This is a syndicated post from Good Shepherd Catholic Community. [Read the original article...]
I am a huge movie fan. Rom-com, action-drama, tear jerker, political thriller, classic. Love them all. My taste seems to favor the quirky off-beat feel good movies like Little Miss Sunshine, Juno and Big Fish. So, a movie fanatic like myself, looks forward to this season—you know, Movie Awards Show Season which kicks off with the Golden Globes and culminates with the pinnacle of awards shows, The Academy Awards.
The Academy Award nominations for Best Picture were announced last week and I was thrilled with the selections. 9 out of a possible 10 films were nominated for the highest film honor and as of today, I have seen 5 of them.
I have seen Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables. That leaves Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi on my must see list. I read the book Life of Pi and know the movie follows the book’s ending. (Semi spoiler alert) That ending drove me insane, so I am not looking forward to reliving that frustration, but I hear the cinematic feats of this movie are worth the surprisingly frustrating ending.
From a faith perspective, the movie with the best message, religious symbolism and focus on triumph over evil, undoubtedly, is Les Miserables. Christian themes in Les Mis abound: forgiveness, redemption, grace and hope to name a few. If you are not familiar with the novel by Victor Hugo or the award winning Broadway play, the main character, Jean Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman, is a sinner who transforms himself after receiving kindness from a priest. In the film version, the priest sings, “By the Passion and the Blood, God has raised you out of darkness; I have bought your soul for God!” Through this encounter with grace, which is far more beautiful than I can portray, Valjean is reformed and transformedI In turning his life around, Jean Val Jean extends his love and compassion to others by answering a dying woman’s plea, owning up to a crime that he committed that was mistakenly placed upon another, rescues a dying man from war and receives forgiveness and contentment at the end of his life. The famous line from Valjean’s final scene “to love another person is to see the face of God” sung by Hugh Jackman’s Valjean is reminiscent of the scripture verse from 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.” In this final uplifting scene that depicts Valjean as prepared to die, asking God to take him to his glory, we see that Valjean is surrounded by his loved one and is received, by angels, into heaven.
Les Miserables certainly is a film that I would recommend for the entire family. Be prepared, however, there are probably two lines of dialogue and the movie is 157 minutes. Go to the bathroom beforehand and be ready to leave the movie theatre singing.
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