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File: Les Miserables
Les Miserables is a 2012 British musical drama film produced by Working Title Films and distributed by Universal Pictures.
The film is based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg which is in turn based on Les Miserables, the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.
The film is directed by Tom Hooper, scripted by William Nicholson, Boublil, Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer, and stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector.
Development of Les Miserables began in the late 1980s. After the musical's 25th Anniversary concert in October 2010, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced that the film resumed development. Hooper and Nicholson were approached in March 2011 and the main characters were cast in 2011. Principal photography commenced in March 2012, and took place in various locations including Greenwich, London, and Winchester and Portsmouth in Hampshire, England, as well as Paris in France.
Les Miserables premiered in London at the Empire, Leicester Square on 5 December 2012, and released on 25 December 2012 in the United States, and 26 December 2012 in Australia. It will be released on 11 January 2013 in the United Kingdom. The film has received favourable reviews, with many critics praising the acting of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, and has also won and been nominated for numerous awards. Before the film's release, it was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, including Best Film (Musical or Comedy), Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) for Jackman and Best Supporting Actress for Hathaway.
In 1815, convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole by prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson), but steals his silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop says that the silver was given as a gift, and secures Valjean's release. Touched by the Bishop's generosity, Valjean breaks his parole and vows to start an honest life under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped convict to justice.
Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable to condemn an innocent man, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look after her daughter. After escaping from Javert, Valjean finds Cosette and pays the ThEnardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her.
Nine years later, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic toward the poor, is nearing death. Students Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit), together with street urchin Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone), discuss revolution. Marius later catches a glimpse of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), now a young woman, and instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, despite Cosette's questioning, Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or her mother.
At a cafE, Enjolras organises a group of idealistic students as Lamarque's death is announced. Meanwhile, Eponine (Samantha Barks), now Marius's friend, leads him to Cosette, where the two profess their love for one another. Lamenting that her secret love for Marius will never be reciprocated, Eponine fatalistically decides to join the revolution. Later, an attempted robbery of Valjean's house makes him mistakenly believe that Javert has discovered him, and he flees with Cosette. As they leave, Enjolras rallies the Parisians to revolt, and Marius sends a farewell letter to Cosette.
The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque's funeral procession and begin their assault. Javert poses as a rebel in order to spy on them, but is quickly exposed by Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing gunfight, Eponine saves Marius at the cost of her own life, professing her love to him before she dies. Valjean, intercepting the letter from Marius to Cosette, goes to the barricade to protect Marius. After saving Enjolras from snipers, he is allowed to execute Javert. However, when the two are alone, Valjean frees Javert, telling him to run. Initially disbelieving, Javert wonders at Valjean's generosity.
With the Parisians not joining the revolution as the students expected, they resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed but Marius, who is saved when Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers. ThEnardier, scavenging the dead bodies, steals Marius's ring. Valjean recovers and escapes the sewers carrying Marius, but is confronted at the exit by Javert. Javert threatens to shoot Valjean if he refuses to surrender, but Valjean ignores him. Unable to reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he always considered the same, Javert commits suicide.
Later, Marius mourns for his friends but Cosette comforts him. Revealing his past to Marius, Valjean tells him he must leave because his presence endangers Cosette, and makes Marius promise never to tell her. Marius and Cosette marry; the ThEnardiers crash the reception and testify that they saw Valjean carrying a murdered corpse through the sewers. ThEnardier unwittingly shows Marius the ring that he stole from him as "proof." Recognising the ring, Marius realises that it was Valjean who saved his life. Being told Valjean's location by ThEnardier, Marius and Cosette depart to find him.
As Valjean sits dying in a local convent, he perceives the spirit of Fantine appearing to take him to Heaven. Cosette and Marius rush in to bid farewell. Valjean hands Cosette his confession of his past life, and the spirits of Fantine and the Bishop guide him to paradise, where he joins the spirits of Enjolras, Eponine, Gavroche, and the other rebels at the barricade.
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