Friday, November 6, 2015

Musical Misery Tour

No, this isn't about the Beatles, though Sir Paul and Ringo would have been great in cameo roles. This is about Les Misérables, a film in which police inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) sings as he taunts and torments former convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman).  

We'll be showing Les Mis on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. as our monthly Literary Flick.  Based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, the film tells the story of Valjean, who is released after spending 19 years in prison. Unable to find shelter or work because of his status as an ex-convict, Valjean violates his parole, and assumes a new identity as Monsieur Madeleine. (He cleans up well!) In time he becomes a wealthy factory owner and mayor of a small town in France. He is always alert to the risk of being captured again by Javert, who is ruthless in hunting down law-breakers, believing they cannot change for the better. 

One of Valjean's factory workers, Fantine (Anne Hathaway), is fired by her foreman because she resisted his advances. Desperate to support her daughter, Cosette, she falls into prostitution. Valjean finds out what happened, and agrees to take care of Cosette when Fantine dies. When Cosette is grown, they are swept up in the political turmoil in Paris, which culminates in the Paris Uprising of 1832. 

The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three: Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. It also won three Golden Globe Awards, for Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman), and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway).

Be sure to bring a hanky or two. It isn't called Les Misérables for nothing.

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