'Les Miserables' Production Donates Money to English Church

The production team for the blockbuster 2012 adaptation of "Les Miserables" has donated money to the church in England where they filmed some of the scenes for the movie.

Star Pulse reports that the producers donated the equivalent of $16,000 to the St. Mary the Virgin Church of the town of Ewelme, located in Oxfordshire. The Rev. Jonathan Meyer, vicar of St. Mary the Virgin, told Star Pulse that the filming taking place at the Ewelme was a positive experience as "the spiritual message of the film brought everyone together."

The news came as the latest film adaption of the musical based on the 19th century Victor Hugo novel continues to score big at the box office both in the United States and the United Kingdom. BBC reported on Wednesday that the film broke the record for highest grossing opening weekend for a movie musical, beating out former record holder Momma Mia! (2008).

In the United States, "Les Miserables" has taken in over $118 million including $28 million in its opening weekend and about $9.6 million since last Sunday.

It also received eight Academy Awards nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Hugh Jackman), and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Anne Hathaway).

Many social commentators and fans of the story have noted the Christian elements that pervade the tale of forgiveness, redemption, and the law. Bob Hoose, movie reviewer for the Focus on the Family publication, wrote of the presence of Christian belief throughout the work.

"Les Misérables makes it clear that we wretched humans can only truly find freedom by forgiving and loving one another," wrote Hoose. "And we can only do that by openly accepting God's redemption. God's. Not just one merciful man's. And that's a beautiful song indeed."

According to Star Pulse, the congregation of St. Mary the Virgin in Ewelme plans to use the donation to pay for some renovations, including a new heating system.

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