by Deona Hooper, MSW
One of the best surprises of the night from the Academy Awards was the cast of Les Miserables live performance of the popular score “One Day More”. If this had been any other year, Hugh Jackman should have received an Oscar for his role as Jean Valjean a man who was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. The field was tight for best actor, and I think they all deserved to win an Oscar.
Ultimately, Daniel Day-Lewis was given the Best Actor honor for his performance in Lincoln which was much deserving. However, Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Jean Valjean and his moral struggles over the course of his life was undoubtedly an Oscar worthy performance. Tonight’s live performance only provided more evidence of Hugh Jackman’s superb acting and singing skills.
When you hear a live performance, it is often dramatically different from the original production. In Les Miserables, Tom Hooper, the director, filmed the movie while the actors were singing live. The movie version and the live performance were as equally good. As a matter of fact, I feel compelled to see the movie again. Not to give any spoilers to those who are unfamiliar with the movie, Les Miserables is a sad story about poverty, but it is still very relevant to current day.
Today, there are many people who want others to believe that being on governmental assistance, public housing, and food stamps is the life that some Americans aspire to achieve. The movie displays some of the hard choices men and women in poverty are forced to make in order to survive. Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of a single mom working to provide for her daughter, Fantine, earned her a Best Supporting Actress Award. In my opinion, no one else came close to her performance in Les Miserables.