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Old 11-26-2012, 07:27 PM   #136
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Tickets are now on sale!!! Just got my tickets for Christmas morning at the AMC Dine-In theater!! So excited!
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #137
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That featurette about the live singing really explains it - it's sung differently because it's an entirely different medium. They don't have to project to the mezzanine because a film is a much more intimate setting.

It comes back to the debate over how Hathaway is singing "I Dreamed a Dream" - there are those who think it's all wrong because she's not belting it out like Fantine has done on stage. But it's true to where her character is at that point. She's dying, she's lost everything. It's coming from the absolute pit of despair. There's no need for her to belt it in that setting on film.

The 25th Anniversary recording (which is the 2010 London cast, if I remember correctly) is a live recording of the stage version. It's going to sound like the stage version we know, because that's just what it is.

As far as Hugh and Colm, there have been interviews with both about how they took to the role and the differences between singing on stage and for the film:

http://toronto.broadwayworld.com/art...20121120-page2

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What was it like working on the Les Miserables feature film?

I’ve done some film and tv work before, I think The Tudors for example was a great thing for me to do because it helped me get familiar with the technical requirements of working on a movie. All the waiting that you have to do and the methodology that goes into this discipline is very different to someone who is in theatre.

I’m used to walking out on a stage, starting from that moment and going through my whole journey in a two hour period. I stay in that zone and that place. A film is more stop and start and you do different scenes out of sequence so it becomes a lot more challenging. The Bishop’s role is not huge but it was very gratifying to be welcomed by these big time Hollywood actors who seemed genuinely delighted to have me there. I have a lot of respect for them, this is a difficult process with early mornings on strange locations and it is very repetitive. The thing I had to be most aware of was the way I would project. In theatre you project a lot but in movies you can’t do that because of all the close up shots. I learned a lot about how to handle a camera and how much to emote. I would love to do more of it.

We’ve heard a lot about how the actors are all singing live – is that true? What was it like?

It is true and the first time it’s ever been done. It’s extremely difficult because you only have this tiny earpiece and you’re singing to an electric piano in strange locations and often inclement weather. You don’t have the track that they would normally have, they were matching the track to what we did after the fact. So Hugh Jackman had to sing the Prologue to just a tiny electric piano – and I can’t even imagine that. For me you need that weight of the orchestra behind you for that song, it gives you a lift and a blanket and something to coast on. Hearing a tinkly piano that sounds like it’s miles away is very different, and Hugh has my total admiration. It’s unbelievable the discipline and work ethic they all have.

Did you give any of the film stars singing tips?

Not really – obviously Hugh Jackman and I worked together more than the others, but they didn’t need vocal coaching from me. Instead the experience was a bit of coming full circle for me, because the Bishop hands the candlesticks to Valjean at the beginning of the movie and sets him off on his journey, and now I get to send Hugh off on his own journey. It’s a great way to pass the torch and end my association with Les Miserables.
http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/11/2...-hathaway-2/3/

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Let’s talk about two of your co-stars: the first is Colm Wilkinson, who plays the bishop – a man who gives Valjean a shockingly generous gift that allows him to reinvent himself. Wilkinson originated the role of Valjean on Broadway and in London’s West End, so it seems appropriate that he gets to play this critical part in Valjean’s evolution.

He was that first week of shooting, so it felt odd because Colm was one of the most famous people to ever play the role. I saw him a year before when I did the film, when I was doing my one-man stage show, and it was great to meet him and work with him. There was this strange feeling of him saying, ‘Hey man, it’s all yours. It’s all good.’

Since he played Jean Valjean for years, was there anything valuable you picked up from him?

I did ask him a couple questions, but I remember him saying at one point, ‘It doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is you do it your way.’ He said, ‘I’ve been to some shows, and I see them trying to do it the way I did. And I actually didn’t do it the way it was written. In the end, the way it was written didn’t really serve me, so I changed it. And now people think that’s how it was written, when it wasn’t.’

What a very Valjean thing to do – defy the rules.

