Books, Movies, Movies, Books
I still have a nervous tic. “Le, la, les…” (twitch), “ conjugate the verb…” (blink, twitch), “Si s’une tableau peinte un mille mots…” (twitch, blink, tic).
But I overcame my fears. We purchased tickets through Fandango. We staved off the militant woman who swore at us for saving a seat for our elderly, disabled mother, and we saw the new release of Les Miserables, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway.
And I don’t care what the critics say, have said, will say, (ont dit, dits, vont dire - twitch), the current release of Les Miserables is INCROIABLE!!! Take your tissues, because you will cry – a testament to the power of live recording of the music. (And despite what some critics have said, Russell Crowe rocked Javert!) I wept. The people around me wept. Grown men on every row were surreptitiously, (and some not so surreptitiously), blotting their eyes.
If you have read the original by Victor Hugo, you might remember a pretty dry read. Trust me, this movie ain’t that. And this is another reason why I love this gig, comparing books to their movie counterparts: in the movie, the directors and writers have the opportunity to perfect the original story. I don’t believe there are many writers who believe their words are so sacred they can not stand with some improvement. You write. You edit. You edit again, but at some point, you have to relinquish your imperfect darlings and send them out into the cold, cruel world. There, they either stand up to scrutiny, or they crumble.
It’s been a while since I read the original. And yes, I had to read it in the original language for a high-school French class. That was brutal. I still suffer from the nervous tic induced by the mere mention of the title. But now, I have some other associations, that may help with my nervous condition. Why didn’t anyone tell me to picture Hugh Jackman in the role of Jean Valjean when I was reading it back in high-school? Oh yeah, maybe because Hugh Jackman was also in high-school. Today, I don’t think, “French Revolution” without the sung accompaniment, “2-4-6-0-1”. (You’re singing it too, aren’t you?)
On a side note, I got another movie for Christmas. I adore this Danish film, KINAMAND, starring Bjorne Henrikson and Vivian Wu. Sadly, unless you keep a copy permanently rented through Netflix, it's not available in the U.S. and foreign DVDs don't play on U.S. players. So that's why the man I love gave me a universal player to go along with my European copy of KINAMAND. Looooove that man.