Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Artwork

At the end of last semester our building got reacher in two great paintings on a large canvases. As I learned they came from the walls of  Malcolm Price Lab School (R.I.P.) and were done by Price lab students. Well done (painting, not closing the lab school).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

my Les Miserables

While on our 10th wedding anniversary trip we went to see Les Misérables in a movie theatre on a suburbs of Memphis. What a treat! What an amazing adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel that I neglected to read in high school ;-)   I found out that Hugo began planning a novel about social  injustice and human misery  as early as the 1830s, but it took a full 17 years for Les Misérables to be realized and finally published in 1862.  He was also the author of other amazing novel turned to the musical - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

The movie adaptation is great! I especially loved the performance of Sam Barks  playing Eponine and Eddie Redmayne  as Marius. I was crying with him during the Empty Chairs at Empty Tables song. It is incredible talent to play pain so well while singing. And she is so light and looking so charming and yet so mischievous with her dimples. Perfect selection to the role. We will see more of these talents of that I am sure!  Tomorrow is  the official Academy Awards Nominations announcement  and I hope they will be nominated to Oscars for supporting roles.

Marius and Eponine

Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as The Thenandiers were hilarious,  and the Daniel Huttlestone as little Gavroche so stinking cute and... tragic. It is not so clear in the movie but in a book Gavroche is the son of the Thenandiers. They left him on his own to live on the streets.

And little people know. When little people fight.
We may look easy pickin's but we've got some bite!
So never kick a dog because he's just a pup...
You better  run for cover when the pup grows up.
Everybody bless the landlord! Everybody bless his spouse!
Everybody raise a glass Raise it up the master's arse.
 Everybody raise a glass to the master of the house!

"I Dreamed a Dream" song performed by Anne Hathaway was breath taking. This is the song that few years ago realized the dream of one underdog in Britains Got Talent show, Susan Boyle. The song is officially on my favorite list right there with "Belle" from musical Notre Dame de Paris performed by Patrick Fiori, Daniel Lavoie and Garou;  and "One Day I'll Fly Away" performed by  Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. Oh! And song by Goldie Hawn from The Girl From Petrovka.

The makeup on Hugh Jackman transforming him in to the scared, destroyed and roughened by life in prison man; the makeup and hair on colorful yet appalling prostitutes; the disease scared and miserable crowd on the streets of Paris was an art itself. I bet that Lisa Westcott, the makeup and hair designer, will also have her nomination to the Oscars!

Here is a video where she talks about her work on set:

What I took from the movie (besides the even bigger respect to the makeup and set artists) is that we, as a human kind may be miserable on many levels. Extreme poverty, social injustice, diseases, deaths are the obvious causes. But the misery may come from the broken heart, unfulfilled dreams, unreturned love, dark secrets, wrong decisions hunting from the past,  being in wrong place at the wrong time, on the wrong side of ...  But what we can do is try to redeem ourselves by trying to be kind and pay it forward.   “It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

If I have my Bucketlist  seeing the Cameron Mackintosh Les Misérables Musical on stage would definitely be there!