Something a little different to end the day with, and it's my birthday, so please indulge me a little. In case you aren't familiar with the story: Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. the film opens with Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a peasant in 19th-century France who has served 19 years in a prison-work camp for stealing a loaf of bread, and a few escape attempts. He’s done so under the supervision of the rigid Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), who possesses a borderline phrenological view toward criminality. When his parole comes up, Valjean—or “prisoner 24601,” as he’s known—becomes a pariah. The Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson, who originally played Valjean on Broadway) provides him food and shelter but in return, Valjean steals the bishop’s silver. When the police catch Valjean, the bishop lies to the authorities, telling them he gave Valjean the silver, and to release him. He then tells Valjean he bought his soul for God, and to use the gifted silver to make a better life for himself.
Eight years later, Valjean has assumed a new identity as Monsieur Madeleine, a wealthy and benevolent factory owner. One of his workers is Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a beautiful woman who sends every last franc she makes to the swindling Thénardiers (played by Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen) to pay for the care of her young daughter, Cosette(Amanda Seyfried). When Fantine is fired from the factory because of her co-workers’ petty jealousies, she is forced to sell her hair, her teeth, and ultimately prostitute herself to provide for her daughter.
Here is where Hathaway, after giving herself to her first client, rises and sings “I Dreamed A Dream.” She really makes this song her own, and it's a breathtaking performance! I can hardly wait for the Christmas season opening to watch the entire film, and hoping this will be Hathaway's first Oscar.
Hope you enjoy the clip. Your late night open thread begins below.