Les Misérables, 1998

There are times when a deviation from the book is forgiven when the essence of the story is captured so skillfully and handsomely that you almost forget the errors of omission and commission from the original work.  Such is the case with the movie adaptation of Les Misérables. 

Starring Liam Neeson in arguably one of his best Hollywood roles ever; Geoffrey Rush, for whom the same might be said; Uma Thurman, who looks like she hasn’t changed an iota in the last thirteen years; and Claire Danes, a most becoming young woman, this is a most remarkable adaptation of one of the most powerful books ever written by Victor Hugo in 1862.

Having had the pleasure of having read the unabridged version of the book, I can verify that there are significant portions of the latter part of the book that have been glossed over or even completely eliminated, but again, this has not altered the spirit of the story and the significant theme of the story which is repeated time and time again in various ways.  That theme is one of forgiveness– the kind that defies reason any which way you look at it.

For more on my views on the book you can find my review here.

If you have the chance to read the book before you watch the movie, I would highly recommend it, but even if you don’t get to read the book, take in the movie.  I can say with conviction that it will leave a most indelible impression on you, and even possibly transform you for the better.  I daresay there are few movies for which one can make a claim like that! 


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