That’s absolutely right! The other thing he said was he used to read the book periodically when doing the show, because it’s like dipping into gold. I’d read the book a couple of times, and I marked it up so I would read the scene written in the book the night before I would go on and act the scene in the film.
So there you have Colm, encouraging other actors to do their own spin on the character, not just do it how he did it.

I've seen 7 or 8 actors play the role on stage, and each have brought their own thing to it. One of the last Valjeans I saw on Broadway (Randall Keith, I believe) got downright angry during the "He is only a boy" part of 'Bring Him Home', which I'd never seen before and wasn't expecting. It made me see the song a different way than I'd seen and heard before.

That's kind of the beauty of it, after seeing the show so many times and hearing so many recordings. Everyone has their own way of doing the role. Obviously, they were directed to sing the way they do in the film too, but it makes sense to me that they wouldn't just be replicating the recordings.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenM View Post
That featurette about the live singing really explains it - it's sung differently because it's an entirely different medium. They don't have to project to the mezzanine because a film is a much more intimate setting.

It comes back to the debate over how Hathaway is singing "I Dreamed a Dream" - there are those who think it's all wrong because she's not belting it out like Fantine has done on stage. But it's true to where her character is at that point. She's dying, she's lost everything. It's coming from the absolute pit of despair. There's no need for her to belt it in that setting on film.
I'm not talking about them belting or not belting.

The interview is interesting though.

However, when Colm was originating the role, I think think one does end up making it different than it was written. I've been to playreadings at various stages of production. The purpose is so the writer can HEAR the dialogue and whether it works as it is coming out of a real person and if it works. They rely on the performers to help them flesh out a new/beginning work.

And I did say that many of you will like Hugh Jackman's version. _I_ don't care for it, as of right now. I may if I see it again. Jen, you sound like you are trying to debate me about whether I should like how Hugh did the film?
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Imzadi View Post
I'm not talking about them belting or not belting.

The interview is interesting though.

However, when Colm was originating the role, I think think one does end up making it different than it was written. I've been to playreadings at various stages of production. The purpose is so the writer can HEAR the dialogue and whether it works as it is coming out of a real person and if it works. They rely on the performers to help them flesh out a new/beginning work.

And I did say that many of you will like Hugh Jackman's version. _I_ don't care for it, as of right now. I may if I see it again. Jen, you sound like you are trying to debate me about whether I should like how Hugh did the film?
No, not debating at all. Just discussing the differences in adapting to different mediums and referencing a few things the actors have said about the changes they've made from the stage. Certainly not trying to change your mind - especially since I haven't even seen the movie myself yet!

I've been to readings and rehearsals of shows too, and seen the way they've changed along the way. And with a long-running show like Les Miz, there have been so many actors bringing their own thing to the role. It's always been one of the things I've loved about live theater. And those roles are as much about the acting as they are about the singing.

And I'm adaptable with Hugh - I loved his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at his one-man show last year, even though it was a different version of the Judy Garland version.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:18 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by JenM View Post
No, not debating at all. Just discussing the differences in adapting to different mediums and referencing a few things the actors have said about the changes they've made from the stage. Certainly not trying to change your mind - especially since I haven't even seen the movie myself yet!

I've been to readings and rehearsals of shows too, and seen the way they've changed along the way. And with a long-running show like Les Miz, there have been so many actors bringing their own thing to the role. It's always been one of the things I've loved about live theater. And those roles are as much about the acting as they are about the singing.

And I'm adaptable with Hugh - I loved his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at his one-man show last year, even though it was a different version of the Judy Garland version.
I guess it's hard for me to figure out how to talk about this right now. I can't wait till you guys see the film then we can all really discuss all the different points of views.

I can't wait for the first person to say, "I didn't notice any difference in how he sung it? After all that, I was waiting for it to be so different???


When I was a teen, I took piano lessons with a woman who was a real stickler for counting music. Up until then, I used to just "feel" the music. I think that was closer to how this cast is interpreting their songs. I guess somewhere along the way, my teacher's drilling about music having a structure must have rubbed off a bit.


