The epic musical Les Misérables is coming to the big screen, and fans of the musical are eagerly anticipating its release on Christmas Day. There have been many things written about the film of late, most not without strong opinion: some nice things, some not so nice.
After watching the actors pour their hearts and souls out during a preview screening in New York City for 2.5+ hours (singing live, thanks to director Tom Hooper’s genius), I was starving. What was I craving? French food, of course.
Check out our Les Mis Movie Menu to see how the characters and songs from the epic match up with our perfect French recipes.
Hugh Jackman‘s Jean Valjean is heroic and valiant. At one point in the film when he is first released from prison by Russel Crowe’s ruthless (and pitch-less) Javert, Valjean is rescued by a priest who feeds him his first decent meal in nineteen years: stew. Hugh gulps it down eagerly, but probably would have devoured it with even more gusto had it been Laura Calder’s Beef Bourguignon.
Anne Hathaway gives a tremendous performance as Fantine, as her boyish buzz cut and recent Golden Globe nomination attest. Her single-take performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” gave me goosebumps, and just might win her an Oscar. As Fantine (SPOILER ALERT) wastes away in the hospital, I though to myself: Home-girl could use a few cookies. These won’t fix her unfortunate new do, but very well might lighten her spirits and make her forget for a moment that she is working in a sweaty sowing factory and then as a lady of the evening while trying to support her child who’s father left her when autumn came. Sigh – and have another cookie.
“On My Own” is probably the iconic song of Les Mis, sung by the young tatters-wearing mud-smudged Eponine (played by newcomer Samantha Barks). Samantha’s version of the song is good, though it’s tough to beat the Lea’s (Salonga and Michele, of course). I’d like to be “on my own” while indulging in this Moelleux Au Chocolat from Laura Calder so that I could lick the plate clean sans shame.
Eddie Redmayne (who makes a dashing Marius) might be the breakout star of this film, though he is well known in Broadway circles. Though this dish isn’t French, per se, Chuck Hughes’s does fry up these Fried Mars Bars at his Montreal hot-spot Garde Manger. Think them as French-fried candies. Marius, too, could use a few after his perilous fights at the barricade and unconscious journey through the Paris sewers.
Amanda Seyfried plays the quiet, reserved and dainty Cosette, adopted daughter of Valjean. While her soprano notes occasionally feel like a reach, Cosette would definitely reach for these fetchingly composed canapés.
Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen make a devious comic dream team as the Thenardiers, the owners of a bar and inn where stealing and trickery is the norm. While I love a good French rustic dish like these Potatoes a la Bakery, I wouldn’t want to eat the food cooked at the Thenardiers’ for fear of poisoning or cross-contamination. Nevertheless, they should add this classic to their menu for the purpose of attracting more patrons to dupe.