The music of Les Misérables has been in circulation for more than 30 years, and those who are old enough to remember can sing every song by heart.
Based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, the musical version of Les Misérables debuted in 1980 with music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and a libretto by Alain Boublil. An English language version appeared in London in 1985.
Even those who haven’t seen the entire work on stage might have seen the concert version or at least encountered the music at a high school talent show, as did Katie Holmes on a very special episode of “Dawson’s Creek.”
The film version, released on Christmas day, stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen; who bring the power of redemption (and a raging case of tuberculosis) to a whole new generation.
On the internet, the revolution has begun for both superfans and first-time viewers. Here are our favorite memes so far.
1. Les Mis by the Numbers
To catch up on the highlights, the Official Website has an infographic detailing the origins and performance history of the world’s longest-running musical. Fun fact: each performance requires 392 different costumes and 86 wigs.
GetGlue’s opening weekend sticker features the delightfully dishonest masters of the house, played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. Bless them for being so funny — that movie was longer than the line at the box office.
3. Now Life Has Killed a Dream Anne Hathaway Dreamed
The film, a.k.a. the world’s longest Sinéad O’Connor video, shows an extreme close-up of every character singing one of the musical’s numerous tear-jerkers with their emotions laid bare on the big screen. Naturally, there’s a GIF for each performance on Tumblr.
It might have seemed weird to people who haven’t seen Les Mis 800 times already, but for the 60 million of us who have, it was interesting to hear the actors choke-whispering to the camera instead of belting to an audience. Especially this lady here.
4. All Eddie Redmayne’s Friends are Dead
Someone wrote a new page for this picture book by Avery Monsen and Jory John and posted it on Tumblr.
Empty chairs at empty tables. So sad and so true.
Pinterest users still can’t believe how tiny Samantha Barks’ waist is.