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And I'm adaptable with Hugh - I loved his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at his one-man show last year, even though it was a different version of the Judy Garland version.
That's a pretty version of "Rainbow." I remember hearing something similar at the end of the movie, "50 First Dates." It has a nice island feel to it. That's obviously not on my "Don't Mess With These Songs," list. And I wish Hugh had sung like that in Les Mis.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #141
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I think it is in the interpretation of the music.

Even with the same notes and rests, all artists will reflect, introspect, and try different ways to express emotion and feeling, either in their acting, or, in musicals, with their singing.

And that is not a bad thing. As great as Colm Wilkinson was, as Alfie Boe was, etc - I would not want to see Hugh do essentially an impression of either of them. I want to see Hugh singing.


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And I'm adaptable with Hugh - I loved his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at his one-man show last year, even though it was a different version of the Judy Garland version.
To me, Hugh's version of "Over the Rainbow" is similar to the late Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Deb in IA View Post
I think it is in the interpretation of the music.

Even with the same notes and rests, all artists will reflect, introspect, and try different ways to express emotion and feeling, either in their acting, or, in musicals, with their singing.

And that is not a bad thing. As great as Colm Wilkinson was, as Alfie Boe was, etc - I would not want to see Hugh do essentially an impression of either of them. I want to see Hugh singing.
Exactly. It's just the interpretation of the music for the film.

Quote:
To me, Hugh's version of "Over the Rainbow" is a version of the late Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k
Yep! I love that version. When Hugh performed it, he told a story about how he'd lived in the outback for a semester during college and loved it so much he wanted to stay. That didn't happen, but he got to go back with his son when he was filming Australia there. For the show, he performed the song accompanied by didgeridoo players and Aboriginal singers. It was so cool. I heard at a few of the performances his son played didgeridoo as well.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:45 PM   #143
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Imzadi--

I wanted to thank you for the review. I appreciate yuor thoughtful review and personally can't wait to see it so we all can discuss. I am not as huge a fan as you are and have only seen it live once. I have watched the 25th anniversary a number of times but don't have the history that some on the board may have.

And thanks for posting the pics of the screeners. I miss those days. For years my husband was in the Screen Writer's Guild and we recieved the screeners and invites for showings. It was great fun and I never appreciated it enough.

We stil have a stack of screeners from 6 years ago that he doesn't want to get rid of because he is afraid of getting in trouble!

Can't wait to see this.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #144
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I found this on Pinterest:






To repin it: http://pinterest.com/pin/274227064780493001/

Original link from Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80180128...e_id=265313601
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #145
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Imzadi--

I wanted to thank you for the review. I appreciate yuor thoughtful review and personally can't wait to see it so we all can discuss. I am not as huge a fan as you are and have only seen it live once. I have watched the 25th anniversary a number of times but don't have the history that some on the board may have.

And thanks for posting the pics of the screeners. I miss those days. For years my husband was in the Screen Writer's Guild and we recieved the screeners and invites for showings. It was great fun and I never appreciated it enough.

We stil have a stack of screeners from 6 years ago that he doesn't want to get rid of because he is afraid of getting in trouble!

Can't wait to see this.
My friend texted me that she received 10 more screeners yesterday! They are doing a final push before the ballots have to be sent in next week.
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and maybe even more, there is only one of each of us. Don't destroy the one named Kirk."
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:02 PM   #146
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Okay, I'm back from seeing the SAG/Directors/Writers Guilds screening and still collecting my thoughts. This is LOOOOONG!

What I didn't know was that the director, Tom Hooper, and some of the cast of the film, (Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), & Samantha Barks (Eponine), were going to do a Question & Answer session after the film.

I've never really been to one of these award nomination screenings before. I did see Lincoln & Flight with my friend who got on the SAG Nominating Committee, but those were smaller screenings and they didn't have a Q&A session afterwards, and no one special was in the audience of those.

This time I realized tonight was going to be different as I was waiting at the corner to cross the street to get to the theatre and I heard this woman standing behind me and say to her friends something about what Fantine does in the movie.

I turned around at that point to nod at her and I realized I was staring at Frances McDormand and her husband, (director) Joel Coen. When we all get across the street, they didn't know which theatre to go to, (we were at Lincoln Center,) and I told them Les Mis is at Alice Tully Hall, and then went off to find my friend, so they didn't think they suddenly got a hanger-on, joining them.

