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Les Miserables: a Reflection of the Times

Victor's Hugo's classic novel Les Miserables was turned into a smash-hit musical that was seen by 60 million people worldwide and performed more than 10,000 times on the West End alone.

Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Hugh Jackman attend the World Premiere of 'Les Miserables' at Odeon Leicester Square on December 5, 2012 in London, England.
Dave M. Benett | WireImage | Getty Images
Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Hugh Jackman attend the World Premiere of 'Les Miserables' at Odeon Leicester Square on December 5, 2012 in London, England.

Now the musical is a major motion picture directed by academy-award winner Tom Hooper,and starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe.

The musical deals with themes of forgiveness, class warfare and disparity between the rich and the poor. The actors starring in the film told CNBC that now was a particularly important moment to bring the musical to the big screen.

"When we were making this film, every day going to work, reading the newspaper, there was something relevant in the headlines that related to what the film was about. ..Whether it was what was going on in Wall Street, the protests there,or in St. Paul's in London, or what was happening in the Middle East, it felt continually relevant," said Eddie Redmayne who plays student rebel Marius in the film.

Hugh Jackman, the star of the film, who played iconic literary character Jean Valjean agreed that this year was particularly timely for the film to be released.

"Of course, the Occupy movement was on, the Arab Spring movement, the recession, the disparity between rich and poor seems to be overgrowing and it seems to be what Hugo was talking about," Jackman told CNBC.

Les Miserables is released in the United States on December 25th, and January 11th in the UK.

Writing by Sarah Rappaport, Reporting by Karen Tso

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