Today I am cheating a little.
This isn’t exactly a post about women, or confidence, or media representations… but it is about beauty.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a musical theatre geek. When musical theatre once again became a Hollywood phenomenon (yes, it happened before), it was like a never-ending Christmas for me. Now a group of insanely talented individuals has gone and blown all of it out of the water with a musical film that is sure to tear me to pieces: Les Misérables.
Annie was my first musical love. I was four when that movie came out. The musical version of Les Misérables (available only on stage and via soundtrack) was my teenage musical obsession. I literally believed I would never see the show live until I was 30 and living in London, because to fourteen-year-old me, that’s how magical it was.
However, I am (without the slightest bit of irony or humility), a complete Daddy’s girl, because my pops and I have a shared love of all things theatrical, cinematic, and musical. Truly, all of his children enjoy these things, but I was the only one Consumed by them. This mutual infatuation is what caused him to pick me up from driver’s ed one day and present me with an envelope of five tickets to a traveling production of Les Misérables, appearing at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul.
It tore me up in the best possible way. Opening the envelope and seeing those tickets. Gluing my eyes to the stage through every second of that performance. Taking home my prized fancy deluxe program and book of the musical score. Two months later when my high school honor’s choir rehearsed on the Ordway stage – the Same Stage where Eponine had died in Marius’ arms only weeks prior. It killed me. It wound up my teenage heart with love and longing and heartache in the way that only teenage hearts can feel.
Until now. Now my thirty-four year old self crumbles a little inside every time I watch one of the Les Misérables trailers, or make yet another unsuspecting friend sit through the ‘making-of’ featurette which Blows My Mind because *They Are Singing LIVE.*
It may seem a small thing. It isn’t. It is groundbreaking.
Singing live in a movie musical will make every moment that much more. More torturous. More riveting. More beautiful. This film promises to be cinematic beauty at it’s best. Stick with me a moment… Tyra Banks tosses around the phrase “ugly-pretty” for when models make crazy faces but still look good, therefore doing their job as models. Les Mis will be the film version of ugly-pretty to the tenth power. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that it will be so heart-wrenchingly beautiful that it will haunt me for months after I’ve seen it. It’s going to be Hideous-Gorgeous.
See for yourself. If you don’t get chills watching the featurette, perhaps musicals aren’t your thing, or perhaps you have an emotional fortress around your heart. For the rest of you, be sure to have your tissues at the ready.