Movies of the week: Les Miserables and Django Unchained

Christmas Day sees the gift of two heavyweight award contenders finally arriving in theaters to demonstrate why they are nominated for what they are nominated for. One feature is an original and unconventional story from a director who is an expert at storytelling the theme of revenge. The other is a beautifully renowned and beloved musical about broken dreams, sacrifice, redemption and love that isn’t returned.

Jamie Foxx is a natural bounty hunter in the upcoming film, “Django Unchained”

Django Unchained” is the latest feature from Academy Award winning director Quentin Tarantino set two years prior to the Civil War and Jamie Foxx as the title character Django, a slave who falls in with a German bounty hunter named King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, to rescue his wife from a despicable slave-owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Victor Hugo’s beloved novel-turned-musical “Les Miserables” is the latest film from Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper. Hugh Jackman plays Jean Valjean, a fugitive pursued by the relentless Inspector Javert, played by Russell Crowe. When Valjean agrees to care for a young factory-worker’s daughter, their lives change forever.

What am I expecting to see?: Quite simply, I’m looking forward to see two Oscar-contending heavyweights from two Oscar-winning directors, starring Oscar-caliber actors giving amazing performances. “Django Unchained” resembles vintage Tarantino; a completely unorthodox and original story adamant to the theme of revenge and I’m really looking forward to see Leonardo DiCaprio as Monseiur Calvin Candie, the tyrannical slave-owner who is holding Kerry Washington’s Broomhilda, Django’s wife, captive. The idea of a slave becoming a bounty hunter and exacting his revenge on his former captives could only come from the mind of Quentin Tarantino.

Tom Hooper’s rendition of “Les Miserables” is sure to bring a large audience

“Les Miserables,” is unlike “Django Unchained” in terms of genuine originality but it still carries the same substance that is meriting the award contender status. Hooper has assembled an amazing cast of actors who actually sing during the film instead of record off-set and this is where the movie finds its greatest strength. Anne Hathaway in her role as Fantine, looks to be the odds-on favorite to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar according to the pundits and I really hope this film is as good as advertised.

*Sidenote: I’d like to wish whoever is reading my blog a very happy and Merry Christmas.


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