Les Miserables

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:25 am

And obviously that guy from Film Experience sees at least three other stars being nominated with Crowe in the Best Supporting Actor category. Familiar faces, recognizable names...

It's absurd. It probably won't happen. I certainly can't see Russell Crowe as Javert. Still... Well, on paper at least, we have a solid combination of: showy, iconic role + memorable, famous villain + huge box office hit + former Oscar winning actor (this helps) + singing with his own voice what are probably (I have no idea) likable songs + ex star who suddenly became more infamous than famous making his big comeback against all odds. A perfect Oscar story, isn't it?

And then of course Les Miserables may turn out to be the biggest flop since Cleopatra...

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:38 pm

Okri wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:
Big Magilla wrote: A nomiantion fr RSussell crowe would depend on the competition for Best Actor which looks strong right now. He could be placed in support, but Inspector Javert is a co-lead so I dont see that as likely.

Here's how it'll be done. Very soon, Oscar bloggers (Kris Tapley, Nate Rogers, the folks at Indie Wire), who can't seem wait for movies to open/be seen, will start making their Early Predictions. They will, as always, choose from the highest profile productions (of which an adaptation of a theatre phenomenon by a recent Oscar winner is obviously one). They'll assign Hugh Jackman the leading actor spot. Then they'll be looking to fill out the supporting slots. But, since true supporting contenders tend to be less obvious sight unseen (depending on, you know, actual achievement rather than pre-screening buzz), these bloggers will fill the slots with recognizable names playing anything less than their film's central role -- to wit, Russell Crowe. People will bandy hs and similar names about enough that everyone will take it for granted these people are prime contenders. The Broadcast Critics will include them on that key first list of nominees, and, all too likely, SAG will follow along (seeing how, with a mid-December deadline, they'll have barely had time to see half the movies available). All of which sets up a nomination before Academy voters have even opened up their screeners.


How much power do you think the white-noisers have, though? I mean, aren't these the same people that predicting Oldman/Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises?

They can't force voters out of their comfort zone. But when they stick to "this is the sort of thing the Academy would go for" route, they can set parameters. Truly, Matt Damon in Invictus is my archetype for that. No critic singled him out as anything special (nor as anything but co-lead), but the bloggers, looking for familiar names, had slotted him early on, and there he was on nominations day. (The fact that Christoph Waltz swept through the major critics' prizes that year might have helped -- no one else ever got any traction because they were couldn't get out of runner-up position)

By the way, I swear I hadn't checked this before, but IndieWire actually just did their Early Year Predictions, and Nathaniel at Film Experience had apparently already done a set, and...drum roll...both have old Russell Crowe down for supporting actor.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:33 pm

Here's what I don't understand about the live singing.

It might make sense to have the actors sing through their parts in the scenes filmed at Pinwood Studios, but where do they hide the orchestra during location scenes? Maybe they pre-record the music, but not the singing.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Okri » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:06 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
Big Magilla wrote: A nomiantion fr RSussell crowe would depend on the competition for Best Actor which looks strong right now. He could be placed in support, but Inspector Javert is a co-lead so I dont see that as likely.

Here's how it'll be done. Very soon, Oscar bloggers (Kris Tapley, Nate Rogers, the folks at Indie Wire), who can't seem wait for movies to open/be seen, will start making their Early Predictions. They will, as always, choose from the highest profile productions (of which an adaptation of a theatre phenomenon by a recent Oscar winner is obviously one). They'll assign Hugh Jackman the leading actor spot. Then they'll be looking to fill out the supporting slots. But, since true supporting contenders tend to be less obvious sight unseen (depending on, you know, actual achievement rather than pre-screening buzz), these bloggers will fill the slots with recognizable names playing anything less than their film's central role -- to wit, Russell Crowe. People will bandy hs and similar names about enough that everyone will take it for granted these people are prime contenders. The Broadcast Critics will include them on that key first list of nominees, and, all too likely, SAG will follow along (seeing how, with a mid-December deadline, they'll have barely had time to see half the movies available). All of which sets up a nomination before Academy voters have even opened up their screeners.


How much power do you think the white-noisers have, though? I mean, aren't these the same people that predicting Oldman/Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises?

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby rolotomasi99 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:56 am

FilmFan720 wrote:
The Original BJ wrote: I'm trying to keep an open mind with respect to Tom Hooper -- though I rolled my eyes when that trailer reminded me he's an Academy Award-winning director -- but it's still a big question mark for me whether he has the sensibilities to handle the scope that this musical would require. (Though, to be fair, I do think the trailer suggests this movie is a big step up visually for him from King's Speech.)


