Les Misérables is a classic novel written in 1862 by French novelist, Victor Hugo. The book is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The title is translated from French into The Miserable , The Wretched and The Victims . The story takes place in 1815 and culminates in 1832. The novel follows the lives of several French characters, focusing primarily on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. Les Misérables has been a beloved stage musical around the world for years. This Christmas 2012 , be prepared for a film that will touch hearts, examine laws of nature and grace, architecture of Paris, politics, justice, moral philosophy and romantic and familial love. All the trappings of an Oscar bound film. The incredible cast includes Hugh Jackman , Jean Valijean and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Others include: Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Bohen Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.