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As a young girl I listened to the soundtrack from the West End musical at my grandparents house (they had been to see the live version) and I fell in love with the characters and the songs.
I am not a huge fan of musicals but there is something special about Les Miserables.
Tom Hooper's direction and the cinematography, costumes, art design and editing are genius.
Set in 19th century France. Convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole by prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after serving a nineteen year sentence. Being an ex convict he struggles to find work or shelter.
He is taken in by the Bishop (Colm Wilkinson), but after stealing the church's silver in the night, is caught and returned by the authorities.The Bishop lies that the silver was given to Jean Valjean as a gift to save Valjean from further sentencing. Touched by the Bishop's actions, Valjean makes a vow to God to become an honest man. He breaks his parole and assumes a new identity to start a new life.
We next see Valjean eight years later, a factory owner and Mayor of Montreuil-sur-mer. Fantine,(Anne Hathaway) is one of his workers, but following an argument with other factory women after they discover that she has an illegitimate daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen) whom she sends her wages to, she is fired by the lecherous Foreman.
Fantine still has to find ways to make money to send for the upkeep of Cosette, who lives with an Inkeeper, (Sacha Baron Cohen) his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) and their daughter Eponine (Natalya Angel Wallace) so after selling her hair and two teeth, she has no alternative but to start selling her body and becomes a "lovely lady."
During a violent argument with an abusive client, Fantine lashes out and the Police Inspector, Javert arrives to arrest her. Valjean is at the scene and after hearing her story and realises he could have saved her from this life by not allowing his Foreman to sack her, decides to intervene and takes the sick Fantine to hospital.
He makes a promise to Fantine on her deathbed that he will find Cosette and care for her as if she were his own.
Valjean learns that Javert has wrongly arrested a man he believes is him. After wrestling with his conscience, he decides he cannot condemn an innocent man. He reveals his true identity and leaves to find Cosette, with Javert hot on his trail.
He finds Cosette and pays the Innkeeper and his wife to allow her to leave with him.
Nine years on students Marius,(Eddie Redmayne) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) discuss revolution, they are joined by young street urchin Gavroche. (Daniel Huttlestone)
Marius catches his first glimpse of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) and falls head over heels in love with her. Marius enlists the help of his friend Eponine (Samantha Barks) to find Cosette. After realising her secret love for Marius will never be reciprocated, eponine decides to disguise herself as a male and join the revolution.
During the gunfight at the students barricade, Eponine saves Marius from a fatal shot, by taking the bullet herself.
She confesses her love for him as she lays dying in his arms.
Meanwhile Valjean has intercepted a letter from Marius to Cosette and goes to the barricades to ensure Marius is returned safely. Whilst there Valjean has the chance to execute his sworn enemy Javert, but instead chooses to free him.
The students vowed to fight to the death during their revolution and everyone is killed apart from Marius, who is saved by Valjean carrying his unconscious body through the sewers. Valjean is confronted by Javert at the sewer exit. Javert wrestles with his civil and moral duties and decides he cannot take Valjean's life after he showed him mercy and so he takes his own life!
After Cosette and Marius are reunited and swear to spend their lives together, Valjean reveals the truth about his past to Marius and tells him he must leave to protect Cosette and that Marius must tell her he has had to go away. Cosette is heartbroken.
On their wedding day, events unfold so that Marius learns it was Valjean that saved his life that night by carrying him home through the sewers. He and Cosette learn his location and rush to find him.
In a local convent we find Valjean, dying. Cosette manages to get there in time to say goodbye and Valjean hands her a letter containing his confession of his past life.
The film closes with Valjean's spirit being guided by that of Fantine to the Bishop where he joins the other cast members killed in the Revolution.
A very moving, extremely powerful film that will touch your heart. Excellent acting and some brilliant vocal performances.
My favourite songs: Fantine -"I dreamed a dream"
The students - "Red and Black"
Eponine - "On my own"
Jean Valjean - " Bring him home"
I am always on the look out for a good quality moisturiser that is suitable for my skin. I suffer from the occasional breakout and cannot stand moisturisers that leave my skin feeling greasy.
Whilst in Boots I noticed the Good Things range, one I have not tried before. Whilst not the cheapest range it was not one of the most expensive so I decided to give it a try.
Packaging - Is attractive with a sort of swirly berry plant pattern. It is a 100ml (3.3 fl.oz) flip lid tube.
The Good Things range is a "Free From" range, so that's free from Parabens, Mineral Oils, Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Animal Ingredients which means it only contains Good Things and is suitable for use by Vegetarians and Vegans.
The Product - Smells heavenly. It is Blackcurrant and Goji Berry and the fragrance is long lasting but not overbearing, just right. I squeeze a small amount into my hands and smoothed gently into my skin. The product was very easily absorbed and did not make my skin feel oily in the slightest, just soft and smooth.
Regular use - With regular use I found my skin was less prone to breakouts and looked in a lot better condition. I have finally found the moisturiser that is suitable for me.
