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Old 11-20-2012, 10:45 PM   #121
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It's on 49th, between 7th and Broadway. It's a block up from Book of Mormon/Chicago.
Thanks. The next time I'm headed that way for the subway, I'll have to remember to look up.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:19 PM   #122
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I just saw the US Tour on Saturday and the production was wonderful. I've been on pins and needles about the movie all along but I'm even more excited to see it with the stage version fresh in my mind. Can't wait to see the tweaks and adaptations they make to the treatment.

I can never get through "to love another person is to see the face of God" without choking up. Even if I'm just listening to the soundtrack in the car, that line does me in every time.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #123
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[B]WooHoo!!! I get to see an advanced screening of Les Mis on Black Friday!!
Waiting for your review!
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:01 PM   #124
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Billboard near Times Square!

I saw this today when I was taking my daughter to the Lion King theatre. It looks awesome!

Question - do people expect Anne Hathaway to be nominated for 'Best Actress' or 'Best Supporting Actress'? Just curious, because although Fantine is a pivotal character, she's only in what, like 30% of the book/play/film? Much less than Javert, for example, but I would expect he would be a 'supporting actor' catergory (not saying Crowe would be nominated, but speaking theoretically). Basing solely on the play, adult Cosette is in more of it than Fantine is.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:19 PM   #125
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I saw this today when I was taking my daughter to the Lion King theatre. It looks awesome!

Question - do people expect Anne Hathaway to be nominated for 'Best Actress' or 'Best Supporting Actress'? Just curious, because although Fantine is a pivotal character, she's only in what, like 30% of the book/play/film? Much less than Javert, for example, but I would expect he would be a 'supporting actor' catergory (not saying Crowe would be nominated, but speaking theoretically). Basing solely on the play, adult Cosette is in more of it than Fantine is.
She was submitted by the studio for "Best Supporting Actress", along with Samantha Barks and Amanda Seyfried. Everything I've heard from the screening so far is that Hathaway is going to walk away with it easily.

They're submitting Russell Crowe for consideration as 'Best Supporting Actor' and Hugh Jackman for 'Best Actor.'
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:33 PM   #126
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She was submitted by the studio for "Best Supporting Actress", along with Samantha Barks and Amanda Seyfried. Everything I've heard from the screening so far is that Hathaway is going to walk away with it easily.

They're submitting Russell Crowe for consideration as 'Best Supporting Actor' and Hugh Jackman for 'Best Actor.'
Cool. Thanks. So there is no 'lead actress' per se. Interesting.

And, while I love Fantine (esp after becoming a mom myself, jeez, she kills me!), Eponine is the female character I dream of performing. Enroljas is the male one
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:33 AM   #127
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Waiting for your review!
Me too!
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #128
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WooHoo!!! I get to see an advanced screening of Les Mis on Black Friday!!!
A friend on mine is on the SAG Awards Nominating Committee and she has invited me to several screenings of various films. One of them is Les Mis!

I'll report in after I've seen it. I'll have to buy an extra box of Kleenex to make it through the movie. I've seen the Broadway show 3 or 4 times. Cried each time. I can't wait!
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Waiting for your review!
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.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #129
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Thanks for the great objective review. I'm one of the purist so I will wait for this on dvd. Your absolutely right, Colm Wilkerson is without a doubt the standard I hold my versions to. I have two sets of the 25th anniversary, one for work and home. One of the big reasons I'm getting excited for my trip to London is to see the London theater version. LOL. I realize I am lucky to live in a region where live theater is available 365 days a year, so I'll hold out.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:51 PM   #130
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Thanks for the great review Imzadi! What an exciting experience to be there with the director and cast! I'm a middle of the road Les Mis fan. I'm not a purist, but I have listened to the original and 25th anniversary cast on youtube numerous times. I've seen 1 touring production during the 25th tour. I had a feeling that Crowe wouldn't quite deliver during the songs, but was on the fence about Jackman. Feel free to post any more reactions that you remember. I love reading reviews before I see a film.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #131
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Russell Crowe can't sing- anyone who has heard one of his albums could have told the directors that. his singing is a long running joke in Australia.

