Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Les Misérables on Christmas Day
It's been a peaceful Christmas Day at the Cariaga household. I hope it is peaceful where you are, too.
Maty had to work this afternoon, so I went to the theater to take in Les Misérables.
If you liked the Broadway musical (I saw it twice back in the 90s), you'll love the film. I loved it, in spite of the so-so reviews I'd read beforehand. Those reviews agreed on two points:
1) Anne Hathaway's rendition of Fantine's Death was fantastic (warranted);
2) Russell Crowe's singing sucked (unfair).
Hathaway delivered a stark, beautiful performance as Fantine. But Russell Crowe (in the role of Javert) isn't a bad singer; it's just that he's outgunned by his costars, who are all great singers. Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) surprised me. She trills. She scales all the way up the ladder.
The role of Jean Valjean demands much, but Hugh Jackman bears the burden well. His facial expressions fill in the spaces between his words. That's pretty much true for the entire cast, though. The tears started flowing early in Act I and they kept up for the duration. I heard a lot of snuffling in the audience. When Valjean sang "Bring Him Home" there was audible sobbing. Not a dry eye in the place.
But that's why we go to Broadway musicals, isn't it?
Les Misérables is a very Christian story. Catholic-style Christian. It's a story of redemption. It's a story of charity and forgiveness.
I'll tell you one thing. That's no easy freeway: being a Christian. To be a Christian, to be a real Christian, you've got to be willing to lay it all down.
I haven't seen it much, frankly. But we all do what we can.
Try to remember the weak, and the hurting, and the vulnerable, will you? I'll try, too.