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Entries in Les Misérables (59)

Tuesday
Aug282012

Nathaniel On His Travels: Streep Branding & Les Miz Jitters

Hi kids. I thought I'd check in briefly from my mom-centric travels. I'm typing this from my hotel room in St. George, Utah where the air is hot, the rocks are red, and my nephews live. They were inundating me last night with all sorts of information I didn't understand (mostly about video games) but once we got to the movies I was on sound footing (their preferred topics: superheroes and Miyazaki).

But how are you doing -- Aren't the guest bloggers doing a bang up job keeping us entertained? I ate up all of Leslye's posts (by which I mean read them multiple times) and pricked my ears up to a new voice in our sound mix, Matt Zurcher. Thank you as ever to longtime regulars Jose and JA. And to Beau, too,  because Sharing is Caring -- TFE is like his new Confessional which I guess makes me (and you) the priest? Hee!

I bought two books in the airport from sheer indecision about what to read (why don't I have a kindle or iPad yet?) and the one I've started is "The Meryl Streep Movie Club" which is probably a shameless attempt to borrow TFE's most discussed movie star's bankability to sell some books. But here's the catch to shamelessness: it often works. I bought the book didn't I? It's about an estranged family of sisters, who after a tragic orphaned childhood, reunite as adults and get some very bad news. Their aunt hosts a weekly movie night at the inn where they've gathered and it happens to be Meryl Streep Month. So far Silkwood has been name dropped the most -- a choice I fully support -- and they're about to watch Bridges of Madison County. I'm not very far in because my inflight movie was The Avengers (more on that in a couple of days when I'm back to NYC) which was more than enough to keep me occupied.

As you read this my soul is being stirred.

 Chances are at least. See, I'm off to see Les Misérables on stage for the first time in aeons. As a teenager I wore out my tape of the soundtrack and when I found out it was playing at Cedar City's annual widely acclaimed Shakespeare Festival (they've even won a regional Tony Award) I jumped at the chance to take my mom because a) she doesn't get out much and b) she's never seen it on stage but loves musicals and started me early on them for which I can only give her millions of hugs. It's a perfect opportunity to see the show before the movie hits and becomes the possibility definitive version for millions upon millions of people who don't get to stage shows often or ever. Which is unfortunately a lot of people -- even for shows as successful as Les Miz which has earned over $2 billion globally in its 27 year life.

I have no jitters about seeing the show on stage again because it's a magnificent epic in its original medium. But will it work on the movie screen? Bring it home, Tom Hooper! Bring it home.

Which brings me to my exit questions:

  • Have you ever seen Les Miz on stage?
  • Which is your favorite song? (If you must know mine is "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables")

 

Wednesday
May302012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Les Miserables"

Q: You know what I always wanted for Christmas?
A: A miserabilist musical epic about whores, convicts, slum lords, revolutionaries and starving street urchins in 19th century France.

Thanks, Santa!

And thanks, Baby Jesus! Even though your dad was not as forgiving as Fantine (Anne Hathaway) dreamed. Les Misérables trailer and discussion after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May082012

Les Línkables

TMZ life imitating art - Shawarma sales skyrocketing in LA after The Avengers opening.
Coming Soon has a new photo from the set of Les Misérables. I'm choosing to interpret this set as an homage to Moulin Rouge!'s greatness
Acidemic would like you to know that 1933, not 1939 was the greatest year at the movies.
Playlist Maybe Edgar Wright is going to make that Ant-Man movie after all.

Antagony & Ecstacy looks back at Ang Lee's Hulk (2003) in the wake of the new green giant fever sweeping the nation. Really interesting piece.
In Contention Gene Kelly centennial tribute hosted by the Academy next week in LA. Someone go and tell me all about it. We'll celebrate his centennial here in August (the actual month of his birth)
Movie|Line Jessica Chastain finally passes on a movie. Hee!
SuperPunch has photos of Wal-Mart's The Avengers set. I include this only because its rabidly sexist. I believe when the camera spun around the heroes in that highly publicized shot it was The Black Widow and not Loki who was part of the heroic team. (sigh) 
Kenneth in the (212) Fun couples: Woody Allen and... Lindsay Lohan? 

P.S. This is the best thing that Kate Beckinsale has ever done.

 

Told ya!

Off Cinema.
It's sometimes worth stepping out of the movie theater. Rarely but still...
The Realist for those of you who've spent too much time on Facebook
Playbill weirdest music news of the week. Twisted Sister's Dee Snider recording an album of showtunes with Broadway friendly guest stars

Saturday
Apr212012

Do you hear the people sing?

Provided you have speakers on your computer, then yes. Hear them you do. Well not Hugh and Anne specifically...

I know I shouldn't be this excited for a movie. It will all end in tears!

