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Entries in Les Misérables (55)

Sunday
Dec302012

Had Your Self a Misérable Little Christmas?

Another big cash grab day is ahead for the movies as New Year's Day approaches. But for this weekend the winners are clear. Django Unchained & Les Misérables much ballyhooed "Sad Off" was a true contest for wintry dollars with Tarantino's controversial slavery comedy revenge fantasy eventually pulling out in front of the musical. But the war for profit puts Les Miz in winner's position since it's already equalled it's budget in just the first six days. Django has a ways to go for that milestone but let's not nitpick as they're both true hits. 

Box Office Chart repurposed from Box Office Mojo

In fact, it's been a good box office year for Oscar-buzzing players. Affleck and Spielberg's pictures were both $100 million grossers with Lincoln still going strong. Pi & Playbook have solid sales - they didn't embarrass themselves. Of the front-running Oscar six only Zero Dark Thirty has been little seen but that's a function of timing and platforming rather than audience choice. If Zero Dark Thirty doesn't delay its expansion for too long it seems certain to demolish The Hurt Locker's gross in no time.

Did you see both Django & Les Miz over the break?

I almost went to The Hobbit but abruptly changed my mind and tweeted as much:

 

 

Oh sweet relief! I really do feel it.

Saturday
Dec292012

Que Sera Sera, Whatever We'll Link, We'll Link

Roger Ebert delivers his top ten list with Argo up top. Ebert's always been a fairly mainstream Oscar-Friendly voice so it's no surprise to see three of the (presumed) top six Best Picture nominees at the very top. But it's nice to see lesser discussed titles like End of Watch and Oslo August 31st getting their due.
In Contention details a prestigious win that I didn't know about for the French film Farewell My Queen, one of my favorites
IMDb the most pirated movie of 2012 was... Project X. Huh. 


NPR ooh, I missed this interview earlier in the year. Doris Day reflecting on her life and career 
The Guardian here's a fun top ten list if you're feeling that new holiday weight: the best onscreen personal trainers from Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid) to Pai Mei (Kill Bill)
/Film Test footage for animation/live action hybrid crimes against my childhood: Hong Kong Phooey and Marvin the Martian 

Les Línkables
Vulture Kyle and Amanda argue over Les Misérables with a side of Disneyland
Kelli Marshall pummels considers Les Miz of which she is (previously) a fan
The New Yorker on the consistent greatness of the property and "a continuity of culture" in which the old stories can still be the best
Guardian looks back on Tom Hooper's career. I always forget that the much-loathed director (at least on the internet) made so many wildly acclaimed TV films before moving to the big screen
International Business Times reports that the soundtrack is selling briskly -- I received mine yesterday (thanks Universal peeps!) -- and looks back at the most popular film soundtracks ever. Speaking of which...
Atlantic Wire the music is stuck in our heads forever... again.

Pretty soon everyone will be humming "One Day More" or "Master of the House" and will not be able to stop, and there will be nowhere to escape it. We will all become Les Mis zombies like it's the '80s or something. It might be fun for the first few days, communal and all that, but after a couple of weeks, we'll all be wishing for the same sweet sickness that sent Fantine to heaven.

It's true. Just yesterday I sang the most amazing Les Miz MegaMix in the shower.


Click on the photo if you missed my earlier post on Zero Dark's screenplay

Today's Must Read
Salon Andrew O'Hehir has written the piece on Zero Dark Thirty I've been longing to read. This provocative essay looks at all sides of the argument and the confusing evasions of Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow, and doesn't retreat to the frustrating polarized agendas we've been reading like "it's Reifenstahl-level evil and totally pro-torture!" or "people who think so aren't paying any attention" (Subtext: it just can't be pro-torture because I've already expressed my love for it and what does that say about me?!?)

Thursday
Dec272012

Interview: Eddie Redmayne Talks Live-Singing, Skinny-Dipping, Name-Calling

If there's a surprise name called out as one of the Best Supporting Actors this year on Oscar Nomination morning, might it be Eddie Redmayne? The rapidly ascending 30 year-old actor, a recent Tony winner for "Red" on Broadway, stood in as surrogate for our enduring communal crush on Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) in My Week With Marilyn just last season but the spotlight is even brighter now. Les Misérables' entire second act romantic structure spins on his swooning revolutionary Marius. In one of the quirks of movie awardage, male actors aren't generally honored for their facility with romantic drama, but Redmayne's secret weapon could well be his rendition of the grief stricken show-stopper "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" in which he mourns his fallen brothers who died at the lonely barricades... at dawn. He'll undoubtedly jerk at least some tears from the Academy's acting branch this week as they finalize their ballots (due on January 3rd).

