Even though I’m a bit of a cry-er, it’s been a while since I shed tears to a DVD…
But I got there last Friday night, courtesy of Les Miserables – Anne Hathaway’s Fantine, to be precise.
If you haven’t seen it, you should – even if you’re not a huge fan of musicals. It’s not perfect, but Les Mis is a classic and there are some wonderful moments.
And it is Anne’s version of I dreamed a dream that set me off. I’ve seen the song done many times before, but never been moved like I was this time – perhaps it was the close-ups that made it more emotional. She is just outstanding. There has been the odd derogatory or cynical comment about the performance, but Oscars tend to speak for themselves…
The other thing that struck me – again, perhaps due to the close-ups – were the lyrics. I’m not sure I’d taken the time to consider them before. Here is an excerpt below:
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame
I think it is a stunning description of living in a broken world. Even for those of us who have a faith, that tension remains.
I have known the tasting of wine… But I have also known the tigers coming at night.
I have not expressed myself with quite the desperation and desolation of Fantine. But perhaps if my life had looked a little more like hers, I might have…
Universal Pictures have rightly removed all Youtube clips of the movie, so I can’t link to the song.
But you need to get it out and watch it.