Fighting, dreaming, hoping, loving


Bianca Salgado

Premiering on Christmas Day in 2012, at the Krikorian Theatre, is Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, based on his 1862 French novel ,that depicts the story of a convict who is changed by a single act of compassion. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway star in this film along with other familiar names

Joey Flores , News Editor

Director Tom Hooper’s Academy Award nominated adaption of the novel-turned-musical Les Misérables has accumulated critical acclaim since it’s Christmas Day release, not for only it’s poignant performances, but also for it’s powerful story.


Set in nineteenth century France, the story begins with convict Jean Valjean, portrayed by Hugh Jackman, getting released from his fourteen-year prison sentence for stealing bread. Valjean eventually breaks his parole, resulting in being hunted by relentless policemen Javert, played by Russell Crowe. Valjean then raises Cossette (portrayed by Isabelle Allen and Amanda Seyfried as child and adult, respectively) after meeting the child’s mother. Her mother is Anne Hathaway’s Fantine, a woman who is struggling to pay for her daughter’s care.


Jackman, who has earned a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Valjean, shows even more of his vast acting ability after the movie documents the character’s constant emotional and physical struggles with the law. Jackman makes it clear that Valjean is going through heavy inner conflict during his soliloquies.


Hathaway, who has also earned an Academy Award nomination for her role in the film, garnered critical acclaim prior to the film’s release after proving herself to have matured since her first theatrical release in the The Princess Diaries. She incorporates emotional tension into her performance by acting as a timid woman but then singing powerfully. She grabbed audiences after her rendition of the song “I Dreamed a Dream,” which speaks about her struggles as a lowly woman in a society that is already unkindly to women.


The supporting cast also contributed to the film’s greatness, particularly Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne. Their character’s, Eponine and Marius, heartbreaking sub-plot was a display of love that goes unrecognized by one of the two. Barks’ rendition of the brokenhearted ballad “On My Ownmakes Eponine an instant favorite after feeling sheer sympathy and love for the character. The adoration for these characters results in an emotional bond between the audience and the movie which makes the deaths and tribulations of some of these characters even harder to go through.


Endurance is a primary theme in the film as characters: Valjean and Fantine, in particular, went through tough times. Valjean had to remain on the run and eventually had to tear Cossette away from the one she loved. Fantine resorted to prostitution and cutting off her hair to get money to pay for her daughter’s survival.  This powerful theme reaches out to the audience by delivering a film that encourages strength and vitality.


Les Misérables has earned all of the critical acclaim it has received because of its long-standing message, the spectacular performances, and the overall touching story of fighting, dreaming, hoping and loving.