Marius is getting married! Eddie Redmayne in "Les Misérables"

I asked Redmayne about the massive pressure he must have felt approaching this famous number in Les Misérables and our conversation stretched back to Oliver! The Musical on stage and on through his non-musical duets with Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Williams in his young but vivid filmography. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec262012

Les Miz Opens Big. But Don't Expect That to Silence The Critics!

I started a link roundup but by the time I was two hours into surveying my Google Reader, the post had morphed into a rant as long as Les Misérables running time (which I'm about to indulge in again). It began with these three links:

Antagony & Ecstasy ooh, a list right up our alley: ten best adaptations of stage musicals, to celebrate the release of Les Miz. Interesting disqualifying comments on Cabaret
Slate "I Dreamed a Tween" Excellent excellent piece on Les Misérables' appeal to tweens and its long hold on its young fans once they've grown up
Advocate And another essay on our long histories with this particular musical phenomenon.

All of which are Pro Les Miz so buyers beware.

Eddie Redmayne takes aim. The critics have too.

As y'all know I've been quite touchy about this film. More...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec222012

Les Linkábles

Auteuse Theory has co-written a book on Mamma Mia! of all things "Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon"
Gawker Audrey Plaza has a nude painting of herself on full display in her home 
The Wrap the best and worst performances by the same actor this year. Interesting concept but SO annoying to pretend Anne Hathaway is anything less than stupendous in Les Misérables 
Badass Digest Here's something unexpected. A piece on the vineyards of France and drinking in the time of Les Miz.

My New Plaid Pants obsession with Amanda Seyfried's 'magical slutty powers' is one of my favorite things on the internet, month in and month out.  I know everyone was excited to read me interviewing my Nicole but I'd honestly pay good money to watch a sit down with JA & Amanda
ME Says is disappointed with Jessica Chastain in The Heiress. This seems to be going around! That won't hurt but can't possibly help her Best Actress bid in Zero...
Awards Daily Sasha crunches numbers on Best Director and predicts doom for Tom Hooper without the Globe nod. Which might well be the case. But the thing I don't quite get, from other pundits, is why everyone has such sudden enthusiasm for Quentin Tarantino's chances. Tarantino movies ALWAYS open with a flurry of people crying "masterpiece" but that's because critics and bloggers are big stans of Quentin (with good reason but I hope you here my point.) Is this "late surge" for Django Unchained real or just a product of Weinstein Co's goodwill with the Globes?

The Playlist The NRA is blaming the movies again for all these gun massacres. I'd LOL if it weren't so terrible. Way to hang on to your destructive agenda in the face of ever more damning proof that it's just that! They are seriously a hideous blight on America. Speaking of...
Penny Arcade has a fine comic about this

Click on the image for more of the comic...

List-Mania
Pop Matters I am embarrassed for all my film friends who love Cloud Atlas but I have to link to Matt Mazur's top ten anyway because otherwise it's interesting!
Critic Wire asks film critics to share the best pieces of film criticism they've read this year. Lots of articles name-checked worth checking out
AV Club best scenes of the year
Pajiba has a great list of enjoyable supporting performances that won't win any awards... let alone Oscars
Screen Crave on the most disappointing films of the year from Django Unchained to The Avengers
Slate ten best of 2012 from How To Survive a Plague through Zero Dark Thirty 

And here is Kevin B Lee's 12 Best of the Year Video Essay from Fandor. (I keep meaning to do more video work and never get around to it. Argh.)

Even most of my critic friends love Silver Linings Playbook. I just don't get the love! But at least it's not a hideous bloated blight on the good name of cinema like Cloud Atlas

Monday
Dec172012

Flaws and All... The Worst Within The Best (Pictures)

Does a movie have to be perfect to be deemed a masterpiece or a grand success? That's a rhetorical question of course since the answer is no. What's perfect after all? Sometimes mistakes and flaws in judgement (which are, of course, in the eye of the beholder) can make a movie more organic and lively than something that is technically irreproachable.

Encore Entertainment was recently ranting about the weird and unfortunate trend of people rooting for movies to fail... in many cases even before they've seen them. It's a weird truth about Oscar season and I'll admit right here and now before we begin that I've also been guilty on occasion. It's how I've been feeling about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from the moment I heard they were splitting one book into three movies. It rubbed against all of my core beliefs about what's wrong with Hollywood and their willingness to sacrifice good storytelling and goodwill to shake down eager fans for every last penny.

