“Do you hear the people sing?
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies,
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
I feel like most musical theatre fans of my age really cut their teeth on Les Miserables. While my parents had taken me to see other shows (including the other 80’s British Behemoth Phantom of the Opera), Les Mis was the first musical that I would listen to for hours on end. Oh, how I wanted to be Eponine when I was a teenager (which is interesting, because as an adult, my tastes lean more towards Fantine)! I would listen to the CDs in the car, often having a MAJOR solo singalong to “One Day More” in which I would do all the different voices. So needless to say, when it was announced that the musical was FINALLY coming to the big screen, I had high expectations. I devoured each little tidbit of news…Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean!! Russell Crowe as Javert? Hmmmm. Annie Hathaway as Fantine? Hey, she can sing. Amanda Seyfried as Cosette? Meh, nobody likes Cosette anyway. HOLD THE PHONE TAYLOR SWIFT IS GOING TO BE EPONINE?!?!?! NO. No no no no no no. WAIT…Eponine is NOT T-Swift but is instead West End Actress Samantha Barks, who was good enough to play the role in the 25th Anniversary concert? WHEW.
The trailer was amazing. All the art work was amazing. Word that came out of advanced screenings was rapturous. People were weeping and then giving it standing ovations. They declared the Oscar Race for Best Supporting Actress over before it even started…everybody else go home, cause Anne Hathaway has this in the bag.
All the online chatter did not help temper my expectations. Could Les Mis possibly live up to the hype? I dragged my family along with me to the first screening on Christmas Morning to find out…
Obviously, there are spoilers. But what do you care? You know the Cast Recording inside out, don’t you?