Spoiler alert: If you plan on seeing Les Mis, and don't know the story, do not read this post.
Day 345 - December 20, 2012
Last night was just incredible.
Unfortunately I had to say adieu to Alex, but let's just say it was the best goodbye I've ever had :)
As soon as we dropped him at the airport, I rushed downtown to see Les Mis.
Morgan, Brynne, Brynne's mom, Clarissa, Jenni, and our Bishop and his wife all went together.
I was a basket case of excitement and nerves.
I decided to spend a day thinking about the movie before I even tried to write things down.
Since this musical (along with Phantom) has been my life ever since I was born, I was very nitpicky.
Every little detail that wasn't right, every little change, so I finally decided to just let it go.
With that said, I wanted to make a list of things I loved, and things I not so loved.
Not so loved
1. The number one thing I am most peeved about would have to be their portrayal of Cosette and Eponine. In the musical Eponine has a WAY bigger role than Cosette. You feel empathy for her and she is just a gem. In the movie she barely gets any screen time it seems. Just because Samantha Barks is a "nobody" compared to Amanda Seyfried, they couldn't possibly giver her a bigger role. It makes me incredibly frustrated. They changed the finale to Eponine, Fantine and Jean Valjean to just Fantine and Jean Valjean! Not impressed. And coming from someone who absolutely ADORES Eponine, this is a huge deal for me. I could on and on, I swear!
2. They cut A Little Fall of Rain. Well not the whole song, but they shortened it to one verse. ONE VERSE! Come on people!!!!!!!!!!
3. They changed the order of a lot of the songs. It was weird for me. Not a huge deal, just weird.
4. Gavroche delivering the letter from Marius to Cosette, instead of Eponine being the deliverer. URGH
5. Eponine and Marius didn't have enough time on screen to show the actual depths of their friendship.
6. Hugh Jackman was a slight disappointment. Let me clarify: his acting was spot on. Absolutely genius. His voice however was not. The first half was better than the second. For example his version of Bring Him Home didn't cut it for me. It was good, but it needs to be better than good.
1. The opening scene. How the heck did they sing live with water being thrown at their faces??!!!
2. Colm Wilkinson being the priest. I gasped pretty loud because I had NO idea he was going to be in it. If you have no idea who he is, he was Jean Valjean in the original London Cast!
3. Every time Anna Hathaway was screen. Her performance was just breathtaking. If she doesn't win supporting actress there is something very wrong with this world! It may have been the most incredible acting I have ever seen. EVER!
4. Russell Crowe as Javert. Such a power house!!!!
5. Hadley Fraser with a random cameo!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I adore that man!!
6. Empty chairs at empty tables will always be my favourite song, and I never thought it was possible for me to love it even more. But Eddie Redmayne. Oh my heaven. Most beautiful voice!
7. The final battle at the barricade was incredible!!! Starting with Gavroche's death (while singing Little People, I was a mess), then with school boys trying to run to safety and no one letting them inside, and ending with Enjorlas's death of being shot out a window (very Joseph Smith-esque). Waterfall of tears.
8. Most of the dialogue was sung, just like a normal Broadway musical.
9. Live singing. Hearing every little breath was perfection!
10. A new scene of Javert placing his army badge on Gavroche's dead body. I was sobbing so hard!! Quite possibly my favourite scene of the whole film.
11. Do You Hear the People Sing scene was sooooo cool!! Not at all how I expected it to be! I love how the people just flooded the streets!
12. The end scene. Everyone was crying, and I was a bit teary eyed but nothing too ridiculous. And then as Jean Valjean is walking away (after he has died), he comes to the priest (Colm Wilkinson) and they sang the line: "To love another person is to see the face of God" together. I was finished when it happened. Never cried so hard while watching a film or even a live musical. Now that is saying a lot considering I cry every time I see a live show!
13. From what I have heard, people aren't a huge fan of Russell Crowe's rendition of Javert. I for one actually loved it! I like that he played a softer version of Javert. It was very different, very fresh, and I liked it. A lot actually.
14. Everyone singing at the barricade. Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see? Do you hear the people sing, say do you hear the distant drum? It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes. Tomorrow comes!
Yes I had a few complaints, but all in all it was breathtaking.
A word of advice, if you are HUGE lover of the musical don't go into it comparing. That's what I did and I noticed way too many things that don't change the whole feel of the story but just slightly irked me.
Go and see it.
Definitely seeing it again on December 27th.
On Sunday night a dear friend of mine posted this gem of a picture on Facebook.
If I remember correctly, this was my first ever trip to the temple.
That was almost ten years ago.
The amount of changes that have happened.
The boys and girls in this group that have gone on missions, and returned.
The people I have had to watch fall away from the church.
Youth was hard for me.
Not your average kind of "hard" though.
Yes I had my rough patches, but I never doubted my testimony.
What made it hard was watching people I cared about go through extremely hard trials, and turn away from the gospel.
They knew it was true, but it is so easy to get distracted.
Everyone has their agency and I totally get that, but it's so difficult when your dearest friends close the door on your friendship.
It seemed like everyone I got close to wanted nothing to do with the church, or me.
But this year I have had an amazing experience.
The boy every girl had a crush on was inactive for years,
baptized his youngest sister this summer.
The girl who was my best friend for a few years then went to high school with and we never spoke,
will be serving a mission in St George Utah in January.
The girl that I never really gave the chance to get to know better,
now I have the second chance to really try with her.
The boy who was my dearest friend, shared so much with, and decided didn't want anything to do with me,
gave a talk in church that gave me goosebumps, and gave me the prompting to reach out again.
To see them go through life, and extremely hard situations and have the strongest testimonies, strengthens my testimony.
They are such examples to me.
They are my angels.
There are still people in this picture I haven't seen in years. But I know that Heavenly Father is preparing them, and they will return.
After a busy morning at work, my parents, Alex and I headed over to Upper Canada Village for a night out.
Upper Canada Village is this village completely built to emulate the pioneer time.
Fun fact: there was a bunch of scenes filmed for Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration in the village :)
The Christmas lights looked beautiful.
It's a shame it was so cold. FREEZING!
Church was absolutely incredible.
We had our Christmas Sacrament meeting and it was just divine.
Being able to hear a dear friend give a talk in church and bearing his testimony in such a beautiful way was such a precious moment.
Kelsi's younger brother was down for the weekend, so after church we headed back to their place for some dinner and fun.
As the night progressed it turned into a "Ethan Talent Show"
Seriously, this kid is hilarious.
He was juggling, doing trick yo-yo and jamming on his guitar.
Such a great night.
Family bonding, and cuddles. My favourite.
And surfing youtube for every single Les Mis interview :)
This one is by far the best.
Anna Hathaway says it best at 7:23.
I swear I am going to be crying this entire film!!