evening, as no other movie received similar treatment.


  1. Seen it three times in London, last year saw it with 2 of my older children. Was impressed how well the conflict of grace vs legalism came out on stage. It's a very intense play/ musical and hence I'm really hesitant about the movie. You cry anyway, but I think you'd sob watching the movie....

  2. My three daughters in law, my daughter and I went for a girl's night out...dinner and Les Miserables. I had never seen it in any venue, but read the book once a few years ago. It was really good, but like you, I don't know that I would see it twice. It drained me.

    The empty chair song about tore my heart out. I guess we all have empty chairs in our homes, and it was very touching. I also liked the balance of grace/legalism. It was well done, but exhausting.