Saturday
Apr072012

April Foolish Predictions: The Supporting Categories

Nowhere is the "April Foolish" descriptive more appropriate than in the Supporting Categories. They're generally the last major categories to clear up in each Oscar race since so much rides on the success of a film and/or its leading players. Coattails are often required even if the performance is great all by its lonesome. Witness the sad fate of Vanessa Redgrave's Coriolanus performance in the last race. She was easily the greatest but barely any awards group noticed since reviews for the film were lukewarm and it was barely released at that.

Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp are old married in "Song for Marion"

Redgrave might be in play again this year, though, with a warmer title role in Song For Marion. The last time she was in the Oscar race (20 years ago) she was playing a dying woman who worked as a catalyst for the protagonist's emotional journey and the same is probably true here in this film about her husband (Terence Stamp) who joins the church choir to please her. The supporting categories are often home to heartwarmers like that and they're much kinder to senior actors as well so the cast of Quartet (Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins) Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut about retired opera singers, might win kudos too.

If Oscar wants to lean darker -- they love villains in both of the supporting categories -- they might latch on to the sure to be controversial Django Unchained but it's worth noting that Pulp Fiction is the only Quentin Tarantino film that has managed multiple acting nominations. So it's anyone's guess as to who will be named "best in show" this time out but my money is currently on the villain (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his captive (Kerry Washington

Crowded Films
We can't possibly know this early on who the standouts will be in various crowded films but we can guess. Ben Affleck's Argo, Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln might be key films to watch for the Supporting Actor category since they all involve dangerous military operations and the cast lists are deep. Les Misérables will undoubtedly be the film that will spark the most early discussion about the Supporting Actress category since Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks and Helena Bonham-Carter will all have key moments they can own.

Can David O. Russell get two of his supporting ladies nominated again? The Silver Linings Playbook has Jacki Weaver and Jennifer Lawrence

Double Dipping?
Oscar has really gone crazy for doubling up in Supporting Actress this past decade. It just keeps happening that two actresses are nominated from the same film. Two more films which might be in play for the ol' twice over are Hyde Park on Hudson (The Olivias, Williams and Colman) and David O. Russell's The Silver Lining Playbook (with previous nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Jacki Weaver)

Can all those "Rampart" raves, help Woody Harrelson in his next role as a dog-loving mobster?
The April Foolish Predictions...

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
See where they rank: Amy Adams, Redgrave, The Bening, JLaw hot off Hunger Games, Mary Todd "Sally" Lincoln, Nicole Kidman, The Olivias and the Les Mis girls.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
See where they rank: All those men still waiting for a win like Leo, Woody & Joaquin, plus previous winners Lee Jones, Waltz, and many more.

Naturally you'll want to sound off on all the wonderful possibilities. Which performances do you have warm fuzzy hunches about? Which performances do you think I'm overestimating?

 

Wednesday
Mar212012

"Who am I... Who am I"

24601 !!!!!!! ♫ "

That's Hugh Jackman in character as Jean Valjean on the set of Les Misérables. The most epic musical made in some time hits the screen in just 268 days. Good luck to Tom Hooper and cast. Please let this be great. The stage show deserves it.

Wednesday
Jan042012

A Heart Full of Uh-Oh... Taylor Swift for "Les Misérables"

Last night while innocently checking Facebook, a reader forced me -- literally forced me -- to read unpleasant news, reaching through the screen, yanking my eyeballs out and plopping them right down on this news that Taylor Swift was joining the cast of Tom Hooper's Les Miserables as Eponine.

I said "Don't make me think about THAT!!!". I mean, I'd just shared my top ten list so I was still hooked up to an IV joy drip and he wanted me to focus on THAT. I couldn't do it! THAT would have to wait until tomorrow, I said.

But here we are in tomorrow and THAT is still whatever it is. So let's recap what's going on with the casting of the most important movie musical in the pipeline.

The Three Roles The Whole Thing Rests On
Jean Valjean.......................... Hugh Jackman
Inspector Javert .................... Russell Crowe
Fantine ................................  Anne Hathaway

We know that Jackman and Hathaway have spectacular golden age quality movie musical voices and that all three of these movie stars can really act. That's a crucial thing since Les Misérables is actually an epic weepie and not the more commonly seen musical comedy. If "Bring Him Home" (Valjean) and "I Dreamed a Dream" (Fantine) don't ruin you emotionally, Les Miz will lose 87% of its dramatic potency.

Crowe? Have we heard him sing outside of rock music? Hooper is supposedly NOT doing this musical in the typical way of pre-recording and then lipsynching / acting later on. Instead, or so we hear though it sounds complicated given the chaotic milieu of the story, that the actors will actually be singing while they act. This might make for an electric movie experience (I mean the source material is already great) but who knows.

the rest of the cast after the jump


 

Click to read more ...