Les Misérables

Les Misérables is a world-famous musical turned into a groundbreaking, timeless movie. It’s a touching story about freedom, love, sacrifice and the sense of duty wrapped in beautiful language and, of course, music. When a Frenchman named Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole after having been a prisoner for the last 19 years, he manages to get a new identity and becomes a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil. Eight years later in 1823, Javert (Russell Crowe), a prison guard who knows Valjean, arrives at that place, but although he is suspicious of Valjean, he doesn’t recognize him as the prisoner that has broken his parole. One of Valjean’s factory workers is Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a young woman who is trying to earn enough money to keep her illegitimate daughter alive. After she gets dismissed, she becomes a prostitute. Valjean eventually finds her and brings her to a hospital. He promises to look after her daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), even though he is now chased by Javert …

What makes Les Misérables so exceptional is that it’s done in a way a movie has never been shot before. Instead of recording the songs weeks before the filming, the actors and actresses were performing live, simultaneously singing and acting and therefore giving the audience the extraordinary feeling of having time travelled to the Paris of the 19th century. They aren’t trying to show a beautiful illusion, but real life at that time. Combined with the famous, capable cast, the beautiful songs and the remarkable settings, the movie is definitely worth watching - many times! (Amelie Zotter, 8a)