Les Mis versions, the grown-up Cosette is almost consistently portrayed as a black tablecloth with cheer curls, one leg already safely planted in the convent. She’s bland, bromidic, and as dull as the water in her chamber pot.
See? Here, Cosette’s just a face with floating hands (and a bad dye job to boot.)
But NOT this Cosette!
Right from the moment when we see her meeting Marius and immediately bond over books, we know Olivia’s approach to portray Cosette is entirely different.
Giddy in anticipation
Look at that smile: she’s the antithesis of dullness
She’s determined to take her life into her own hands. She wants excitement and she wants it now!
More of Cosette in various stages of anticipation and excitement.
In walks trouble: a father is always the notorious killjoy of any kind of fun.
What’s with all this excited giggling I hear?
“So what?” her defiantly pointed chin says.
Valjean’s relationship with his daughter strongly contrasts the abusive one she had with the Thenardiers. His smile is warm, and his hand on her should says, “You’re daddy’s hunnee.”
Yes, but Hunnee’s lonely….
On top of that, she has questions….
“Do you remember when I was young and barefoot and you came with a doll and a wallet…what was that all about?”
What? Tender topic?
“I’ll tell you, soon. But not now. Be patient.” Three common phrases that have as much of a soothing effect on a woman as a square yard of red cloth on a bull.
Ah, the fatherly kiss we all recognize. “Babe, you’re nagging as hell with your questions, and I must’ve been really drunk thinking of ever adopting. But… you’re still my girl.”
Then Marius enters, with shredded nerves.
Coat and tie in coordinating colors, flowers, breath mint. Check, check, check.
Eponine wonders if it’s really a smart decision to lead him to Cosette.
“Damn! Must I always fly the flag of the brokenhearted?”
“What-if’s?” behind the Ficus. It happens to the best of us.
“Damn that little sprig of cowlick!”
Truth be told, the lyrics here don’t really give Marius much to work with.
What kind of a doofus introduces himself with “a heart full of love?”
The flowers can only make up a little for a freaky introduction.
Eponine realizes that in her case, a potted plant is a girl’s best friend.
Cosette’s lyrics aren’t any less stereotypical. To his anguished outcry of “Cosette, I don’t know what to say!” her pragmatic answer is “Then don’t make a sound.” But her radiance and lovely voice make any spectator forget about bad lyrics instantly.
Hunnee’s no longer lonely.
“Are these okay? I mean I bought them fresh. But compliance with environmental standards hasn’t been invented yet. These flowers may have been ripped from the sewers, you just don’t know.” He looks that worried.
She looks thrilled. No worries, Marius.
There’s that half girl/half giggle machine look again. So cute.
Against all of Eponine’s hopes, the couple in blue (they match!) really get along well.
Even the roman soldier in the back discreetly averts his gaze.