Tom Hooper, the director came out to introduce the film. He said we are first audience to see the world premiere of the film. So he was getting our reaction to the finished film for the first time (as well as the cast who'd be watching with all of us.)

Alice Tully Hall is rather large as it's really a concert hall. It seats about 1000 people and unfortunately we were about 2/3s of the way back. I'm not used to seeing films or (Les Mis) that far back. The farthest back I ever sat to see Les Mis, on Broadway was about 20 rows back. Films usually about the same. So I think that kind of skewed some of my reaction to seeing this movie for me. I wasn't in it, engrossed as much in the film as I normally am. But, it could also be because I know the play & the music so well and I was expecting certain things. I will have to go back and see it a lot closer, the way I usually see movies. And to go back, now that I do know how the movie was done, to see if my second reaction will be different because I'm no longer expecting to see & hear things from the live musical & PBS 25th Anniversary version.

Anne Hathaway said afterward, that there just might be some Les Mis "purists" out there who will prefer the original Broadway Cast recording or the 25th Anniversary version over the movie version, and that that she hopes the movie version will just be viewed as another interpretation and a different exploration and way to do the book/musical: as a film.

So, at this point, I'm to sure what to say about what I think. This is odd for me. I'm used to seeing things at the same time as everyone else on a thread and we collectively talk about it together and share thoughts & reactions. I am mindful of what Deb in IA said about not giving spoilers, and also, as you guys have to wait a whole month before you can see it, I don't want to say something that may make you feel disappointed or less enthusiastic about seeing the film.

I don't want to do that to you. I think many/most of you will LOVE Les Mis, the movie. Many of the audience at the Q&A said how much they loved the film. A few men openly admitted they cried during the film. There are parts that are special.

But, I personally have mixed feelings & thoughts about the film. And I realized it is because I have seen the Broadway show 4 times, twice with Colm Wilkinson & the original cast. And also have seen the 25th Anniversary production on PBS countless times. Tom Hooper, the director, referred to the musical as a "singing-through" musical. Meaning they sing throughout the whole musical and very little to no dialogue. Sweeney Todd is the same way. JC Superstar is the same way. So to me, a musical that is carried totally by song & music means the singing has to be exceptional.

. . . And that's where I personally have a problem with the film version and one actor's choices in particular. I've heard the original cast album & the 25th Anniversary version far too much and am probably more of a Les Mis "purist" as Anne Hathaway said, than even I realized. And I think my reaction is going to be different than 87% of everyone else who will see the film. So, i don't want my feelings to influence your anticipation of seeing it.

Tom Hooper also said live theatre, not just Broadway, is actually an urban-centric thing. Many people around the world, and indeed, even in the sticks of the U.S. do not have live (community) theatre the way we do in the big cities. So again, I am struck by how my reaction will be different from many.

I think many of you who have not seen the Broadway version, or a touring company/community theatre version and have nothing to compare the movie with will love the film. It's big, splashy, epic. Those who have not seen Colm Wilkinson or Alfie Boe sing Valjean, and love Hugh Jackman will love Hugh Jackman.

There are some wonderful, surprising performances. It was actually great sitting in a closed film industry audience (plus guests.) For me, this is about as close to sitting in the SAG Awards audience as I will ever get. We actually applauded after certain songs as we knew the real cast members were there. It was just like sitting for a live show. When Helena Bonham Carter first appeared on screen, we all had a wonderful reaction to just seeing her. She's such a hoot! (She & the director did The King's Speech, together.)

Sacha Baron Cohen was surprisingly delightful. I usually hate the Thénardiers. But they truly were funny and played off of each other well. Sasha can actually sing!

The kid who sang as Gavroche was great. He will be a star someday.

We all knew Amanda Seyfried can sing, from seeing her in Mama Mia. Marius was just as great of a singer. He matched her well.