Hugh has an incredible and strong voice. have seen him in a number of shows- Oklahoma, beauty and the beast as gaston, boy from oz. have also seen him sing on tv a lot- maybe the way he was 'directed'. the arrangement may be deliberately different.

I've seen les mis a few times and my thoughts were he could do it standing on his head from my. experience

guess ill just have to check it out
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #132
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Great review Imzadi! Sounds like an amazing experience.

I'm by no means a purist. To quote Anne Hathaway's other big movie this year, "I'm adaptable."

I'm definitely not expecting a direct replica of the stage version or any of the cast albums. It's an entirely different medium, so it will be adapted differently. After reading the script that leaked last month and just some changes evident from the trailers, it was clear it was going to be different, and it would be bringing in more of the original Victor Hugo novel (something I'm looking forward to, since I love the novel).

I've seen Hugh Jackman on Broadway 9 times, and as delightful of a singer as he is, I know full well that he's not in the range of a Colm Wilkinson or Alfie Boe vocally, so I'm not expecting him to sound like either of them. He's a wonderful actor though (and still a great singer!), and to see him playing that character, not just how he was on stage, but as Hugo wrote him, is something I can't wait to see. Something die-hard Wolverine fans have griped about for years is that Hugh's nice-guy status in real life has hamped his ability to bring out Wolverine's full ferocity on screen, but I've thought that heart in his performances is something that will be perfect for Valjean.

Btw, Imzadi - how was the new song ("Suddenly")? I heard a song was cut as well (I know which one, but I don't want to spoil it). Did the scene work without it?

Anne Hathway blew me away in the trailers, so I can't wait to see the rest of that. I've been reading she's got the Oscar locked since the screenings of the rough cut started a few weeks back. Russell Crowe sounds about what I expected, I heard mixed reviews on him from the screenings yesterday.

There aren't any *official* reviews out, since there's an embargo on reviews until 12/11, but there are some more reactions to the screening floating around the interwebs. Here are some clips:

Quote:
http://www.awardscircuit.com/2012/11...-ny-screening/
(this guy actually did review it, but took it down due to the embargo) He said this before it was taken down (it was posted somewhere else):

Les Miserables is not only stunningly powerful, and beautifully crafted, it’s the best stage musical adaptation since Rob Marshall’s Chicago (2002). Incredibly moving and featuring some of the most powerful musical numbers ever constructed, Tom Hooper tops his previous film The King’s Speech (2010) with artistry and passion.

Quote:
http://www.deadline.com/2012/11/osca...man-interview/

This one refers to it as "the 800-pound gorilla" in this year's Oscar race after the reaction to the screenings yesterday:

Filled with stunning imagery and performances, Les Mis is musically a masterpiece thanks largely to the decision to have the actors sing it live as they were filming rather than pre-recording the songs as is the norm for most, if not all, movie musicals. But bottom line is this is the kind of fully realized triumph that Academy voters traditionally eat up, and it joins a race that has suddenly become one of the most interesting and competitive in years.
Quote:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/rac...reening-393758

No movie musical has seriously contended for the best picture Oscar since Chicago (2002) won it a decade ago, though several have tried, including The Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Producers (2005), Rent (2005), Dreamgirls (2006), Hairspray (2007), Mamma Mia! (2008), and Nine (2009). But, judging by the loud applause that followed every one of Les Mis' big numbers -- which were divvied up between stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, respectively -- and the raucous standing ovation that the film and its key talent received once its credits started to roll, that could certainly change this year.
Looking forward to this!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #133
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Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed review, Imzadi.


I have to admit, I was not expecting great things from Russell Crowe, just from the snippet of his "singing" on "One Day More" (One more day til revolution; we will nip it in the bud) we heard on the new preview - I commented then that I expected a deep, rich baritone, as I have become accustomed to hearing from Javert, and instead, I heard a weak tenor that basically shouted in rhythm. (I admit that I am kind of partial to bass/baritones, though ) I think that must not be in Crowe's singing range. It is always interesting to me, being a non-singer, that sometimes a person's speaking voice can be in a completely different register than their singing voice. I have seen it go both ways - sometimes a person speaks a lot higher than they sing, and sometimes they speak lower than they sing.

