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Targeting 'Les Miserables' to Christians pays off at the box office
In spite of tepid reviews from some film critics, "Les Miserables" is booming at the box office, and that financial success can in part be traced to a group of its biggest boosters: Christians, particularly evangelicals whom NBC Universal went after with a microtargeted marketing strategy.
The story in "Les Miserables" is heavy with Christian themes of grace, mercy and redemption. The line everyone seems to remember is "to love another person is to see the face of God.â€ť
NBC Universal looked to capitalize on those components and promoted the film to pastors, Christian radio hosts and influence-makers in the Christian community....
We saw Les Miserables, which has to be the most explicitly Christian film that I have seen come out of contemporary Hollywood. There are more meaningful unembarrassed referencesâ€“in dialogue, songs, and plot elementsâ€“to God, Jesus, salvation, grace, prayer, and Heaven than in most of the overtly Christian productions that I have seen lately.
The ex-convict Jean Valjean has received the forgiveness of Jesus, thanks to a priest who shows him an inexplicable grace. In response to that forgiveness, Valjean lives a life of sacrificial service to others. His good works are a direct fruit of the Gospel.
Gene Edward Veith is the Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.
Almost any work of fiction can be said to have Biblical themes in it, if one looks hard enough. For example, most novels have growth characters, & superheroes are just another sort of messiah. But that doesn't mean that the author intended it, or that audiences will see it. If it's the Gospel you want, you'll only find it in the Bible.
Once again the term "Christian" being misused as synonymous with "Roman Catholic" and once again evangelicals flocking to the theater to be indoctrinated with Roman Catholic themes, doctrines, etc.
"Let it never be forgotten that even irreligious men, who themselves enjoy the amusements of the theater, lose all respect for ministers when they see them in the play-house. Their common sense tells them that men of such an order are unfit to be their guides in spiritual things." - C.H. Spurgeon