- Les Misérables (1998 film)
name = Les Miśerables
caption = Theatrical Release Poster
imdb_id = 0119683
Liam Neeson Geoffrey Rush Uma Thurman Hans Matheson Claire Danes
distributor = Columbia/Tristar
May 1, 1998
runtime = 128 min.
language = English
"Les Misérables" is a
1998 filmversion of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, directed by Bille August. It stars Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danesand Uma Thurman.
As in the original novel, the story line follows the adult life of Jean Valjean (
Liam Neeson), an ex-convict (paroled following 19 years of hard labor, for stealing bread) pursued by police Inspector Javert ( Geoffrey Rush). The movie is relatively true to Hugo's original novel, but shortens and simplifies the story considerably, and leaves out several important characters and scenes from the book, such as anything to do with being relegated to a ship at sea as a convict sailor. The film received a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. and was filmed at Barrandov Studiosin Prague. [cite web | title=Les Miserables Movie Reviews | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1083326-les_miserables | work= Rotten Tomatoes| date=2008 | accessdate=2008-06-11]
The movie follows Jean Valjean (
Liam Neeson), a man arrested for stealing bread. When released on parole, Valjean stays with a bishop as no one else was willing to allow a convict to stay the night. Through the kindness of the bishop, who Valjean attempted to rob, Valjean starts his life anew. He becomes a wealthy industrialist and a mayor. He eventually befriends Fantine, a single mother turned prostitute ( Uma Thurman) whom he rescued when she was nearly arrested by the police officer Javert ( Geoffrey Rush). Javert was also a guard previously at the prison Valjean was held in and starts to become suspicious that the Mayor and Valjean are the same person. When Valjean receives word that another man is mistake as him and about to be rearrested, he reveals his identity. When he visits Fantine, he finds that she is deathly ill and he promises to raise her very young daughter, Cosette. When Fantine dies, Valjean escapes from Javert and buys Cosette from the Thenardiers, corrupt innkeepers who were supposed to care for her (but were actually abusing her). Many years later, the late teenaged Cosette ( Claire Danes) falls in love with a revolutionary, Marius ( Hans Matheson). By this time, the trail of Valjean is cold, and Javert is an undercover insurrectionist trying to undermine the organization to which Marius belongs. Javert, however, is captured by Marius and is brought to the barricades as a prisoner to be executed. Valjean journeys to the barricades himself when he learns how much Cosette and Marius love each other, intending to convince Marius to return to Cosette. When the soldiers shoot and kill Gavroche, a young boy allied with the revolutionists, Valjean uses his influence with Marius to have Javert turned over to him, to execute him. Instead of killing him however, Valjean frees Javert. The movie ends with Javert, unable to deal with the goodness shown him by Valjean, frees him, then commits suicide.
The movie greatly reduces the roles of many of the characters in the books, especially the
Thénardiers, who are only seen when Valjean buys Cosette from them. Éponine doesn't appear to a great extent either, only in the scene where she and Azelma are playing at the table, in the Thénardier Inn, whilst their servant Cosette makes stockings for them, as their mother calls her names.
Much of the events surrounding the love story between Marius and Cosette have been removed, including the Thénardiers living in the same apartment house as Jean and Cosette; the events involving Gavroche; and most of the events involving the Revolution. Marius's role is also changed from reluctant participant in the Revolution to principal leader.
Jean Valjean also does not confess to Marius, and the subplot involving Marius's political shift is not present. Jean also does not die at the end as he does in the book.
Liam Neeson- Jean Valjean, Mayor of Vigau
Geoffrey Rush- Inspector Javert
Uma Thurman- Fantine
Claire Danes- Cosette
Hans Matheson- Marius Pontmercy
Lennie James- Enjolras
Reine Brynolfsson- Captain Beauvais, Police Captain of Vigau
Jon Kenny- Mr. Thenardier
Gillian Hanna- Mrs. Thenardier
James Saxon- Chabouillet, Secretary to the Police Prefect
*John McGlynn - Carnot, the simpleton
Tim Barlow- Lafitte
Peter Vaughan- Monseigneur Myriel, Bishop of Digne
*" [http://artsandfaith.com/t100/2005/entry.php?film=159 Les Misérables] " at the [http://artsandfaith.com/top100/ Arts & Faith Top100 Spiritually Significant Films] list
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Les Misérables — This article is about the novel. For the musical theatre adaptation, see Les Misérables (musical). For other uses, see Les Misérables (disambiguation). Les Misérables … Wikipedia