Twice now I have tried to go see the new theatrical version of Les Miserables. The world must be conspiring against it because I have yet to put my butt into a theater seat. So, to satisfy the urge to revisit Victor Hugo’s 150-year old classic, I dug into my DVD collection and unearthed the 1998 film. It still strikes me how much this 1998 version with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman holds up.
Les Miserables has always been a great tale of Christian grace versus a law-driven pursuit of unattainable human perfection. It very aptly demonstrates the grace of God versus the “justice” of man. Joe Rigney recently posted on his blog a great explanation of how Les Miserables can and should be used as a teaching tool in churches in sunday schools. Near the end he writes:
I’m not saying that Les Mis doesn’t communicate the beauty of mercy. It certainly does — and does so spectacularly. Nor am I saying that Javert is not an example of everything that is wrong with humanity. In fact, this analysis shows just how pervasive the human penchant to establish false laws is. Whether it’s the traditions of the Pharisees, the ethnocentric law-boasting of the Judaizers, the bureaucratic minutiae of Javert, the over-scrupulousness of fundamentalists, or the hate crimes of the progressives, human beings love to break God’s Law by erecting our own. We are rebels, and this is what we do.
In these times where Hollywood tries to inflict its own bent sense of progressive (im)morality on the public, it’s nice to see that they haven’t been able to pervert all the classics. And, they have apparently done it with a fantastic musical score.
Now, fingers crossed people, I’m going to try and take Mrs. Clockworkconservative out for a date this weekend.