There is a movie that I had seen the beginning a few times but couldn't get past the first part of it. It was a hard one to watch. The other night it came on at 3am so I decided to sit through the whole thing. It's not a short film as it runs for 175 minutes, but by the end of the film, I didn't want it to end.
The movie was "Les Miserables" a french version by written and directed by Claude Lelouch. It is shown with subtitles. The movie is different from other versions of Les Miserables because the main character Henri Fortin goes through his life seeing parallels between his life and Victor Hugo's story, "Les Miserables" In the beginning of this movie, as a child, Henri watches the movie and later is read the book by different people. I think it should have had a different title or another word in the title to differentiate it from the other versions that didn't take a detour from the original story like this one did.
The movie begins in the year 1900 and brings us through Henri's life to after World War Two.
It is a powerful movie that kept me mesmorized once I got past the beginning. It was made in 1995 and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film in 1996.
I went looking to price out a dvd of this movie and it seems only available on a VHS tape. The dvd they did have was discontinued. I hope a new dvd is issued because this is an awesome movie and I really don't want to buy the vhs tape. I don't think any of my players work.
This movie was one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was a well made film and the acting was wonderful. I loved all the sub plots that went on during the main plot.
In one scene Henri is beaten unmercifully and half drowned, to reveal information that if given would have led to the deaths of many, but he resists the temptation to cave in. He really showed great strength of character in this part, which for some watching may have been a surprise. He had a good heart deep down, but after the tragedies of his youth, he could have caved in right away.
Since there are other movies by this name that depict Victor Hugo's story more closely to what he wrote, I am including a link to a description of the film on wikipedia.
If you ever get an opportunity to see this film, I highly recommend it. Like I said, it's beginning is hard to watch, it starts out with one tragedy after another, but is necessary to the rest of the movie. It is sad that it didn't impress the critics as well as it impressed me. It is in my top 5 of my list of the greatest movies I have ever seen.