Samantha Barks, who sang in the 25th Anniversary PBS production gave a stellar performance as usual. She said this was her first film role, and she pulled it off brilliantly. On another current Les Mis thread, someone questioned bringing Broadway level actors to sing the movie roles, saying that they'd be too much over the top for the masses. Samantha proved, NO, you bring in a brilliant performer/singer and she'd be perfect for the role.

In fact the whole rest of the non-star ensemble cast was truly a very tight, very talented singing ensemble. All the women wh*res & all the men in the revolution were of Broadway singing calibre. I almost wanted to stand up and sing, "Do yo hear the people sing? It is the song of angry men," with them.


So then we get down to the three stars:

Anne Hathaway, I was ready to hate her. I had seen the previews and wasn't sure she could pull off Fantine. She kept pausing so much. But, I was pleasantly surprised. She could sing and she acted the role well. In context, what looked choppy in the previews all fit together.

Anne said at the Q&A that she decided NOT to listen to Patti LuPone's version of Fantine, until after she finished filming. She said she knew there was no way she could sing as well as Patti and others who have sung Fantine. That Patti had set a standard that was extremely high and that she couldn't match it. She only hoped she could do it differently.

It should also be noted, as the director shot them singing LIVE, almost all the singing performances were shot in one long continuous takes. Very little cutting & splicing together from different takes. The singers were singing live with an ear prompter in their ear, with a piano in another room following the singer's lead. Tom said, he realized in the editing room as different takes were sung in different tempos or different acting choices made, that he couldn't really cut different takes together. So most of all the songs in the film were in one take.

Then there's Russell Crowe. . . umm. . . . . . well. . . . . . Russell looks great as the part. . . We know he can play tough & strong. [/I]Heck, he's been known in real life to trash hotel rooms & throw hotel phones at bellhops. So we know he has a rage that goes deep. . . Unfortunately, he doesn't have the voice to match his looks - or the role. He's the friggin Antagonist! Anyone who has studied literature knows that the Antagonist is supposed to be dark & tough and deep. He is the underbelly in the book/play/movie. He constantly goads & clashes with the Protagonist/Hero. You'd think he'd have a dark & tough & deep voice to match. But, no, there's Russell with a high, nasal, weak voice. Russell LOOKS great as the character. Could act the role. But his voice doesn't match his looks. Russell doesn't have a strong, deep cahones voice to match his other cahones. Every time he sang I just shook my head.

At first, I thought, why don't they lower the key of his songs to match where Russell can sing. His songs should be lower for him. It's obvious the songs are too high & weak for him. He sounds like he is straining at his upper range and he doesn't have the training for it. Then I realized most of his songs are sung with Hugh Jackman, and they sing the songs to showcase Hugh's range, not Russell. Makes me wonder if when Russell auditioned, if he auditioned, if he had sung a great song in his baritone/bass range. But, it wasn't until he & Hugh rehearsed & sang together that they realized Russell couldn't really sing in the same key as Hugh. But they didn't recast him.

So, if you haven't seen the live musical at all you can end the review right here. You'll be happy seeing the film and will love it.


. . . But, if you have seen Colm Wilkinson/Alfie Boe, have worn through your cassette of Les Mis and had to buy a new copy and think you might be one of the 13% of the Les Mis "purists" or even 25% who are borderline in that direction, then here is my review of Hugh Jackman:

Hugh, great actor. Great award show host. It was evident he put his whole heart & soul into the role of Jean Valjean. The hair & makeup was great. During the Q&A someone even remarked how in the first 7 minutes of the film we are all looking for Hugh Jackman, and can't find him on screen, as he doesn't look like "Hugh Jackman."

Unfortunately, what I wrote earlier that Anne Hathaway said, "That Patti had set a standard that was extremely high and that she couldn't match it. She only hoped she could do it differently." I think Hugh felt the same way. There was no way he could match the power & beauty & standard of Colm Wilkinson or Alfie Boe's singing, so he did it differently: He sang/spoke most of his solo songs. When I say sang/spoke, I mean like how Rex Harrison sang/spoke his songs in My Fair Lady. Hugh acted the songs instead. In fact, he tried so hard, he kind of seemed to be pushing and over-acting a little at times to make up for not singing. "Here I'm speaking the role, as I'm acting it."

