The Hobbit vs. Les Miserables

Christmas is going to be fantastic as two film adaptations of great stories are set to hit theaters.

First, The Hobbit.

Second, Les Miserables.

I am torn over which one I am looking forward to more.  For both films, I have loved what has come before.  In terms of The Hobbit, I love both Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Lord of the Rings.  In terms of Les Miserables, the book was a long, tough and enjoyable read and the musical is amazing.

Also, both stories contain powerful and thought-provoking themes.  Though I think I’d have to give Les Miserables the advantage over The Hobbit here, as it seems to me more of the themes in Tolkien are in Lord of the Rings.  The Hobbit reads as more a straightforward adventure story.

My hope is that both movies live up to expectations.   My other hope is that we can get a babysitter so Emily and I can go see them!

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6 thoughts on “The Hobbit vs. Les Miserables

  1. How can I not comment on a post with this title. I am with you on my love of both stories and I would also give the edge to Les Mis for two reasons. While I love The Hobbit it certainly does not carry with it the depth of LOTR. Not only that but while significant liberties were taken with the text of LOTR (especially The Two Towers), there are even more with The Hobbit which I will find quite bothersome. The themes in LM are so rich and epic. I sense the interplay between Crowe and Jackman is going to be something to behold. While I will definitely see both films, I am afraid LM will be at the top of the list. And, as you indicated, the music is glorious.

    1. The thing with the Hobbit is that when it was written it was just a story about a hobbit going on an adventure. It wasn’t until later that the whole huge backstory was built around it. The ring went from just a magic ring that makes Bilbo invisible to THE ring. They are using a lot of material from the appendix of Return of the King, where all the backstory to the Hobbit is found. The question is how they will portray it since so much is vague. We know the White Council confronts the Necromancer but we have no idea what this looks like. There are also stories in there about the dwarves war with the orcs that would be cool to see.

      At any rate, I do not worry about most of the changes. Such as making one of the elves female – there probably were female elves around and it makes sense to have a few female characters in the movie.

      All that said, the themes in LM are, as you said, “rich and epic”. I have very high hopes for that film. I think my hopes are higher for that actually, as whenever I think of the Hobbit I remember the Phantom Menace.

  2. I have my doubts about Les Mis. Just not sure about the cast.

    If you were putting together a musical, would you pick this cast? Just not sure. Maybe I’ll be surprised.

    I wonder how much of the singing will be lip synced. For me, part of the what it made Les Mis good was the power and passion of the singing. Having seen it a few times, you remember seeing it and commenting on the strength of the singing and comparing it to the original cast. In other words, if the singing ends up being artificial/autotuned/lip synced, I will be disappointed, regardless of the strength of the acting.

    1. Thanks for the comment DB. I know good music when I hear it, but I am not musical enough to be very critical of it. I mean, if it is really bad then I think I’ll know, but I’m sure some friends of mine who have been in musicals and taken voice lessons and all that will have a whole different opinion. Hopefully they’ll do well, but we’ll see.

  3. I am also torn betwen the two. I find Les Miserables easier to use in my work because it is not fantasy, but there is such deepness in Tolkien that is rare in today’s literature.

    1. I think the best thing about a big time Les Miserable movie is that it will be easier to use illustrations from it. Working with college students, some are familiar with it but many are not so you have to explain so much. Hopefully the movie will bring more attention to the story.

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