Les Miserables

Marianne and I have never recommended a movie on our blog, but yesterday we went on a date and saw the new movie, Les Miserables.

Twenty or so years ago I saw the Broadway play in New York, and it was powerful. But the movie is … amazing.

I was hesitant to go to the movie, because I expected the original Christian themes of redemptive grace and forgiveness in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel to be watered down, if not eliminated. After all, that’s the way of Hollywood. They take culture created by Christians and bastardize it.

Wow, were my fears wrong. From the first scene to the very end, those themes are explicit and powerfully portrayed. And when I say powerfully, I mean powerfully.

If you are involved in seeing lives redeemed – not in some nice, neat, tidy arms-length way, but in the up-close, raw and gritty way of Jesus like we experience in our fellowships here in Virginia – then you MUST see this movie.

You will cry.

You will hope.

You will be moved and renewed.

At the end of the movie, the audience sat in stunned silence for a few moments from the impact of the film, then broke out in thunderous applause. I’ve never seen such a strong reaction before.

Please, see this movie. Then come back and add a comment.

Here’s the official trailer.

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4 responses

  1. I agree. My wife went to see it on Wednwsday with her mother and sister, but she wanted to talk to me about the movie do bad that she made me go see it on Friday (along with her, I might add). I’m so glad she did. Very powerful indeed. I thought Wayne Jacobsen’s comment on the movie was good. “when grace puts you in its crosshairs, you have some tough decisions to make.”

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  2. So glad to know the movie is as good as the stage production. I saw it in London a few years ago. Amazing. Forgiveness is powerful. I rarely see films but this one will be on my list. Thanks for reviewing it.

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  3. Indeed, a very powerful presentation of the original with very gritty, realistic setting. Well done . I am in awe and wonder how people lived during a time of not many soft, warm cuddly things or lives for that matter. I enjoyed in with my wife on Christmas Day. Forgiveness is probably THE most powerful thing that any human will ever experience, whichever side of the equation you are on!

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  4. What an amazing portrayal of grace finding us in our sin (Romans 5:8), giving us a soft heart (Ezekiel 36:26) and the ability to love (John 13:34-35) and forgive (Colossians 3:13)! I was not expecting such an authentic representation of God’s love, mercy and grace in contrast to the despair of a life lived under the law.

    There are so many themes to explore in this film that its hard to know where to start. Valjean, after an encounter with grace and mercy that changed him, spent his life sacrificially giving grace and mercy to those he sought out and encountered. In contrast, Javert spent his life crushing people under the impossible weight of the law -he brought despair to those around him, and in the end he himself chose to be crushed by the law rather than turn from it and embrace mercy and grace.

    Both men sacrificed their lives for the way they believed they could please God. Valjean endured suffering after suffering (grace is costly!) yet his life ended with tears of joy and a yearning to be forever with his savior. Javert lived a comfortable life, which he attributed to his own righteousness, yet it ended in hopelessness – because he lived as if the law was to be an end in itself.

    In the scene where Valjean emerges from the sewer, covered in filth, as he rescued the young man all I could think of was Jesus! Only grace is willing to plunge into the filth to rescue sinners by going to them! The law stands up high, as Javert was shown in that scene and others, clean on the outside and unwilling to lay a finger to help a dirty sinner. Javert expected people to crawl out of the filth and clean themselves up and make their way up to God’s standards while Valjean displayed the true love of God and pursued the helpless and hopeless to shower them with mercy and riches.

    This movie was the first time I had seen or heard the story of Les Miserables. It had a profound impact on me because my husband and I have been wrestling with the truths of grace, the necessity for repentance and the work of the Spirit these past 3 years. The truths that God has shown us as we asked Him to teach us about these things were reflected in a powerful way in this film. I’m amazed that Hollywood has produced such a bold display of the Gospel! I’m excited to discuss these things with others who have seen the film, especially those who misunderstand or do not know Christ.

    ~Michelle

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