Awesome Adaptations is hosted by Picture Me Reading, and is a focus on book-to-movie adaptations that we think are awesome! Today’s topic is an awesomely French adaptation.
I had three different movies in the running for the theme of a French adaptation, but since my husband just got the Les Mis movie soundtrack for his birthday and we’ve been listening to the music since, It seemed like the most appropriate choice. And though the movie is not French, it’s hard to find a movie that looks more French, at least in volume of French flags featured in the film…
I have yet to read this brick of a book yet, but it’s clear the musical and movie adaptations are quite condensed. But the gist of the story is: Jean Valjean steals bread, does time, breaks parole, receives a blessing from a bishop, dedicates himself to a better life, takes a young girl as his own daughter after he watches her mother die, and tries to stay out of the grasp of Javert.
My favorite part of the story, or at least of the 2012 adaptation, is when Cosette is grown. I wish I knew more about what drove these young men to fight, though I certainly feel their emotions through their songs (“Red and Black,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,”Drink With Me”) . I also wish I could have seen more of Eponine and Marius’ friendship, and Cosette and Marius’ relationship (because from my understanding, in the book they actually had one, not quite just flat out insta-love), because I really love all their songs as well (“In My Life,” “A Heart Full Of Love,” “On My Own,” “A Little Fall of Rain”).
Ultimately, it’s a story of grace and redemption, a story I feel we as people often need to be told.
What do you think of Les Miserables? Or what’s your favorite “awesomely French” adaptation?
I loved the 2012 Les Miserables adaptation!
You’re right, the book has more to it with regards to relationships and such, but I feel like I went in expecting a kind of shortened form because I did the musical in high school. It isn’t perfectly true to the book, but it is close enough that I loved it, particularly with the music and such.
My only exposure to Les Mis before this movie was the non-musical movie adaptation made a few years ago with Liam Nesson and Uma Thurman, so I kinda knew the story, but the music was all new to me, and I really enjoyed it.
“it’s hard to find a movie that looks more French, at least in volume of French flags featured in the film” – 🙂 one can’t mistake that the story takes place in France unless one does not know the French flag. In that respect it maybe the most French. I have to admit most of the movies that I’ve watched that were adapted from French language books, were like Les Miserables, in English. And similarly I have not read the books they were based upon.
An yes I did enjoy Les Miserables very much too.
I’m curious…what were they other two movies that were in the running?
The Count of Monte Cristo and The Phantom of the Opera were the other two I considered, the former more seriously so than the latter.
I guess I’m just not big on musicals or something, but I saw this in the theater and just didn’t really enjoy myself. So. Not much to add here. But I did wish we could have seen more of Eponine and Marius’s friendship, as you mentioned.
I can see how it’s not for everyone. As I eluded to, much of the story is rushed and that was unfortunate, but it is a beautifully shot film.
I haven’t read the book but I’ve seen the recent movie, live as a musical and also an older movie adaptation. I loved the latest movie. I get lost in the music and I think the 2012 cast works perfectly. I’m all but ready to go fight a revolution myself when I listen to it!
I know! It’s very motivational!
I still need to see this! I saw the Les Mis anniversary concert on PBS and loved it; I loved In My Life, A Heart Full Of Love, On My Own, and A Little Fall of Rain too! 🙂 I don’t remember Cosette and Marius’ relationship in the book, but I remember being surprised at how different Eponine was portrayed in it! Great post! 🙂
Alice @ Alice in Readerland
I’m curious to see now how Eponine is portrayed!
Ooh great choice! I love the musical (I haven’t read the book either) and really enjoyed the film adaptation. I always cry when I watch this show! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll still think this is a great film once I read the book (I’m scared by the earlier commenters on how the musical differs from the book!)
I think I cried a little when I saw it in the theater, which I don’t do often. I’m hoping to see it on stage soon!
Actually the scene where Javert places a medal on Gavroche’s dead body totally killed me in the theatre! They don’t really have that moment in the musical, and I loved seeing Javert soften like that. And of course it’s just so terribly heart-breaking. Definitely see the stage show though – it’ll probably have better singing (awww I know Russell Crowe tried. :D)
Ha ha, yeah I know Russell Crowe isn’t the best but he doesn’t bother me. I think he sings better than the leads of some the popular indie hipster bands…
I’m a little annoyed by all the singing, actually. 😛
And don’t get me started on the Marcus-Eponine relationship. I ship it so much, I hate how he just ignores her after he finds Cosette, and I get all these sad feels thinking of Eponine. She’s my favorite character in the whole thing, the one who I was really rooting for.
Musicals aren’t for everyone. Since I wasn’t super familiar with the story, I didn’t feel I knew Eponine well enough to decide if I wanted her with Marius or not, but I generally ship friends too.