But I am surprised at your comments on Hugh. I know he has been in stage musicals (Boy from Oz) and he has had his own one man show, so I know he is no stranger to singing. I was expecting a great performance from him.

I'm glad to hear that Eddie Redmayne can sing - he sounded good on the trailer. And I'm happy to hear that Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were good as the Thenardiers - yes, I usually find them annoying as well.

We are still HUGE fans, and will still go and see it, Kleenex in hand. And who knows? Since we know there are some concerns about Hugh's performance, maybe we will be pleasantly surprised if it is better than we thought.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:59 PM   #134
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Thank you for confirming what I thought about Russell Crowe. I am excited to see this, but am not expecting much.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #135
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Hugh has an incredible and strong voice. have seen him in a number of shows- Oklahoma, beauty and the beast as gaston, boy from oz. have also seen him sing on tv a lot- maybe the way he was 'directed'. the arrangement may be deliberately different.

I've seen les mis a few times and my thoughts were he could do it standing on his head from my. experience
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I've seen Hugh Jackman on Broadway 9 times, and as delightful of a singer as he is, I know full well that he's not in the range of a Colm Wilkinson or Alfie Boe vocally, so I'm not expecting him to sound like either of them. He's a wonderful actor though (and still a great singer!), and to see him playing that character, not just how he was on stage, but as Hugo wrote him, is something I can't wait to see.
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Originally Posted by Deb in IA View Post
But I am surprised at your comments on Hugh. I know he has been in stage musicals (Boy from Oz) and he has had his own one man show, so I know he is no stranger to singing. I was expecting a great performance from him.
Just clarifying and giving some perspective where I'm coming from: Hugh wasn't bad. He mainly didn't sing his role the way it "normally" is sung." Which is something I don't get, as so many of you have said he CAN sing really well. And he's DONE live theatre before. I vaguely remember seeing him host the Tonys and singing. He does even belt out some parts of songs in Les Mis. It's evident he can sing. I just don't get why he felt he had to make the role SOOO different from normal? And emphasis the acting in what is clearly a singing role???

Like, we had a thread here where many of us said we get annoyed when people sing the Star Spangled Banner different than "normal." No one expects each person to be able to sing it like Whitney Houston did. We just want it sung the way we normally hear it - as was written. (I'm like that about Beatles tunes, too. Don't mess with my Beatles songs! If people are going to sing them at all, sing them the way the Fab 4 wrote & intended them to be sung. I just didn't know (until now,) Les Mis was on my "Don't mess with these songs" list. )

For example, although I cringe every time I hear Pierce Brosnan singing in Mama Mia, and poor Colin Firth even looked pained at the idea he had to sing with the guitar, (God love him ) you could tell they both just gave it a rousing go with what they vocally had and had a good time making the film. Every time I was flipping channels and it re-aired on HBO, I ended up watching it and singing & dancing to all the Abba songs. Because even though the guys couldn't sing well, at least they kept the songs the way you expect to hear the Abba songs.

Same with Gerard Butler. After I went through 10 minutes of shell shock that the screechy, gravelly voice that sounded like a wounded animal was Gerard's version of the Phantom, (and we all knew no one, except Michael Crawford was going to sound like Michael Crawford,) I just accepted it is what it is, and while Gerard was a very different Phantom with a very different interpretation, he was still singing the Phantom songs the way we pretty much know them to be. He didn't have to try to make the Phantom different by messing with the songs. He WAS different by virtue of being Gerard.

I kind of wonder if having Colm Wilkinson actually in the movie may have cowed Hugh, a bit. I'd love to know when they filmed their scene together. Was it early on? Was that when Hugh decided to "act" the role more? While it was a wonderful homage to Colm, it may not have helped Hugh, if he then became intimidated to make the role so different and to show he was "acting" the role more than singing just it. He should have called up Gerard Butler and said, "What gave you the confidence to get on with doing the role your way, when you know you will never match Michael Crawford?"