It's easiest to spot this kneejerk HAHA YOU SUCK mentality in the ongoing attacks on Les Misérables around the internet and the almost sadistic joy you could feel rippling out when it debuted to unexpectedly harsh reviews. More...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec152012

The "Makeup and Hairstyling" Seven

Another day, another Oscar decision. The Academy's Makeup branch has narrowed the field in their annual bakeoffs and selected the following seven films as the best of the best in the Oscar category of Makeup and Hairstyling. They'll be whittled down to three for Nomination Morning on January 10th.

Will it be Les Miz's abused poor or Lincoln's bewigged politicians for the Hair and Makeup Oscar?

They are:

  • Hitchcock
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Lincoln
  • Looper
  • Men in Black 3
  • Les Misérables
  • Snow White and the Huntsman 

HAPPINESS! I'm shocked ("Best" usually meaning "Most" with Oscar) but ever so relieved that I'll never have to look at those hideous faces from Cloud Atlas again; Tom Hanks' yellow buck teeth and various facial hairdonts will haunt me forever even without clip reels!

Among these potential nominees I think Les Misérables and Lincoln are obviously worthy choices for films with extensive and great spell-casting in this particular arena of movie magic. I'm also glad that my early pundit insistence that Snow White and the Huntsmen would be taken seriously by the guilds has come to pass despite some people feeling I was high at the time.

INDIFFERENCE! I don't really thrill to the makeup work in Hitchcock, but I realize that that might have more to do with my issues with Sir Anthony Hopkins who isn't particularly gifted at mimicry, than at the prosthetics aimed to create the illusion of the ressurection of The Master of Suspense. 

SADNESS! I had hoped against hope to see Holy Motors among the actual nominees on January 10th since so much of the film's narrative involves Denis Lavant's makeup applications. (I hoped for it in the way I hoped for The Devil Wears Prada to win a rare contemporary nomination for costume design but that time there was a happy ending.) And I even had a only-in-my-imagination debate about who would get the nomination if The Paperboy made it to the finals. After all those statements about Lee Daniels forcing Nicole Kidman to do her own hair and makeup, would Nicole Kidman be eligible for two Oscar nominations for her latest flirtation with her own bonafide genius?

Thursday
Dec132012

Globe Nomination Announcement

The Globe Nominations were announced bright and early... I followed on CNN the only live stream that seemed to be working. They began with the credits for their 70th anniversary and a weird applause break (without initial applause) for Cecil B DeMille Tribute winner Jodie Foster. After that the first Mr Golden Globe was revealed (Sam Fox, son of the Michael J Foxes) along with our usual Miss Golden Globe (this time that's Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint & Francesca)

Megan Fox started us the announcements but Jessica Alba also joined in.

BEST SONG
For You -Act of Valor (Keith Urban)
Not Running Anymore - Stand Up Guys (Jon Bon Jovi)
Safe and Sound - The Hunger Games (Taylor Swift) *not eligible for Oscar consideration*
Skyfall - Skyfall (Adele)
Suddenly -Les Misérables (performed by Hugh Jackman)

Best Song is a tough category to predict for Oscar but Globes always go for the stars so they obviously want Adele, Taylor Swift and the rest to attend. They're tripling down to make sure Nicole Kidman and her man are there with 2 nominations for Nicki and one for Keith.

BEST SCORE
Life of Pi
Argo
Anna Karenina
Cloud Atlas
Lincoln 

Mychael Danna has never had any luck with Oscar but will Life of Pi change that? The music is pretty noticeable and that usually helps. I've noticed a lot of online fandom for the Cloud Atlas score. Is that merely a case of the score being such a central part of the plot and the main theme being repeated like crazy? And is it just me or is Alexandre Desplat's score for Argo actually the weakest of his 18 scores this year? I'd much prefer to have seen him nominated for Moonrise Kingdom , Zero Dark Thirty or Rust & Bone or one of the 13 others. Of this batch of nominees, I think it's safe to say that I'm all about Anna Karenina

SCREENPLAY
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Argo 

The Globes don't differentiate between adapted and original and so their nominee list usually swings prestige which means adapted (for reasons I've never quite fathomed because original screenplays are where it's at baby, year in and year out... well maybe not this year but whatever). Only DJANGO from their nominee pool here is the usual type of original, while Zero Dark Thirty (which feels like an adapted because of the true story and research factor) can also qualify.

FOREIGN FILM
Amour - Austria
A Royal Affair - Denmark
Intouchables - France
Kon Tiki - Norway
Rust & Bone - France *not eligible for Oscar consideration in their correlative category*

Three French language films and two Scandinavian films for the Globes this year. They kept it regional. 

ANIMATED FILM
Brave
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

LOTS MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

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