It might have worked except for a couple things. While he was talking the lyrics, unfortunately, the orchestra was still PLAYING THE MELODY!!! So those of us who know the melody forward and backwards, are still hearing the real melody, while Hugh is speaking it and pausing instead. They should have just played a single, long chord and let him do what he wanted. But when the still play the melody, he sounds out of sync. It kept throwing me out of the song, (along with sitting too far back.) Instinctively, you want to hum or sing the real song as you full well know it. It's like when famous singers sing the Star Spangled Banner and put their own spin on it. After the fourth song of Hugh doing this, I almost said out loud, "Oh, will you effing sing the friggin song already!"

Vajean has two very important songs that are the heart & soul of Jean Valjean, and if these songs do not catch the audience right, then people are basically sitting there for a long 2 1/2 hours as one doesn't quite connect with Valjean. They also highlight the star's singing. They are "Who Am I?" in which he didn't even sing his own name at the end! And "Bring Him Home." This is the first time in 25 years of listening to that song that I didn't cry. Sometimes I listen to that song over and over, and cry each time. Hugh actually did sing "Bring Him Home," but by that point, I just wasn't into it enough. I was watching as an observer. If anything because he finally did sing that song, he only highlighted that he doesn't have Colm or Alfie's voice. Had he just been singing straight away, the whole two hours before, I might have gotten used to listening to Hugh's singing the whole time.

Also, Colm Wilkinson was in the movie. I heard him before I recognized him. His voice is unmistakeable as one graced by God. He even toned it down for the performance. But, even a diamond in the dark will flash brilliantly if a glint of light catches it. And it only highlighted the difference in his voice from Hugh's, and why Hugh probably made the speaking choices he made.

Secondly, it doesn't work that Hugh is pretty much the only one singing/speaking as every. other. singer. SANG. their. whole. songs. Even Anne Hathaway's song, she SANG - haltingly - fading away - but she SANG the MELODY. She didn't speak while fading away. She sang. Hugh pretty much only sang throughout when he was singing duets or trios with the other singers. Kind of because they were singing, so he sang all the way through too.

So while I think this was a great, ambitious production, and a lot to like. But, because in my opinion, that the two lead characters are rather weak in performance in various ways, if I personally had to choose which I prefer, I would choose the 25th Anniversary show or listen to the Original Broadway cast album.


Off to work. Will answer any posts much later.
Interesting and objective review.

I haven't seen this film yet, but I remember when Evita came out on film, and my reaction to that movie is similar to the reaction you had to Les Miz. I want to see this movie and see if I agree with you.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #147
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New clip! "A Heart Full of Love". Eddie Redmayne, adorable!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVFr56GR1mo&noredirect=1

This clip was filmed off of someone's TV screen, but still has some new clips: a little of the prologue between Valjean and Javert, and a bit of "Who Am I?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K22FU...ature=youtu.be

And one more clip! The Tokyo premiere this week - the whole crowd sang 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' and there are snippets of interviews with Hugh and Anne.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...eer-skirt.html

Last edited by JenM; 11-30-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #148
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Oh, Imzadi, thank you for the review. I am the original poster in this thread and have been reading but not posting. I'm very glad you took the time to post such a thorough review. I am, obviously, a Les Mis purist. Colm, Alfie, and John Owen Jones portrayed Valjean to perfection. I had begun to think, from the trailers, etc, that Hugh might not hit in the same category as those stage actors. To read that he sung/spoke in the style of Rex Harrison just breaks my heart. I had suspected that Russell Crowe would have difficulty with his voice as Javert.

I am, however, a huge fan of Samantha, so I'm really looking forward to seeing her. As for Anne Hathaway, I'll enjoy watching her, but I had so hoped Lea might be Fantine.

Sigh....I'm excited but not quite as excited now. I'm glad you posted because I would rather go in knowing what you thought than be disappointed by not knowing. I think I better prepare my future (as in next year) theatre major DD for this, too. In our household, we are Les Mis purists, for sure.

