I saw Les Miserables, the play, in London when I was 20 (a long time ago!). My friend and I had nosebleed seats that we’d purchased at the Leicester Square Half Price Ticket Booth that afternoon. The location of the seats didn’t matter in the least. I was transported.
And it happened again when I saw the movie.
I’d heard an interview with Tom Hooper, the director, on NPR a few weeks before. What interested me most was his decision to focus more on the story and emotion, than on the musical performances. Since the music from this story is iconic, he told the actors instead of trying to compete with that and give the best vocal performance, “…you need to make it appear that your characters have invented these songs in these times of crisis — have ripped them from their soul. You are not doing a rendition of a song, you are offering a song as a character does a soliloquy.” I’m glad he made that decision. It was a powerful cinematic experience!
As so many critics and fans have noted in the past 27 years; this story appeals so widely because we can all identify with the pain, hope, and love. I was reminded that one domino -if it’s the right one- can topple any of us. For the parents out there, what wouldn’t you do for your children? And who among us hasn’t suffered a broken heart or lost a loved one? The grief can be overwhelming.
I could go on and on, but you see where I’m going with this (a bit maudlin, sorry, I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write).
Well if you’re wondering how in the world this ties in with New Years Resolutions, we’ve (finally) arrived at that point.
I do not usually make resolutions. but the timing is right and I’m taking this opportunity to dedicate this year. There’s nothing innovative or earth-shattering in my list, but I want to live with grace.
- Appreciate my loved ones, not take them for granted, tell them how important they are.
- Enjoy the small things, take moments every day to be present and grateful. I won’t take my comfortable life for granted: from hot potable running water, to good coffee and soft clean sheets… the daily luxuries are small miracles.
- Finally, continue to work on living with empathy. The cranky checkout clerk may be mourning her mother’s death. The drunk homeless man… who knows what series of tragedies led him to this point? Life can be so cruel.
Did you make a resolution this year? If so, what is it?