Where Are My Other Uncultured Peas....I Know I'm Not The Only One Clueles About Les Miserables
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 12/26/2012 by Sunshine36616 in NSBR Board
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Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:32:57 AM
I have absolutely NO idea what it's about. I've never seen it or read it. Would I enjoy the movie? Should I read it or see the play first?

Anyone else willing to admit they made it out of school (high school AND college for me) with no knowledge of Les Mis?



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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:35:16 AM
I've only read the synopsis on Wikipedia...that is the extent of my Les Mis knowledge!


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:37:14 AM
I have no clue what it is about either.
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Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:37:25 AM
Oh that's a good idea! I'll do that.



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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:38:52 AM
I have no idea..but I am thinking about reading the book.


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BrinaG
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:40:15 AM
do not read the book. I loved the play so much back in the late 80s that I bought the book and read it. One of the most painful reads I have ever endured. At one point there is a 200 page tangent about the Battle of Waterloo and the role the mud played in the outcome of the battle. As I recall, Marius' father fought in, and perhaps died at Waterloo and Marius was raised by his grandfather. 200 pages. about mud. {shudder}

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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:41:00 AM
I don't think you need to see the musical or read the book first. You could still enjoy the movie. It's a famous book but it's hugely long so it's not like it's a book that "everyone" has read. DS and I are going this weekend!


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:42:40 AM

do not read the book. I loved the play so much back in the late 80s that I bought the book and read it. One of the most painful reads I have ever endured. At one point there is a 200 page tangent about the Battle of Waterloo and the role the mud played in the outcome of the battle. As I recall, Marius' father fought in, and perhaps died at Waterloo and Marius was raised by his grandfather. 200 pages. about mud. {shudder}


Never read it. Wow, sounds painful. I always think about how much novels have changed over time.

MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:43:09 AM
Much like Last of the Mohicans, this is a story where it's better to skip the original book and go straight to the stage or screen adaptation.

Don't worry, Sunshine, I only know Les Mis because I was a choir and theater geek in high school. I'm sure you were much cooler than me.



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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:44:16 AM
I think the wiki would be a good jumping-off point. The book is looooong -- even the abridged version is still a pretty big time investment. Plus, if you're just interested in the story for the sake of the movie (or play), there's lots of extraneous information in the book that you don't necessarily need to know.

I think you could see the movie or play without knowing anything about it, but having some background info is helpful since there are multiple story lines going on.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:44:32 AM
Les Mis is more like an opera ... so you need to be open to listening to the words in the music. The words drive the plot ... and the music is beautiful. The sentiment is universal.

See it. It you leave wondering what you just saw after the first viewing ... see it again.

Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:47:49 AM
The Wiki was long enough. Good Lord, how long is the movie? What an "uplifting" little ditty this one is



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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:49:55 AM
Never seen or read it but know the storyline. Not going to see it or read it, talk about depressing.



TinaFB
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:52:06 AM
The book is a tough, tough read. There are portions of it that are incredibly beautiful, but you have to wade through lots of minutia to find them. When I read it, I would stop and read aloud to DH and tell him that's what love should look like.

If the play is done well, it is incredibly moving. I've seen it twice. The first time was amazing and the second wasn't so much.

PBS has a 25th anniversary concert that is pretty incredible. You can get most of the story from just watching that. It may be available through OnDemand and I think they broadcast it pretty frequently. It's worth checking out.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:52:22 AM
Clueless here too.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:52:52 AM

talk about depressing
(pssst) - it's about redemption

The 200 pages on the Battle of Waterloo aren't bad. It's the 200 pages on the Parisian sewer system that got me.

It's not something I was given to read in high school or college. I loved the movie and musical adaptations when I was in high school, so I read the book one summer.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:53:21 AM
I know it's a famous musical play, but I have no idea what it's about. I would like to see the movie!


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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:54:57 AM
Color me clueless, too. It doesn't even look like anything I'd be remotely interested in...far too depressing.

Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:54:59 AM
Well I think what I managed to read from the Wiki will be enough lol.



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Posted: 12/26/2012 8:57:47 AM
Saw it on Broadway. Best thing ever.

Can't wait to see the film. And no, you don't need to read it prior...the movie, I've heard, is a standalone. You should be fine!