But...we love the Thénardiers!
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:32 PM   #149
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Michael Ball, the original London Marius (who also played Marius in the 10th Anniversary concert), tweeted about the movie:

https://twitter.com/mrmichaelball/st...73765892968448

Quote:
@mrmichaelball
Just back from a screening of the Les Mis movie and not allowed to write about it, but you wait. It is bloody marvellous. More when I can!!
And the usually unbearably snarky Michael Reidel of the NY Post chimes in:

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainmen...1KHgaZ4aDKxAZP

Quote:
Vive ‘Les Miz’: B’way abuzz over film version
By MICHAEL RIEDEL

At last Broadway has a hit!

The only trouble is, you won’t find it on the stage.

The theater world’s buzzing about Cameron Mackintosh’s “Les Misérables” movie. Not since “Chicago” has a film adaptation of a stage show generated this much excitement around Shubert Alley.

The other night at Sardi’s, a bunch of top producers and theater owners gathered around the second-floor bar to raise a holiday glass. The talk was of two things: how soft business is these days — and the “Les Miz” movie.

“I hear, right from the horse’s mouth, that it’s great,” one producer said.

The horse is, of course, Mackintosh himself, the irrepressible British impresario who’s said to own 75 percent of the stage musical, which has a worldwide gross of more than $3 billion.

Mackintosh has been hopscotching the globe — London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York — talking up the movie, and he’s over the moon about the reception it’s been getting at early screenings. I attended one last week and can report that the audience applauded the big numbers as if they were watching a live stage version — and they stood at the end.

I’ll leave the reviewing to my colleague Lou Lumenick, who’s seeing “Les Miz” next week, but let me put in a good word for Anne Hathaway, who plays Fantine.

Hathaway reportedly lost 25 pounds for the role. She is heart-breakingly thin as this poor woman who’s ground into oblivion by the cruel Paris of Victor Hugo.

And she sings the hell out of “I Dreamed a Dream,” with Herbert Kretzmer’s powerful English lyrics — “But the tigers come at night/With their voices soft as thunder.”

Alain Boublil, the show’s librettist, originally wrote the lyrics in French.

“Anne was reinventing the song from Day One,” says Boublil. “After Patti LuPone and Susan Boyle and the 200 other recordings of the song, she has found a completely new way into it.”

Hathaway has a very simple explanation for how she pulled it off: “I didn’t listen to Patti LuPone until after I sung it!”

The song is all the more powerful because Boublil switched its location. In the stage version, it comes after Fantine’s been let go from the factory. In the movie, it comes after she’s been raped.

“It is in a much more dramatic — and cinematic — place now,” Boublil says. “You feel you are digging inside her head, inside her soul.”

Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, who wrote “Les Misérables” for a Paris production in 1980, began thinking about turning it into a movie 20 years ago. Alan Parker was going to direct and had even made several models of the set. But he got cold feet at the last minute about doing a sung-through movie. A few years later, however, he did “Evita” with Madonna.

“In the cinema, you don’t have an explanation for these things,” says Boublil. “Things go very well one day, and then one day, suddenly, they don’t. But I’m rather glad it didn’t happen then. I don’t think we knew exactly how to do it.”

A key decision director Tom Hooper made, with encouragement from Boublil and Schönberg, was to have the actors sing live during the shooting.

“There was a man in a glass booth on the set playing the piano,” says Boublil. “He was the only person in contact with the performers. They had an invisible earpiece so they could hear him. Because it is so intimate, they are expressing their real feeling, their inner thoughts. There is, I hope, a lack of artifice. You should forget that they are singing.”

Another benefit of delaying the movie 20 years was getting Hugh Jackman, who plays Jean Valjean.

“I always say that when we conceived the idea of turning ‘Les Misérables’ into a musical, Hugh Jackman was 6,” says Boublil. “Twenty years ago, we toyed with using famous actors, but there was no obvious choice. Hugh is the obvious choice.”

As they say in France, d es Oscars pour tout le monde!
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:37 PM   #150
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And more behind-the-scenes footage, with new clips:

http://watch.accesshollywood.com/vid.../2000875091001
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