The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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‘Les Miz’ leads list of holiday delights

Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) embraces Marius (Eddie Redmayne) after the attack at the barricade in the Les Misérables film.
Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) embraces Marius (Eddie Redmayne) after the attack at the barricade in the Les Misérables film.
Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) embraces Marius (Eddie Redmayne) after the attack at the barricade in the Les Misérables film.

The whimsical notes of a flute pierce the silence of the theater, as Jean Valjean’s deep, powerful voice begins to sing the first notes of “One Day More.” Several more actors join Valjean, carrying their respective melodies until student leader Enjolras, decked in his signature red vest, brings forth a mass of revolutionaries anticipating what “tomorrow” will bring.

This scene from the popular musical “Les Misérables” has been witnessed by over 60 million people in 42 nations and in 21 different languages. Called “Les Miz” for short, the musical is one of many entertainment options offered in the area this holiday season, along with other films and Christmas episodes of various television show favorites.

Written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo, “Les Misérables” tells the story of convicted criminal Jean Valjean and his journey for redemption during the period of the June Days revolution in nineteenth-century France. This December, the musical will grace the silver screen as well the stage at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.

The film is not the first “Les Misérables” movie, but is the only one to be adapted from the popular musical and will be released on Dec. 25. Directed by Tim Burton, the film has a star-studded cast, featuring Hugh Jackman as the protagonist in addition to other famous actors such as Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

“The cast for the movie is made up of very well-known actors and actresses, regardless of singing ability,” junior Hannah Pho, who played the role of Eponine in TJ’s production of “Les Misérables” in 2011, said. “However, the movie may be able to take some liberties with music and visual effects that are impossible with the limitations of the stage.”

One well-respected Broadway actor, Aaron Tveit, will presume the role of Enjolras in the movie version.

“The ads have only featured the very famous people, leaving out those who have major parts but aren’t huge stars,” junior Jordan Goodson said. “I’m going with my friends at midnight when it comes out, and I’m very excited.”

The movie has an abundance of Oscar buzz surrounding it, with several critics weighing in on the awards potential of the film prior to its release.

“There’s obviously a lot of potential for ‘Best Actor’ awards because these actors had such powerful characters as a basis for their craft,” said English teacher Jill Burdick-Zupancic.

The staged musical, which will be at the National Theater from Dec. 13-30, features the cast of the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Misérables.

“I love Les Miz, so much that I think I’m a fan of any production,” sophomore Ben Parsell said.

Another highly anticipated film being released in December is “The Hobbit,” the prequel to the popular trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.” The movie features many of the same actors, including Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf, and has the same director.

“I’m really excited for ‘The Hobbit’ because I love ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and have been waiting for this for months,” freshman Patrick Ryan said.

Another addition making its presence on the silver screen this holiday season is the 3-D version of “Monsters, Inc,” which is scheduled to be released on Dec. 19. The film’s prequel, “Monsters University,” will be released in 3-D format in the summer of 2013. The film serves as a family-friendly alternative during the holiday season.

“I’m very excited for ‘Monsters, Inc’ because I grew up loving the movie and I am excited to see it redone and in a new light,” freshman Chitra Kokkirala said. “I think being able to see the movie in 3-D will definitely be a cool experience, and I’m going to see it with my family.”

Several television show favorites are scheduled to air Christmas and holiday-themed episodes in the spirit of the holiday season.

The Christmas episode of “Doctor Who”, titled “The Snowmen,” is one of many holiday specials that can be found on television during this time of the year, and has already been highly promoted with a poster and trailer, making it seem like a Hollywood film.

“Doctor Who,” a British science fiction show, centered on a time-traveling humanoid alien called the “Doctor,” is a cult television favorite and is currently in its seventh season.

“It’s an extra-long Christmas-themed episode that is still part of the regular show, but is usually more of a stand-alone episode,” junior Nadège Aoki said. “This season has been pretty disappointing for me so far in terms of the strength of the writing, so I’m looking forward to a fresh start in the second half of the season, starting with the Christmas special.”

The Christmas special of hit television show “Glee,” titled “Glee, Actually,” aired on Dec. 13. The episode was a tribute to the film “Love, Actually,” and featured different relationships and storylines during the holidays.

“I love ‘Glee’ and I’m so excited for the Christmas episode,” sophomore Anant Das said. “It should be really fun.”

This holiday season offers numerous entertainment opportunities, from anticipated movie releases to Christmas specials of beloved television shows.

“I’ll definitely be going to see Les Misérables, probably with some choir friends,” Pho said. “I might just bring my Eponine hat—it’s going to be awesome.”

(This article originally appeared in the December 21, 2012 print edition.)

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