Gsquaredmom

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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:02:39 AM
Clueless



mkatiej
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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:03:20 AM
Count me in as another clueless one. I know it's a famous book and Broadway play, and I've heard that main song (which I love), but do not know the story at all.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:04:34 AM
Before you go I would read the synopsis and be familiar with the story and the characters. My daughter is a theatre kid and she has been in it twice (was Young Cosette ) so we pretty much have the entire thing memorized.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:14:53 AM
Just to be sure...the movie is a musical too, right?

I'm evidently one of ten people who just doesn't like musicals. I admit it.




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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:17:00 AM
I've seen the play a couple of times a long time ago. I barely remember the plot but the music was my absolute favorite musical music of all times. So sad and beautiful. I want to see the movie just to hear the music. I've lost my CD (or cassette) a long time ago.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:32:42 AM
I was not one to ditch homework so I'm quite certain that it was not required, or even suggested reading, in any of my classes. My mom was also a costume designer for a theater company and I spent my entire childhood from about age 3 up sitting through every rehearsal and show of every production she worked on and I did not encounter it there either.

I read enough of the synopsis to recognize that it's probably not my cup of tea. I'm sure it's an absolutely lovely film and some of the actors/actresses are among my favorites, but it just doesn't draw my interest for some reason.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:41:36 AM
Finished high school and college and I have no clue. Even the Wikipedia entry is daunting.

And I also (along with dh and dd) am not a fan of musicals. Though I do kind of want to see the movie but dh and dd both groaned when we saw the commercial on tv and dd specifically said something about not liking musicals.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 9:59:55 AM
I read part of it in the original French in one of my college French classes. The book is hard enough in English but add the French in there and it was one tough book. We only had to read the first few chapters but that was enough. I never did read it all the way through. I don't think I will go to the movie. Dh has no interest and my kids are too little. I'll just wait for the DVD.


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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:12:54 AM
I've never seen it or read it. A friend and I are going tomorrow night!

lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:15:38 AM
I like the description a couple of people uses..its more of an opera.
All the lines are sung (at least in the stage play versions)

To me, it's a story of power. its historically based.

I didn't get assigned the novel by Victor Hugo in college or high school, but I did read it.

There are happy moments in it!

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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:27:00 AM
I saw it in Barcelona..in Spanish and it was a fabulous experience, Its just a musical like many others ..but very moving. It might be useful to have some sort of idea of the plot, but the music is just fabulous


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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:28:55 AM
Just tried to read the Wiki synopsis. Gave up. Am I the only one who gets distracted by "foreign" names? Sometimes I can't tell if it is a man or a woman!


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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:31:58 AM
Les Mis means The Miserables - I mean, it is really really sad.

It starts with Jean Valjean who was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. He is given parole and meets a kind priest who restores his faith in humanity. He goes into hiding, gives his life to God and becomes a respected member of society. But Javert, the policeman, is obsessed with finding him and putting him back in jail for breaking parole.

Fontine, a woman who works in his factory, has a daughter being kept by an innkeeper and she works hard top send money for her keep. When the other women find out she has an illegitimate daughter, they persuade the foreman to fire her and toss her on the street. She screams for Valjean to help her, but he is distracted by Javert's arrival and does nothing.

Then Fontine descends into despair. She becomes a prostitute, desperate for money to save her daughter Cosette.

Valjean finds her in the street and discovers she is dying, and that he is to blame for allowing her to be cast out. She dies and Valjean swears he will find Cosette and take care of her, which he does.

That's the beginning of the premise. Valjean is hiding from Javert and raising Cosette, and trying to be a better man. Cosette grows up and then there is this whole story about this protest, she falls in love with one of the ringleaders, and so on.

It is an incredibly sad tale. The music is incredible. When the prostitute Fontine sings about how she had a dream her life would be so different from the hell she lives in... oh it breaks your heart.



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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:34:49 AM
I've seen the previous movie version twice and would recommend someone who hasn't seen it to read the Wiki. The above poster is right that it's a bit like an opera - all about the music - so you will do better to have an understanding of the characters and their story lines before walking in. I felt like the first time I was watching it that I was asking "who is that again" too often - in part because of the time jumps in the story line

I plan to read the wiki before I see this version, just to refresh myself.

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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:40:34 AM
I have no idea either. Nor do I know what Cats is about or Phantom of the Opera. DH & I do see a lot of live theater, but I've never seen any of those.