My friend, on the SAG Awards nominating committee
sent me these pic below, after I saw all the mail she's been getting. All committee members of the various awards committees, (SAG/Directors Guild/Writers Guild/Oscars, & I suppose Golden Globes,) all get what are called "screeners," DVDs of all the films the studios want to be nominated that they have to watch. She said she had to pretty much sign a contract with blood, swearing that they would not sell, rent, give away or make copies of all the screeners. All the screeners are individually, digitally watermarked with a number code (or something) so any DVD that ends up being pirated and made into black market DVDs can be traced back to the person who was originally sent the DVD.

I watched Promised Land, with her and she had to press some button on her DVD player remote control, saying that she once again accepted the terms & conditions or we couldn't watch the film. (We thought it was an okay film. Nothing award nominating for Matt Damon or Frances McDormand.)




The front shows some of the films she's received. Some, like Lincoln, in which Spielberg & Disney want to win, sent out the DVDs in full "packets" & brochures to entice people to watch. Some are simply an unassuming DVD sent in a white sleeve. I guess it has to do with the studio's budget and the "politics" we often hear associated with (particularly) the Oscars, in promoting certain stars & films.

The row of plain DVDs leaning against the bag of envelopes shows Amour, and Rust & Bone, both which got great reviews and Marion Cotillard may be a Best Actress hopeful for Rust & Bone. I hope people won't overlook those DVDs just because they didn't come in pretty packaging.

The bag of envelopes in the back are each filled with DVDs. Some even have 3 DVDs in them, in which a particular studio sent all their award hopefuls in one package. My friend said she's overwhelmed. She hasn't even gotten around to viewing the ones in the back yet. She didn't know there were that many movies that came out around now to be watched for consideration.


She said she & everyone on the committee was sent this (below) the week before the Les Mis screening.



She thought it was the whole Les Mis DVD!
Turns out it was just this preview trailer below, that I think we've all seen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cDVdg7gVdg

Anyway, the trailer purposely points out how they are singing live. And how Hugh ACTED the role - in case it isn't clear in the movie and to the nominating committee(s.) He even talks at the 1:23 mark, about how he purposely changes the songs, adding in pauses, changing tempo, rhythm, etc., "acting" it more, instead of just SINGING it, because he's singing "live."

I don't know, maybe it's just me? But while they really highlight how "unique" it is to be singing live, and I get that in terms of the cinematography of filming a musical and how it's usually not done that way. (Amanda Seyfried did say at the Q&A, filming Mama Mia, was quite a different process.) Samantha Barks (Eponine) said it's quite normal for her to be singing her songs straight through. That is what she does every night in the Les Mis touring company. (What was different for her was staying in a wet costume all day. She said she got so cold her teeth chattered & her ribs shook. She said it kind of added to the pain of singing. Tom, the director was embarrassed and aghast. He didn't know she was going through that during filming.)

The 25th Anniversary production was also filmed LIVE and in one take, in front of a live audience, with multiple cameras at different angles. They didn't have chances to yell cut and do their performances over and over again, cutting & piecing the best parts from different takes. It really isn't that unique of a concept to sing through and finish a whole song. All live concerts & performances are filmed singing the songs all the way through. Man has been singing through a whole song since the beginning of time - AND staying in tempo, rhythm and singing the melody AND figure out how to ACT it all within that musical structure - as was composed. THAT is usually the challenge of singing. We teach little kids when they do their first school plays that they will get ONE shot to perform their whole play without stopping, in front of all the parents.

So I don't get why Hugh felt he had to take extra pauses to find and fit in emotions, or to change the melody or to TALK it instead of singing it as was originally LITERALLY written. For the past 27 years, every performer who sang Valjean was able to do it in tempo, rhythm, melody, singing the songs and still making the role their own.

Mozart & Beethoven, both wrote music that was sung. Can you imagine a performer saying, "Since I'm singing this LIVE, I'm going to need the freedom to add in extra rests and change this whole note into an eighth note as I speak the word instead of singing it elongated. Plus, I want to change the tempo of the song here. . ." I don't think that would have flown.

If you look at the latest trailer out, Anne sings the most. Even Russell sings quite a bit, then the two lovers, and the ensemble. HUGH sings the least - 3 lines!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEq7QRqNMyg



(I'm off to watch the finale of DWTS. )
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