Let's not forget that Tom Hooper has done more than The King's Speech, and his work on the HBO miniseries John Adams is a very strong precursor to this work. He dealt with the sprawling, period aspects of that miniseries very well, and created a very detailed portrait of a war-torn era in American history. While it doesn't speak to how he will deal with the music, I don't doubt that he can handle the bigness of this piece.


I am no fan of Tom Hooper, but I think this trailer shows he will handle this material quite well. I saw THE KING'S SPEECH before the Oscar Buzz tide had turned in its favor. I thought it was a well written and acted film marred by shoddy directing. It was funny and sweet, but nothing special. However, I knew it had a chance to take Best Picture from critic's favorite THE SOCIAL NETWORK when the big speech finally happened. Playing Beethoven's 7th Symphony was both a hackneyed but brilliant choice. It helped sweep people up in the emotions of the moment. As I heard the audience crying during this rather uninspiring speech, I knew Hooper had played the audience perfectly. I also knew this film had a real chance at winning Best Picture.

It is this moment of eliciting emotion through music from his last film which makes me think Hooper is the perfect director for LES MISERABLES. I have not seen the show, but I know the music quite well. As many others here have pointed out, the whole production is known for its big emotions. I think Hooper is perfectly suited to properly hone the dramatic and musical elements of the film (certainly much better than Burton did with SWEENEY TODD or Marshall with NINE). CHICAGO won over audiences by making them laugh, but LES MISERABLES will win over audiences by making them cry.

Also, LES MISERABLES is one of the most beloved musicals of all times, and as Italiano has pointed out, it comes with a very distinguished pedigree. Its important historical setting also gives it certain weight which will allow Academy voters to take it more seriously than say a story of a disfigured man living in the sewers below an opera house.

If Harvey Weinstein was releasing this thing, I would say it was all but unstoppable. Universal has not had a Best Picture winner since A BEAUTIFUL MIND (also starring Russel Crowe). The fact that they released a teaser this early leads me to believe they are very confident in what they have, and are going to go all out when it comes to award season. However, we still have a long way to go and many more teasers to pick over (not to mention the actual films). I am not declaring it the front-runner (a term I have actually come to loathe), but I would say do not dismiss it either.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:48 am

I second dws1982's recommendation of the 5-hour 1934 adaptation of Les Miserables. Honestly, it didn't feel like 5 hours at all (Though I did watch it in 2 installments but the time flew by).

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby dws1982 » Thu May 31, 2012 4:20 pm

With all the talk of the musical version, I hope some people will seek out Raymond Bernard's 1934 version. It's nearly five hours long, and a much more in-depth adaptation than any other, and it's really one of the greatest movies ever made that hardly anyone's seen. Criterion (through their Eclipse line) put it out on DVD, and it's available on their Hulu channel as well.

FYI, Samantha Barks performed the role of Eponine in the 25th Anniversary Concert, which you can view on DVD (or on Youtube). As is the usual case with Eponine (other than Lea Salonga), I wanted to shoot her myself.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 31, 2012 4:02 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:Anyone remember this version?:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119683/



I do. It's not good. Yet - and this proves how powerful Hugo, and not a composer, still is - these almost legendary characters, Jean Valjean, Cosette, Javert, Fantine... even in such a miscast, TV-level production preserve at least partly a strong emotional and moral impact, which I really think is a proof of how effective the original novel is. It surprised me, back then, and, though I hate musicals, I can't exclude that I will be surprised again. And believe me, to me Les Miserables is only a big sign outside a famous theatre on Charing Cross Road, a theatre I never walked into. I had absolutely no interest in it.

We had our own Italian version of I Miserabili by the way - a big, by late 40s standards, movie starring the then very popular Gino Cervi as Jean Valjean and the young, lovely Valentina Cortese extremely good in the double role of Fantine and Cosette.
Last edited by ITALIANO on Thu May 31, 2012 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Big Magilla » Thu May 31, 2012 3:47 pm

I not only read Les Miserables but have seen just about every film version inlcuding a 1978 TV version with Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins. The stage musical is very faithful to the original. I have no doubt the film version of the musical will be as well, but as we all know, what works on the stage doesn't always work on screen. We'll have to wait and see whether Hooper pulls off another Oliver! or another Phantom of the Opera. It could go either way.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu May 31, 2012 3:20 pm

ITALIANO wrote:There is a difference between Les Miserables and Dreamgirls - one that will be completely ignored in America as it has been completely ignored in this thread (it will be different in Europe). Les Miserables is based on an important book by an important French writer called Victor Hugo. Not many people read this novel nowadays - and for example I, unlike my parents, haven't - but this isn't the point. If even just a small percentage of the epic power, the gravitas, the depth of thought so typical of Hugo are preserved in the movie, then we'll have something that the Academy will feel compelled to respect, and probably honor.


