PBS/BBC Les Miserables: Anybody Else Watching?

Ficino

Rascally Rabbit
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So, Masterpiece Theater started airing a 6-part adaptation of Les Miserables last Sunday. I enjoyed the first episode, though I'm a bit ashamed that I didn't recognize the actor playing Jean Valjean--it's Dominic West, whom I associate with The Hour, though he's done lots of other things. Gorgeous scenery and filming, and it's always nice to see Derek Jacobi, even if it was for a small part. Is anyone else watching it, and if so, what do you think?
 

Ficino

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Last night was episode 2. I found the scene where Fantine (Lily Collins, who looks nothing like her father) gives up her teeth to get money for her daughter particularly wrenching. Of course, it's a bit hard to swallow that she so easily leaves her daughter Cosette with Thernardier and his wife, whom she has just met. I wonder if it makes more sense in the novel (which I'll cop to never having read).

There was more of David Oyelowo as Javert in this episode; he does a good job of making a fundamentally unpleasant and unsympathetic character very watchable.
 

taschoene

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Last night was episode 2. I found the scene where Fantine (Lily Collins, who looks nothing like her father) gives up her teeth to get money for her daughter particularly wrenching. Of course, it's a bit hard to swallow that she so easily leaves her daughter Cosette with Thernardier and his wife, whom she has just met. I wonder if it makes more sense in the novel (which I'll cop to never having read).
It's been a while, and I haven't seen this episode to see how the play it in the series, but in the book, it's pretty much an act of desperation, but bolstered because she sees the Thenardiers' own daughters playing and assumes her daughter will be given the same treatment. Aside: I think it was not uncommon for unwed mothers seeking work in factories to place their children in (essentially) foster care, so this isn't an incredibly odd arrangement. She just chose remarkably evil fosters.
 

Ficino

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It's been a while, and I haven't seen this episode to see how the play it in the series, but in the book, it's pretty much an act of desperation, but bolstered because she sees the Thenardiers' own daughters playing and assumes her daughter will be given the same treatment. Aside: I think it was not uncommon for unwed mothers seeking work in factories to place their children in (essentially) foster care, so this isn't an incredibly odd arrangement. She just chose remarkably evil fosters.
I suspect some of it may be the difference between prose, which can give us access to Fantine's thoughts and quickly summarize all the trials she been through as she attempts to move her daughter across France, and video, where all we have is what we see. This adaptation did give us a hint of her travails and she clearly is attracted to the Thernardiers because their daughters seem well-cared-for and happy. But it's still a little jarring to have her pick a foster family on the basis of 3 minutes acquaintance and then not be put off when Thernardier himself is so obviously grasping.
 

Brawndo

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This is the first I'm hearing of it actually, but I'm going to get right on it.
 

Dudley Do-Right

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Watched the 2nd episode last night. I will have to watch the 1st episode on demand as I forgot it started on the 14th. My wife and I were picking which actors and actresses have appeared in Doctor Who.
 

Ficino

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I wonder why the title is always in French, rather than being translated? O.K., so the semantic range of misérables does not match any English word precisely, it seems to me that The Wretched or The Pitiful would do well enough. It's not like Toilers of the Sea is a great translation of the title Les travailleurs de la mer, but in that case the English version seems to have become fairly accepted.
 

taschoene

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The best translation suggestion for the title I've seen is "The Downtrodden."

As to why it isn't translated, at this point, it's purely inertia. Plus, the musical...
 

Manitou

Emperor of the Americas
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The name recognition of the untranslated title is too great a lure for the makers of things to want to change it at this point. I mean, no one has heard of The Downtrodden, but say " Les Mis" and ears perk up.
 

Elvis Waxman

Inhuman Morokanth
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I wonder why the title is always in French, rather than being translated? O.K., so the semantic range of misérables does not match any English word precisely, it seems to me that The Wretched or The Pitiful would do well enough. It's not like Toilers of the Sea is a great translation of the title Les travailleurs de la mer, but in that case the English version seems to have become fairly accepted.
Sometimes titles just sound better in French. ‘La Haine’ is a case in point.
 
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