Correction: An earlier version of this review referred to the French Revolution; in fact, the historical setting of the latter part of the movie is the Paris uprising of 1832.
Talk About It
1. Describe Valjean's outlook when he is released from prison. How does that change throughout the film? What are the things that change him?
2. Do you think Valjean should have gone to prison for breaking his parole? What is the balance of grace and law? How do you decide which one wins in any given situation?
3. Has an act of grace from another ever transformed your life?
4. Why does being shown mercy have such a different impact on Javert's life? What does this tell us about his paradigm and his basic understanding of law and life?
5. Why doesn't Valjean tell Cosette about his past? Do you think this is a wise decision or not?
6. If you have seen the stage production of Les Miserables, which do you now like better? If you've also read the book, how would you rank all three?
The Family Corner
Les Misérables is rated PG-13 for suggestive and sexual material, violence, and thematic elements. Inspired by financial hardship, Fantine sells her hair and some of her teeth and becomes a prostitute. The one sex scene isn't really graphic and there is no nudity, but we do see a lot of heaving cleavage from Fantine and the other ladies of the night. The shady innkeepers provide a lot of sexual innuendo and thievery. Violence is perhaps the biggest concern for younger viewers here, as we see many characters shot during a battle scene, including a young boy. That said, there are many great themes throughout the film worth discussing with mature kids.