Les Miserables

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 31, 2012 1:07 pm

OscarGuy wrote: if Les Miserables is every bit as obsessively detail-oriented as Hunchback


It is. It's his style and the main reason why, of course, not many read his novels today (though I feel the Les Miserables must be more accessible than Notre Dame). But during his time he was certainly the writer par excellence - so popular that three million people attended his funerals. 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. My mother still perfectly remembers the most famous episodes from the novel, and she must have read it fifty years ago.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby OscarGuy » Thu May 31, 2012 12:42 pm

The one Hugo novel I've read is The Hunchback of Notre Dame and if Les Miserables is every bit as obsessively detail-oriented as Hunchback, I won't be picking it up anytime soon.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Greg » Thu May 31, 2012 12:20 pm

Even though the first stage musical was something like 25 years ago, I think this is actually the best time to release the film version of Les Miserables, as the current-world-wide-economic crisis will give it special resonance.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 31, 2012 11:35 am

Mister Tee wrote: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.



Yes, well, this is certainly a realistic depiction of how things go in this era of internet. Of course, when I see this board going collectively crazy for a movie before seeing it - and it's usually a musical - I usually smile indulgently. I knew that Nine would have been a flop in cinemas even before I learned that they were going to actually make it into a movie. And, as some may remember, I was the only one here, how shall I put it, not to be completely convinced that Dreamgirls would win 20 Oscars. Still, even in this case, hype worked - it brought Best Supporting Actress to a nice girl with a big voice but no acting talent. Jennifer Hudson had won her Oscar long before the movie opened.

In the same way Les Miserables will start winning Oscars - or at least getting nominations - very soon. My instinct - but it's just a feeling - is that Les Miserables (good or not good - its director for example is a solid professional who till now hasn't shown the kind of energy one usually associates with this kind of movie) will get lots of nominations, in any kind of technical category. Best Picture - if they keep these rules - is also very, very possible. And then, but only if it IS good, it will get one or even two acting nods and, on the big night, will will a reasonable number of awards.

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.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby OscarGuy » Thu May 31, 2012 10:23 am

You guys are talking about making bombastic work and I wonder if Baz Luhrmann might not have been the better choice for directing this one. :)
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby bizarre » Thu May 31, 2012 6:48 am

Fantine is the role that gets the most consistent attention for its player in every stage and screen adaptation. After that, Valjean and Éponine. I think Hathaway is the closest thing to a sure bet from this film at this stage, and Jackman could seem likely. Barks has the baity role with the big song, but from what I've seen of her stage work on YouTube she has a real Lea Michele theater-kid vibe which could be really obnoxious on screen, so I'm holding off on predicting her for now.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu May 31, 2012 4:46 am

Sabin wrote: I just really don't think it's likely that a play this bombastic could make for a very good film. And I'm sorry, but it is bombastic!


For me that's part of the appeal.

However, I feel the bombastic elements work as a music piece and as a theatrical piece. I share your concern that the bombastic, theatrical element of the score may not translate well in film. My guess that's part of the reason why Tom Hooper wants all the singing to be done live on-set and not pre-record/lip-synch it. Based on the 90 second clip of "I Dreamed a Dream", it seems like he made it work.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Big Magilla » Thu May 31, 2012 4:18 am

FilmFan720 wrote:Samantha Banks should be a strong contender for a nomination...a hot, young actress, repeating her highly acclaimed stage performance in arguably the best role in the piece (at least one of the roles with the widest range).

Yes, but it's Barks, not Banks.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:04 pm

Samantha Banks should be a strong contender for a nomination...a hot, young actress, repeating her highly acclaimed stage performance in arguably the best role in the piece (at least one of the roles with the widest range).
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby OscarGuy » Wed May 30, 2012 9:43 pm

Couldn't we also see Chicago-style acclaim? Chicago's not exactly an overly-emotional piece, but it did quite well. Sight unseen, we won't know.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Sabin » Wed May 30, 2012 9:33 pm

Don't get me wrong!

Picture
Actor - Jackman
Original Song - "I'll Miss You"
Cinematography
Film Editing
Art Direction
Costume Design
Makeup
Sound Mixing

...and I think Les Miz is going to have a pretty healthy life at the box office. People do know this musical and they will give it a shot. I just really don't think it's likely that a play this bombastic could make for a very good film. And I'm sorry, but it is bombastic! If it's pushed effectively as THE Christmas ticket, it's going to make more than Dreamgirls and Nine combined. But musicals have been pretty dodgy the past ten years and I don't think the problem is that they weren't loud enough.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:46 pm

Sabin, I agree with the comparisons to Dreamgirls and Nine in most every way (and I am remaining dubious about this film) except that Les Mis does have one large advantage over those two...it is more widely known and beloved than either of those films, especially outside of musical theatre circles. Despite their respect by theatre junkies, I would venture that most people (even most Oscar voters) went into those films knowing little about the shows or their scores (besides the one standard from Dreamgirls). Those films in many ways had to stand on their own as films. Most of the general public is more familiar with Les Mis and has an attachment going into it. That means that even if the film is as weak as those two entries (or at least as Dreamgirls), there will still be a lot of carry over love that can carry the film.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Sabin » Wed May 30, 2012 8:26 pm

You just described Matt Damon in Invictus, where buzz does all the heavy-lifting (although I will say that Best Supporting Actor, 2009 was fairly weak). And Russell Crowe get shoehorned in, even though I could see him being overwhelmingly dull in this role.

You just described Dreamgirls, where the film just ultimately didn't inspire the passion everyone was hoping for. Which now that we have anywhere between six and twenty-seven nominations makes it almost impossible for the film not to get nominated. Had we ten nominees in 2006, Dreamgirls would have been the Best Picture-nominated nomination leader (along with what? Pan's Labyrinth? United 93? Children of Men?).

And you just described Nine, where the movie ends up sucking. And don't for a minute suggest that Les Miserables and Nine are totally different beasts, fanboys! Their casts, their pedigrees...on paper, it's the same deal and it could disappoint just as much.

I think the end result is going to be closer to Dreamgirls. Ultimately what separates Les Miz from Dreamgirls and Nine is that the play is almost shamefully emotional from beginning to end. I like the play all right, but this film is going to be fucking loud with every kind of emotion. Weeping. Shouting. Calls to arms. The only thing that really interests me is Hugh Jackman in the lead. We haven't really seen a lead actor of his musical ability head a musical in a while and I want to see how that pans out. And despite my indifference to The King's Speech and after being so long in the making, I have no doubt there's going to be some great craftsmanship involved, but I'm not terribly looking forward to being skull-fucked by a soundtrack I put down fifteen years ago.
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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 30, 2012 7:21 pm

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.

Matt Damon got an Invictus nomination that way. I see no reason Russell Crowe can't do the same thing. There's of course the possibility if the film is such a disaster it undoes this strategy, but even there it's not impossible to score -- see Penelope Cruz, Nine.

I see no reason for any of us to start talking about Les Miz as an Oscar contender until it's been screened. For all we know, Hooper, a perfectly competent director of historical drama, may have no facility for the musical. Yes, the property is hot...but not as hot as Phantom, and look where that ended up.

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Re: Les Miserables

Postby Greg » Wed May 30, 2012 5:02 pm

According to Wikipedia, principal photography did not begin until March 8 of this year. So, Hooper at least appears to be shooting efficiently for such a sprawling epic. Also, I forgot that my favorite song is "Do You Hear The People Sing?"
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