This article is about the 2012 film. For the original musical see Les Misérables (musical)


Les Misérables.

Les Misérables is a 2012 film adaptation of the stage musical of the same name. It was directed by Cameron Mackintosh, and features several changes to the original libretto.



In 1815, convict Jean Valjean is released on parole by prison guard Javert after serving a nineteen-year sentence for stealing a loaf of bread and numerous escape attempts. Valjean is refused employment and driven out of every town because of his paroled status. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne, but Valjean steals his silver during the night. When he is captured by the authorities, the Bishop tells them that the silver was given as a gift, securing Valjean's release. The Bishop urges Valjean to do something worthwhile with his life. Moved by the Bishop's grace, Valjean breaks his parole and vows to start a new life under a new identity.

Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais, while Javert has been assigned as his new chief of police. In their initial meeting, Javert recognizes but cannot place his face, but suspects who Valjean is after witnessing him lift a heavy cart to free a trapped man. Meanwhile, Fantine, one of Valjean's workers, is discovered by the other women working there to send money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette, who lives with the unscrupulous Thénardiers and their daughter Éponine. The foreman, angry that Fantine has spurned his advances, dismisses her for promiscuity. In a desperate attempt to support her daughter, Fantine sells her hair and teeth and eventually becomes a prostitute. She is arrested by Javert after attacking an abusive customer, but is saved by Valjean, who has her hospitalized and watches over her.

Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested after Javert files a report against the real Valjean only to be told he had already been apprehended. Because of this, Javert tries to resign his duties, but Valjean refuses, saying that he only did his job. Finally unable to accept that an innocent man could be condemned in his place, Valjean reveals his identity to the court. He returns to the hospital, where he promises Fantine that he will look after her daughter before she dies. Javert arrives to take Valjean into custody, but Valjean pleads for enough time to rescue Cosette. After a brief fight, Valjean jumps into a river to escape. Cosette lives with the Thenardiers dreaming of having a mother. The Thenadiers own an inn where they scam the guests and steal their belongings. He finds Cosette in the woods since the Thenardiers ordered her to draw some water from the well. Valjean pays Fantine's debts, and leaves with Cosette, promising to be like a father to her. Valjean and Cosette flee to Paris. The Thénardiers wonder whether they demanded enough money from Valjean, and how much more money he might have. After Valjean and Cosette escape to a convent, Javert vows to bring the escaped convict to justice.

Nine years later, there is increasing poverty in Paris. Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic towards the poor, is nearing death; therefore a large group of young revolutionary students, known as the Friends of the ABC, plan a rebellion against the French monarchy. The students consist of Marius Pontmercy, Enjolras, Gavroche, Grantaire, Courfeyrac, Combeferre, Joly, and Jean Prouvaire. Marius lives in a small room near the Thénardiers and has become friendly with their daughter, Éponine, who fell deeply in love with him but was merely considered his best friend.

When Valjean and Cosette, now a young woman, are giving alms to the poor, Marius catches a glimpse of Cosette and instantly falls in love. The Thénardiers also see Valjean and believe they now have their chance to extract more money. Valjean and Thénardier argue and Javert arrives to intervene. Valjean and Cosette slip away before Javert can recognize them and Thénardier devises a plot to rob Valjean. Marius pleads with Éponine to find out where Cosette lives so he can see her again.

At the ABC cafe, Enjolras rallies the students when Gavroche brings word that Lamarque has died. Éponine leads Marius to Cosette and the two profess their love, while Éponine laments that her secret love for Marius will go unrequited. As Marius and Cosette conclude their talk, Thénardier's gang arrives to capture Valjean and earn a reward from Javert. Éponine screams to warn Valjean and Cosette enraging Thénardier who slaps her. Valjean decides to flee, unaware of Cosette's desire for Marius. Cosette tries to dissuade him, then asks about her past, and his as well. Valjean declines and she leaves a note for Marius explaining her departure. Éponine finds Cosette's letter to Marius, who is heartbroken to lose the love of his life so soon after he found her. He sends a farewell to Cosette and, having nothing left to live for, joins the revolution. Éponine joins too, disguised as a man, just to be near Marius. Enjolras urges the Parisians to full revolt.

The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque's funeral procession to begin their revolt and build barricades all over the city. Javert poses as a rebel to spy on them, but is quickly exposed by street child Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing battle, Éponine intervenes in standoff between Marius and a soldier at the cost of her own life. She gives Marius the letter Cosette wrote and professes her love to him before she dies in his arms, leaving Marius devastated and heartbroken at the loss of his best friend as well as the revelation of her feelings.

Meanwhile, Marius asks Gavroche to deliver a letter to Cosette. When Gavroche arrives at Valjean's house, Valjean takes the letter and learns of their love. He abandons his plans to flee the country and instead goes to the barricade to protect Marius. After saving Enjolras from a sniper, he is given custody of the prisoner, Javert, whom he says he will execute. However, when the two are alone, Valjean frees Javert who leaves, confused by this act of mercy from a criminal whom he holds in low regard. The students settle down for the night and reminisce. Enjolras tells the other students to stay awake in case the enemy strikes unexpectedly in the night, but he tells Marius to get some sleep, knowing he's still too devastated over losing Éponine to stay awake.

