Why LES MISERABLES Brought Tears to My Eyes
By Elton Lugay
New York, November 30, 2012 - With permission of the author, Elton Lugay, "The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York" founder, and The FilAm, a magazine for Filipino Americans in New York, correspondent, BroadwayWorld Philippines is reposting excerpts from the writer's article on Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh's upcoming motion picture adaptation of the smash mega-musical "Les Miserables," which opens in cinemas across North America on December 25, 2012, and in the Philippines on January 16, 2013.
Journalists that attended the previews in New York City could not publish their reviews of the film until December 11, but were allowed to reveal their general reactions.
Did "Les Miserables" bring tears to my eyes because it is the holidays and I'm missing someone in my life or was Anne Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" pure rapture?
I kept tossing this in my mind after coming out of the press preview for Victor Hugo's classic novel on November 28, three weeks before it opens to theatres on Christmas day.
From novel to stage to film," Les Miz" is not only a monumental theater musical but a visual
epic on screen as well. While the setting is 19th-century France, the theme is universal and timeless.
The story that spans 33 years is condensed in a 2.5-hour movie, with the filmmakers extracting the messages of "broken dreams and unrequited love...and the survival of the human spirit."
Hugh Jackman is the fugitive Jean Valjean, who is hunted for decades since being released on parole. His relationship with the policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) is complicated but director Tom Hooper managed to present the layered dynamics between them as one of hunter-versus-prey: the righteous Javert in relentless pursuit of the outcast Valjean, who is also his savior.
Revolving around the two protagonists are Fantine (Anne Hathaway), the factory worker who becomes a prostitute to support her sickly daughter; her daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried); and Eponine (Samantha Barks), who is a bully to Cosette as they are growing up. It is Eponine who is instrumental in getting Cosette and Marius close even though she is in love with Marius (Eddie Redmayne)...
Hathaway would tell the Hollywood press how she's not that great a singer. Not so. I felt the intensity of her interpretation. Her voice was fragile yet visceral, the song rendered with raw emotion. Definitely an Oscar-bound performance for this maturing talent. The person beside me - a movie critic - shared her box of Kleenex...
The storyline may sound depressing especially on a Christmas day, but the intense performance and the heartfelt music give the film its breathtaking quality.
To answer my question: It's Anne.