I am a mascara addict. I cannot leave the house without eye makeup and a coat or two of mascara!
Over the years I have tried all sorts of makes and price ranges of mascara.
Packaging - Mine is the Christmas edition in an attractive red tube decorated with gold stars and gold wording. It contains 10ml of black mascara.
Mascara brush - Unscrewing the lid reveals the wand/brush which is very sturdy and quite large. The wand coats each lash individually, resulting in no clumping.
Mascara - Is just the right consistency, not too runny so it causes a mess and not too thick so it clumps all of your lashes together. Provides good coverage and results in neatly coated lashes but I wouldn't say it gives much more volume than ordinary mascara.
Long lasting but easy to remove with face wipes or eye make up remover.
A good everyday mascara that results in lovely looking lashes.
Based on a book written by a relative of some of the main characters, entitled "The Wettest County In The World."
Released on 7th September 2012 this film is set in Franklin County, Virginia, in Depression-era. It follows a trio of brothers - the Bondurant boys,(who legend has it are immortal) Forrest, hot-headed Howard and cowardly Jack. The brothers run an illegal distillery and bootlegging business. Special Deputy Rakes (one evil son of a gun) arrives from the city and demands a bribe to allow their business to continue. Obviously the brothers refuse and a whole amount of violence follows.
During the film there are fights, guns, knives and a few romantic moments.
This is not the sort of film I would normally go for but my husband wanted to watch it and I must say I really enjoyed it!
Tom Hardy was truly outstanding in his role of Forrest and I am fast becoming a huge fan of his work.
Directed by John Hillcoat and screenplay written by Nick Cave
Forrest Bondurant - Tom Hardy
Jack Bondurant - Shia LaBeouf
Howard Bondurant - Jason Clarke
Charlie Rakes - Guy Pearce
Tagline-"When the law became corrupt, outlaws became heroes"
Cathy Glass is an amazing author and a truly inspirational lady. She has her own two children in this book, has become a single parent and is still a foster carer. She has been a foster carer for around 28 years and has fostered around 100 children.
This book is based on the true story of young Michael and his father Patrick, who has been battling cancer for some time. Michael's mother died when he was young and his father needs someone to care for him whilst he goes into hospital.
I do not want to go into too much detail regarding the story as I do not want to spoil it but this book is another heart wrenching tale from Cathy Glass. She is one of those authors who have the ability to write in such a way that has the reader totally engrossed. I read this book in a day as i truly could not put it down!
After managing to break my top of the range contract smartphone and having limited cash I needed a reasonably priced replacement!
I trawled the phone shops with my unwilling husband all morning before I settled on the very feminine Samsung Galaxy Ace La Fleur model. Having previously owning two Samsung smart phones and being highly satisfied with them swayed me towards this brand.
Inside the compact packaging is the phone, (which is pure white with a silver floral design in the top left corner and La Fleur in the bottom left corner, the reverse of the phone is largely covered by a silver floral design) a mains power cable (charger,) battery, quick start guide, a USB cable, 2GB Micro SD memory card, an SD card adapter and a pair of hands free black headphones.
Finding my way around this phone was easy and I particularly like the qwerty keyboard for texting.
It is both impressive to look at and to use. Appearance is very similar to the Iphone 4.It has everything you could want in a smartphone, including an Android operating system, GPS / Geo tagging, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, touch screen, Bluetooth and 3G / Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n capabilities.
Powered by an 832 MHz CPU processor, this Samsung Galaxy smartphone delivers a smooth and efficient performance.
There is a Social Hub which incorporates social networking, email and instant messaging.
As for media, it plays both audio and video perfectly. There is also a built in FM tuner.
The 3.5" TFT LCD screen is clear, touch sensitive and easy to use in all lighting.
The 5MP camera takes clear, crisp and sharp, quality pictures, which can be uploaded to your computer or laptop using the USB cable. You can also change the setting from camera to video mode.
The battery lasts a day and my phone is constantly on and more often than not in use. I charge it each night.
This phone comes preinstalled with all the usual apps; Youtube, Maps etc and there are also Samsung apps and Playstore from where you can choose from thousand of apps which are either free or to buy.
Like most phones the pre installed ringtones are not up to much but it is easy to upload music from your computer to the phones music player and set a song of your choice as the ringtone.
If you are something of a deep sleeper then set the alarm to the Rooster ringtone, it wakes me with a start every morning!
One nice feature is that to unlock the phone you simply swipe the screen, there is an automatic lock feature or you simply press a button on the right hand side of the phone to manually lock it.
The notifications panel at the top of the screen is another great feature as when you have a new email, missed call, text etc it appears here and you simply drag the notification panel down and touch the message to be taken straight to the correct app.
With its compact design and tons of powerful features, Galaxy Ace La Fleur is sure to appeal to app lovers, internet and social networking addicts and fashionista's of all ages.