When the Parisians do not join the revolution as they expected, the students resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed except Marius, who is saved when Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers before the army arrives. Thénardier discovers Marius and Valjean and steals Marius's ring before moving on to scavenge other bodies. Valjean attacks Thénardier and demands to know the way out. Thénardier shows the way, and Valjean escapes the sewers carrying Marius, but is confronted by Javert. Valjean begs for one hour to take Marius to a doctor. Javert refuses and threatens to shoot him if he does not surrender. Valjean ignores him and leaves with Marius. Stunned by Valjean's mercy toward him earlier and his own mercy towards Valjean now, and unable to reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he always considered the same, Javert jumps to his death in the Seine.

Marius recovers at his grandfather's home without knowing who rescued him from the barricade. He mourns his friends, and Cosette comforts him. Valjean sees that Cosette and Marius are happy together and believes that his presence can only threaten their happiness. He reveals his past to Marius and tells him he must leave to ensure their safety and happiness. Marius is shocked, and at first attempts to persuade him to stay, but reluctantly accepts Valjean's decision to leave, promising not to tell Cosette that her father is a fugitive.

Marius and Cosette marry, although Cosette is sad that Valjean is not with them. The Thénardiers attempt to crash the reception and tell Marius that they saw his father-in-law carrying a murdered corpse through the sewers. They plan to blackmail him to keep it quiet. As proof, Thénardier shows Marius the ring that he stole from the murder victim in the sewers. Recognizing the ring as his own, Marius realizes it was Valjean who saved his life. The Thénardiers are ejected from the wedding, and Marius and Cosette hurry to find Valjean, who is dying in a local convent. As he perceives Fantine's spirit arriving to take him to heaven, Cosette and Marius rush in to bid him farewell. Valjean hands Cosette a letter of his confession of his past life and joins the spirits of the Bishop, Fantine, Enjolras, Grantaire, Éponine, Gavroche, Courfeyrac, Joly and the other rebels at the holy barricade.

Musical numbers

  • "Look Down" – Convicts, Javert, Valjean
  • "On Parole" – Valjean, Bishop of Digne
  • "The Bishop" – Bishop of Digne
  • "Valjean's Soliloquy" – Valjean
  • "At the End of the Day" – Poor, Foreman, Workers, Factory Women, Fantine, Valjean
  • "The Runaway Cart" – Valjean, Javert
  • "The Docks (Lovely Ladies)" – Sailors, Old Woman, Fantine, Crone, Whores, Pimp, Toothman
  • "I Dreamed a Dream" – Fantine
  • "Fantine's Arrest" – Bamatabois, Fantine, Javert, Valjean
  • "Who Am I?" – Valjean
  • "Fantine's Death" – Fantine, Valjean
  • "The Confrontation" – Javert, Valjean
  • "Castle on a Cloud" – Young Cosette, Mme. Thénardier
  • "Master of the House" – Thénardier, Mme. Thénardier, Inn Patrons
  • "The Well Scene" – Valjean, Young Cosette
  • "The Bargain" – Valjean, Thénardier, Mme. Thénardier
  • "The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery" – Thénardier, Valjean, Mme. Thénardier, Young Cosette
  • "Suddenly" – Valjean
  • "The Convent" – Valjean
  • "Stars" – Javert
  • "Paris/Look Down" – Gavroche, Beggars, Enjolras, Marius, Students
  • "The Robbery" – Thénardier, Mme. Thénardier, Éponine, Valjean
  • "Javert's Intervention" – Javert, Thénardier
  • "Éponine's Errand" - Éponine, Marius
  • "ABC Café/Red and Black" – Students, Enjolras, Marius, Grantaire, Gavroche
  • "In My Life" – Cosette, Valjean, Marius, Éponine
  • "A Heart Full of Love" – Marius, Cosette, Éponine
  • "The Attack on Rue Plumet" – Thénardier, Thieves, Éponine, Valjean
  • "On My Own" – Éponine
  • "One Day More" – Valjean, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Enjolras, Javert, Thénardier, Mme. Thénardier, Company
  • "Do You Hear the People Sing?" – Enjolras, Marius, Students, Beggars
  • "Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones) – Enjolras, Javert, Gavroche, Students
  • "Javert's Arrival" – Javert, Enjolras
  • "Little People" – Gavroche, Students, Enjolras, Javert
  • "A Little Fall of Rain" – Éponine, Marius
  • "Night of Anguish" – Enjolras, Marius, Valjean, Javert, Students
  • "Drink With Me" – Grantaire, Marius, Gavroche, Students
  • "Bring Him Home" – Valjean
  • "Dawn of Anguish" – Enjolras, Marius, Gavroche, Students
  • "The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche)" – Gavroche, Enjolras, Students, Army Officer
  • "The Sewers" – Valjean, Javert
  • "Javert's Suicide" – Javert
  • "Turning" – Parisian women
  • "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" – Marius
  • "A Heart Full of Love" (Reprise) – Marius, Cosette, Valjean, Gillenormand
  • "Valjean's Confession" – Valjean, Marius
  • "Suddenly" (Reprise) – Marius, Cosette
  • "Wedding Chorale" – Chorus, Marius, Thérnardier, Mme. Thérnardier
  • "Beggars at the Feast" – Thénardier, Mme. Thénardier
  • "Valjean's Death" – Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Bishop of Digne
  • "Do You Hear the People Sing?" (Reprise) – Students