January 30, 2013

Correcting the misinformation.

So. Apparently I don't know anything. I was so sure that I forgot to record the eBooks I read in 2012 on my epic list of my 2012 reading recap. Apparently I didn't give my list enough credit because I did actually include my eBook reading. Go figure.

Let's talk about things I'm also keeping track of, shall we? I'd hate to screw up my 2013 list already. Well, I saw Les Misérables a week and a half ago. Let's talk about that.

Now, I'd seen Les Misérables years ago. A little internet searcharoo has informed me that the version I was familiar with was from 1998. It also had Liam Neeson in it so I'm thinking I should probably watch it again. For the record, I was ten in 1998 and I'm pretty sure I saw it when it was fairly new. Needless to say, I didn't remember much, other than it being long and certainly not a musical.

My father in law is a fan of the musical version. If you know anything about the latest movie, you know it's the musical version on film with more famous people than it knows what to do with. I mean, some of them even die. That's how many famous people are in it: so many they can kill them off. Not even kidding.

Okay, okay, I hope that you're not mad at me for spoiling anything there. It's not called The Happies so I hope you weren't anticipating a happy romantic ending. That's all I'm going to say about that.

So anyway, it's a musical. Now, I've seen musicals before. Remember High School Musical? I enjoyed the first one until Glee came out showed teenagers as a heck of a lot funnier. At least for a while, it did. I've also seen The Sound of Music, among others. And, hello, Disney movies. I'm all sorts of educated about musicals. Until I saw Les Misérables, that is.

Les Misérables is one of those musicals that is 95% singing, 4% talking, and 1% straight up wailing. Since I've seen a good chunk of the stage musical on TV with Karl's dad, I recognized way more of the songs than I thought. I must have spent more time sitting there than I imagined. Either way, I knew there was a lot of singing; I just wasn't prepared for how much. While I didn't mind it, I feel it hard to get excited about singing I can't along to. There's just something less magical about asking someone to pass the salt while you're singing it than just saying it. Scratch that, it's more magical, just weirder. I may need to give it a try.

I also couldn't talk about the singing without talking about Anne Hathaway. Seriously. "I Dreamed a Dream" was so... powerful. Did I anyone else know it was song that stemmed from (spoiler!) being a diseased prostitute? I had shivers, I tell you. I didn't cry, but I probably would have had I not been in a busy theatre. I also watched whatever the award show was before the SAGs and she won an award for it. Totally deserved. When she mentioned how far she'd come from being the princess of Genovia I knew she was speaking straight to me. I've always felt like Anne and I have a special bond, having come so far together, and it was nice of her to shout it out back to our roots. It's hard not to feel that way about someone whose first film I ended up wearing out the VHS to. It's cool, though, I've got it on DVD now.

The movie was also really long. I'd talked Karl into seeing it on a double date, but instead ended up making a girls' outing of it. Way better choice. It was two and a half hours of singing (but no dancing) that felt longer (twenty some odd years were spanned, after all) and I just knew that at the one hours mark he would have gotten up and left. I'm glad neither of us had to go through that.

So, in summary, I enjoyed it. I wouldn't go back to see it in theatres, but wouldn't mind watching the 1998 version now. I also wouldn't mind reading the book, but not because I think it will be like the movie. I know there won't be any singing there, and it's a classic, long, French piece of literature. Basically I just want to feel smart. I saw it at Costco this weekend and wondered how many people took it home to be horrified by the 1400 pages of heavy reading. I'm assuming it's heavy, it's old and French.

I know you've seen Les Misérables, or at least know about it. What did you think? Did you think Susan Boyle should have been cast instead of Anne Hathaway? Have you read the book? Is it actually a really easy bathroom reader or harder to understand than Plato? I need to know!


  1. I want to read the book now, too!!

    We saw it the other night, Isaiah said he didn't hate it even though the singing was a bit weird to get used to at first.

    I felt like there were some really long, boring parts but overall I really, really liked it. But I'm a huge fan of the story overall so it's hard to dislike a movie you already know you like. If that makes sense.

    The 1998 version (has it really been that long!?) is by far my favorite, though. Liam Neeson KILLED it.

    Anne Hathaway was a good Fantine. She has a decent voice. I felt like she could have cry-sang a little less during I Dreamed a Dream, and actually SANG it, but mad props to anyone who sings live in a movie. It ain't easy.

  2. I feel like I'm going to get stoned for saying this, but my choir teacher in high school showed the tape of the stage version over and over and I was SO annoyed with it that I decided I hate the whole musical. So I haven't seen the movie. The songs are pretty, but I'm not sure if I can handle all that emotion.

  3. I really enjoyed! I took my husband with me and he really enjoyed it as well. I admit, I cried. :)

  4. I have yet to see the movie. I am really looking forward to it though.

    Tim can tell you all about the book. It is his most favourite in all the world of literature. He says it had essays in it, about things like the London Underground and the French Revolution or something. Probably the boring parts angi is talking about.


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