I'm confident it will be perceived as having great epic power and gravitas (if not depth of thought) because that's how people respond to the music. Whether it's typical of Hugo or whether it's more typical of composer Claude-Michel Schönberg is another question, and its probably irrelevent anyway.

Anyone remember this version?:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119683/

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu May 31, 2012 2:45 pm

I hate Les Miserables, and I hope the film isn't acclaimed so that it doesn't pick up any awards traction and I'm not obliged to suffer through it.

However, I am very intrigued by Hooper's decision to not pre-record the singing and have the actors truly vocalize in front of the rolling cameras. I think I've been waiting forever for such an approach. Before Tim Burton got ahold of it, it was how my fantasy screen adaptation of Sweeny Todd played in in my head. Live on-the-spot singing with diegetic music sources accompanying the voices. If Hooper pulls this off, then a sound nomination is very much in order. But it won't make I Dreamed a Dream any easier to sit through.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 31, 2012 2:30 pm

Oh yes, The Grapes of Wrath is, I'm sure, still widely read today.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Greg » Thu May 31, 2012 2:20 pm

ITALIANO wrote:And even in Italy, for my parents' generation, Les Miserables was a kind of required reading, so full of characters which could be seen as formative examples of good and evil.


I don't know if it is still like this; but, when I was in high school, that is the way The Grapes Of Wrath was in the United States.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby FilmFan720 » Thu May 31, 2012 2:04 pm

The Original BJ wrote: I'm trying to keep an open mind with respect to Tom Hooper -- though I rolled my eyes when that trailer reminded me he's an Academy Award-winning director -- but it's still a big question mark for me whether he has the sensibilities to handle the scope that this musical would require. (Though, to be fair, I do think the trailer suggests this movie is a big step up visually for him from King's Speech.)


Let's not forget that Tom Hooper has done more than The King's Speech, and his work on the HBO miniseries John Adams is a very strong precursor to this work. He dealt with the sprawling, period aspects of that miniseries very well, and created a very detailed portrait of a war-torn era in American history. While it doesn't speak to how he will deal with the music, I don't doubt that he can handle the bigness of this piece.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby The Original BJ » Thu May 31, 2012 1:32 pm

I basically agree with Mister Tee -- it's going to be easy for Oscar bloggers to latch on to this project sight unseen. If it's good, and maybe even just good ENOUGH, it should do very well with Oscar. If it's not, though, I see no reason why it couldn't easily turn into just another failed Oscar-bait musical. Lest we forget, The Phantom of the Opera was widely touted as a Best Picture candidate -- the Broadcast Film Critics even went so far as to nominate it -- until everyone saw just how bad it was. And the hype around Nine allowed it to do astonishingly well at the early precursors before everyone realized how much of a critical and commercial flop it was destined to be. So, I think, until anyone actually sees the thing, there's no way to how how good it is, and yes, those things still do matter when it comes to Oscar attention.

Speaking of Nine, it's worth noting that its director was a stage musical director/choreographer whose previous musical film was very enthusiastically received by both the public and Oscar. But Marshall couldn't even make magic strike twice within this genre. I'm trying to keep an open mind with respect to Tom Hooper -- though I rolled my eyes when that trailer reminded me he's an Academy Award-winning director -- but it's still a big question mark for me whether he has the sensibilities to handle the scope that this musical would require. (Though, to be fair, I do think the trailer suggests this movie is a big step up visually for him from King's Speech.)

I will say, also, that content-wise, Les Misérables is significantly superior to something like Dreamgirls, mostly for the reason Italiano cites -- that it stems from source material with quite a bit of heft. (Les Mis also has a much better score.) So I do think the film will enter awards season with even more built-in respect than some other recent musicals.

Magilla, you think the reason Russell Crowe WON'T get a supporting push is because he's a co-lead? Most recent evidence suggests the opposite outcome is more likely.

Lastly, I know he's a Broadway-not film actor, but couldn't the trailer have given us ONE shot of the awesome Aaron Tveit as Enjolras?


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