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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:42:16 AM
I've read the book and seen the musical. There are a lot of differences, and even at three hours plus, the musical can't do much of the book. I don't think you need to read the book to enjoy the musical (although I like Cosette in the book and am annoyed by her in the show), but I might read a synopsis of the plot of the movie/show before seeing it, because I saw the show before I knew anything about it, and I spent a while trying to figure out what was going on.

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Posted: 12/26/2012 10:51:26 AM
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:15:48 AM
It's such a wonderful, epic story. Read the synopsis so you understand the historical context and go see the movie (or the stage production if it's playing near you).

I saw the Chicago stage production and I was the tech director for our own production at my school. One of the best, most difficult experiences of my life was working on that show. I can't wait to see the movie!

The music is absolutely beautiful and the story is very moving. It's about right and wrong, love, redemption, justice... It's just great. Beyond great.


Katybee
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:24:59 AM
I had to read it in French class. In French. So my comprehension of the story was probably...lacking.

But I do love the music!



lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:27:20 AM
Yes it is about redemption !! I agree about that.

slicksister
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:39:15 AM
Rent the non musical version movie with Liam Neeson. It is very good and tells teh story well. That way when you go to see the musical you will understand much better. I haven't gone to the new musical version yet but hope to go tomorrow.Some of the best music ever written.



Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:41:06 AM

Rent the non musical version movie with Liam Neeson. It is very good and tells teh story well. That way when you go to see the musical you will understand much better. I haven't gone to the new musical version yet but hope to go tomorrow.Some of the best music ever written.


Or, maybe I'll just stop with that one. I'm really not much for musicals.



CADoodlebug
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Posted: 12/26/2012 11:54:30 AM
WHAT? There are people who have no clue about Les Mis?

But, but, but there are peas who insist EVERYONE over
the age of <insert whatever age you want here> has
either read the book, seen the stage version, seen
a former movie ~ whatever.

My DH, DS and I were among the clueless until yesterday.

I knew someone had stolen a loaf of a bread, spent time
in prison and a mean guard hunted him down after he broke
parole. That's it.

All 3 of us LOVED it! I was most surprised by my 26-year-old
DS who had tears in his eyes. He will likely see it again.
So even if you think you hate musicals or if you think it
might be depressing, please consider seeing it.


Joy

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Annabella
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Posted: 12/26/2012 12:03:26 PM

Rent the non musical version movie with Liam Neeson. It is very good and tells teh story well. That way when you go to see the musical you will understand much better

Thanks I think I'll do that! The only reason I know of Les Mieserables is because I remember it as a popular Broadway muscial when I was a child, that and Cats, neither that I have seen. Is the new movie all volumes of the book?




~*kristina*~
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Posted: 12/26/2012 12:03:45 PM
I have absolutely NO interest in reading Victor Hugo.....haven't seen the Broadway musical (one of the few I haven't seen), but I have listened to the music from the musical and thought the music was beautiful, so I will be going to see the movie, just don't have the time to do it until this coming weekend.





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Posted: 12/26/2012 12:12:33 PM
I have a read a synopsis of the story. I have never seen the musical. I have only seen a One Act version of a portion of the play. I do want to see the movie.


Susan



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Posted: 12/26/2012 12:14:08 PM
My son read this synopsis: a guy steals a loaf of bread and shit goes down.

Sunshine36616
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Posted: 12/26/2012 12:54:57 PM
Who in the world would buy hair and front teeth??



Ouiser
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Posted: 12/26/2012 1:00:48 PM
You know as many times as I've seen the stage production, it didn't impact me so emotionally until I saw the film version. I guess because you can really see the anguish in the faces and frankly, you can hear and understand what they are saying better. I really don't think you need to know the story before hand. You will still enjoy it.

The first person I heard sing any song from this was a country singer named Gary Morris. I knew him from his country songs. Saw him one day on a talk show singing "Bring Him Home" and it brought me to tears. I didn't have to know the story to feel it.


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lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 12/26/2012 1:14:25 PM
I just watched the 10 th Avviversary Dream Cast You Tube.
I watched the whole thing- and the last few minutes was Amazing!
They brought on stage 17 men from around the world that have also played Jean Valjean- and well I have the Kleenex out.
"one Day More"
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