Students enjoy box office hits Les Misérables and The Hobbit


In the midst of award season, the multi-nominated movies Les Misérables and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure have been extremely popular among students in the recent weeks.

Les Misérables

Les Misérables, known as Les Mis for short, tells the story of Jean Valjean, “a former criminal because he stole a loaf of bread for his starving family,” said freshman community and public health promotion major Amy Ford. “He has a huge change of heart and does a lot of good to a lot of people in his life. It’s a story about all the different people he affects.”

Freshmen Megan Lee, Amy Ford, and Jakki Conti enjoy popcorn and a movie. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

Freshman social work major Megan Lee explains how she made connections between Les Mis and her own life.

“I read an article [about Les Mis] where the author of the blog was comparing the different characters to different areas in her life,” Lee said. “It’s so easy to feel like you’re one of those characters at least at some point in the story.”

“Also, it was based on a really great book,” said Ford, who began reading the 1862 Victor Hugo novel after seeing the movie.

Hugo did not end his life as a Christian, but many viewers think that Les Mis contains strong parallels to the Christian faith.

“It’s so much of Christ’s story,” said Lee, who also started the book after seeing the film.

“I think it’s really cool that the Christian community knows so much about it,” said freshman nursing major Jakki Conti. “Back at home no one ever talked about it… here, everyone’s been talking about it.”

Les Mis opened in theaters Christmas day. The movie features Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway leading an all-star cast.

Les Mis has already won several Golden Globe awards and is nominated for a number of Oscars as well.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been another heavily anticipated release among students.

“I was counting down the days,” said senior business major Zeke Miller.

Peter Jackson’s films are notorious for being far longer than average films, and at 169 minutes, The Hobbit is no exception.

“It was really long, but I thought it was good,” said Ford. “I read the book a week before seeing it, so it was all fresh in my mind… it was like the book coming to life perfectly. It was really cool.”

Many Lord of the Rings fans were excited to see another J. R. R. Tolkien classic come to life.

“It wasn’t as good as the original three Lord of the Rings [movies], I thought, but I enjoyed it a lot,” said Miller.

Movies with fantastical, larger-than-life storylines have been popular in the recent years, with the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games franchises becoming some of the biggest box office hits.

“People always like the fantasy, made-up world kind of things,” said Ford. “It’s just one of those epic stories.”

“Anything that’s bigger than what we are, people want to be enjoying,” said Miller.

The Hobbit is the first in a three-part prequel to the extremely popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. Filming began in March 2011 and the movie was released Dec. 14.

While the movie has been popular amongst moviegoers, The Hobbit has not had quite the award recognition that Les Mis has received.

Blaire Thompson is the copy editor for The Aviso AVW.

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