Friday, January 11, 2013

"Les Mis" - Are You Kidding Me?

By Nancy Jill Thames

On a whim, my husband and I decided to go to In & Out Burger for dinner on New Year's Eve and then see "Les Miserables," the hit movie of the season. The burgers and fries (animal style of course) were great, and so was the movie actually. I knew the story and was prepared for the pathos. After the magnificent ending of French patriots singing one of the hit songs, we just sat there unable to move. 

Like the Dementors in Harry Potter who suck the happiness out of their victims, that's what the film can do since it is focused on the misery of the times. Granted the story focuses on redemption, but only for a few moments. The rest of the time we behold injustice, pain, suffering, degradation of the human condition (think Anne Hathaway cutting off all her hair and selling a tooth to support her child, and selling her body as well, not to mention Miss Hathaway losing 80 pounds for the role), and men emerging from the sewer covered in black sewage. Okay, we saw the film and raved like everyone else, truly thinking what a wonderful story it was. 

Our granddaughter (who looks much like Cosette as an adult) was curious about all the hype - her best friend had seen the movie and raved about it just like us. Then our granddaughter went to see it with said friend.

"Grandma!" Our granddaughter exclaimed after returning home. "Oh, my gosh - I can't believe how horrible the movie was!" I listened as she explained the bare truth.

"Everything in it was so gross!" Well, she did have a point.

"Those men covered in ... (I'll leave this to your imagination), and Anne Hathaway bald? Everyone was filthy and miserable - why do people think it was a good movie?" she asked.

I had to stop and think. "It was a story of redemption, my love. And that was the way it really was in those times." Had I convinced her? 

"Well," she said with a smile, "I do kind of look like Cosette. People in the theater were staring at me!" This pleased her at least. 

Maybe because she's 14 and into beauty products, "Les Mis" was not the best movie for her to go see. I get it. But she did have a point. The movie was hard to watch unless one was mature enough to understand the redemption theme. Now, what does "Les Mis" have to do with cozy mysteries?

Nothing - absolutely nothing! In fact, I see this movie as everything a cozy mystery IS NOT! So if you're over the misery and pathos of this fine movie (and it was a fine movie), it's time to return to the wonderful world of fun adventures we cozy mystery authors write. Please visit our Cozy Book Store for some wonderful choices. And if you see any good movies, please alert us!


Mystery novelist Nancy Jill Thames began publishing Christian fiction in 2010. The author of six books in the Jillian Bradley series, she is an award winning blogger and is listed numerous times on the Author Watch Bestseller’s List, this in addition to winning first place for her Chocolate Cream Pie.

When she isn’t plotting her next book, she spends time with her six grandchildren in two states, tags along with her husband on business trips, and plays classical piano for her own personal enjoyment. She is an active member of the Leander Writers Guild and supports the Central Texas SPCA with a portion of her book sales.

Nancy Jill is busy working on book 7 "The Ruby of Siam" a mystery taking place in London, England.
To learn more about the author and check out her books, please visit her blog at  
Cozy Mystery Author, Nancy Jill Thames.



  1. I really loved Les Mis. But I understand why some people might not like it. The movie shows the seamy, grimy side of life. Just proves that people need to know what life is really like outside our tidy little neighborhoods. This heartbreaking existence is the norm for so many people in third world countries--even here in our own country. Human trafficking. Oppression. Poverty, Crime. And so much more. Love the story of redemption. Parallels God's will for our lives, to offer redemption to all who ask and receive:)

    1. Well put, Linda - I always appreciate hearing your sentiments.

      ~Nancy Jill


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