Saturday, January 26, 2013

just a tiny bit obsessed...

It's time for a confession:   there's a chance, a very small chance, that I might be obsessed with "Les Miserables."

In previous years, I have read the novel in its original form.  I also own and love an adapted edition of the book.  Jeff and I have seen the stage production and a few film adaptations.  I remember really enjoying the Liam Neeson version.


The new film adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel "Les Miserables" has stolen my heart.  I went to see it with a some friends just after Christmas, and found it absolutely wonderful.  Not long after that I took my husband to see the movie - and found it even more breathtaking.  I'd spent the meantime listening to songs from the production, learning the words and the musical themes, and it made it so much more meaningful for me.

That's when it really began.  Since then, my family has heard a great deal of "Les Mis" music.  I've watched through the 25th Anniversary concert clips on YouTube; I listen to the "Les Miserables" station on Pandora radio on a daily basis.

My kids know whose song is whose; they can sing along with many of the pieces.*  (*For those of you familiar with the song list, I always skip "Lovely Ladies," and we've had a lot of discussions about the not-so-nice aspects of "Master of the House"...)  We have discussed the plot lines at length.  And my seven-year-old son read the adaptation I mentioned earlier within about 9 days.

"Les Miserables."  Pain.  Beauty.  Redemption.  Consequences.  Grace.  Love.  Loneliness.   Despair.  Sacrifice.  Forgiveness.  The joy and agony of the human condition.

I suppose those are the reasons why I, a middle class homemaker, a mother of five, a woman whose marriage is desperately happy, who has led a life remarkably undramatic, find it so compelling.  As a classic rule-follower, I've found myself surprisingly moved by the Javert storyline.  And of course there's Fantine's heartbreaking song.

The film is difficult to watch at times, no doubt about it.  But it is honest.  Beautiful.  Painful.  Honest and moving.  There is something about this story that draws me more than I've been drawn by such a thing in a very long time.

It would seem that I've got it bad.    I tell my family, "I'm sure it'll pass soon..."   And I'm sure it will pass at some point.  But that time has not arrived just yet...

Do you love "Les Miserables" like I do?  What did you think of the new film? 

1 comment:

steve and corrine said...

We really enjoyed it and also were greatly moved by the darker aspects of the movie. It definitely plumbs the depths of the human condition. BUT there is a great message of hope, grace, and redemption as well. I love the heart and conviction of Jean Valjean.