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Entries in Les Misérables (59)

Thursday
Oct202011

I Googled "Les Miz Songs" For A Title To This Post

... so pretend it's called "I Dreamed A Dream... of Music!" or something thereabouts. Be creative, in the wake of my early morning total lack thereof. JA from MNPP here. As I made horrifically clear to everyone back when we played “Make Me Watch A Musical” a couple of years ago, I have… well, it’s more than a blind spot, more like a black hole when it comes to movie musicals. It’s been awhile since then and I haven’t much improved my standing with the genre, either. I’ve seen several of the Busby Berkley musicals and I really enjoyed them (Team Blondell! Ruby Keeler can suck an egg!), but then I suffered though – suffered being the operative word – Funny Girl to see who this Barbra Streisand character everybody talks about is all about and wow, not for me! I say this not to offend you Barbolytes (Streisfans? Babsilonians?) but to make it clear how Byzantine my pathologies towards the genre are. There’s no rhyme or reason. 

Which is why I find myself writing this post today. A couple of years ago, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway lit up the stage at the Oscars, and me along with most of the rest of you lit up alongside it. What a hoot! And now they’re reuniting to make a musical, which is totally something I would watch.  They have charisma that captivates me. The musical is Les Misérables, to be exact. My familiarity with Les Miz can be summed up by this post here. That’s the honest truth. Totally clueless. I’ve never even read Hugo’s book. The French Revolution is involved? Maybe somebody steals some bread? I don't know.

So I want a lesson. I’m asking you musical lovers to tell me what I need to know going into this. Gimme "The Gospel of Les Miz According To TFE Readers." How right or wrong is Hugh Jackman for the part he’s playing? How about Russell Crowe? And lovely Anne, can she be a Fantine, whatever the hell that is? Who could you see playing the parts better? And what about all the other roles, who would you cast? What are they going to have to do to adapt the source into a successful movie? I don’t know! I am asking you!



Wednesday
Jun152011

Hugh Jackman May Finally Sing On Screen. (Plus: Paul Bettany!)

If I know The Film Experience crowd you've already heard that Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in Tom Hooper's screen adapation of Les Miserables, affectionately known all over God's green earth (that show has travelled everywhere) as "Les Miz". I personally couldn't be more thrilled since Jackman as song & dance man is my all time favorite Jackman. Since I love all the other incarnations of Jackman with great muchness that is saying a hell of a lot.

(I will never ever ever forget or regret seeing him on the boards in The Boy From Oz... and the show wasn't even good!)

You may recall that we did a "Cast This" awhile back and Hugh Jackman was the favorite choice for starring in the comments. My greatest desire IF they secure Jackman --  who has been so ready to sing onscreen that he even supposedly did it in Chinese in his cameo in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (opening soon) -- that the studio won't feel they have to have huge stars in every role and will cast according to actual vocal/acting gifts. Les Miz is not "pop" music. You can't have a pleasant voice with tiny range and merely be able to carry a tune. You've got to be able to carry epic melodrama in your voice.

Les Miz is a beast of a property and will be terrifically hard to pull off but it COULD make a great film. Especially if they cast well and cast for the roles andvoices and not from fear and bet-hedging. It's a long long way until a first trailer (ha!) but IF when it arrives, Hollywood is trying to pretend that it ISN'T a musical,  as so many modern musicals have done (despite notable box office successes in the genre in the past decade), than we'll know they blew it and the studio is nervous. But for now, I'm trying to stay optimistic. Hugh Jackman would sure help boost the possibility that it will be a great film version.

Good luck Tom Hooper. You'll need it.

AND THIS JUST IN
Paul Bettany has read and sung for the part of "Javert"

Friday
Mar252011

Cast This! "Les Miz" For the Big Screen

In the annals of "the movie business is SO weird" and "Hollywood is terrified of musicals" few things beat the case of the 1998 film version of Victor Hugo's French revolution classic Les Miserables. Despite being moved into production during the 90s when the British mega-musical of the same name was well into its record breaking stage run, Hollywood thought it time to revive the book, which had been filmed many times before, but not as an adaptation of the ginormously popular musical.

Hollywood is currently repeating this dunderheaded mistake with umpteen Wizard of Oz projects in development that ARE NOT Wicked the musical, which is so popular that it has been already earned more than half a billion dollars at the box office.

What is wrong with Hollywood?

So back to Les Miz. Admittedly we tend to travel in packs with people who share our interests but I didn't meet one person around the late 1990s who didn't say "Why isn't it the musical?" with a genuinely confused look on their face. Everybody was into that musical. It was as popular as Cats and Phantom of the Opera the two other pop culture musical phenomenons of the 80s. I also didn't meet one person who was eager to buy a ticket the movie without the songs.

So Uma Thurman played Fantine but didn't get to belt out power ballad classic "I Dreamed a Dream", Claire Danes played the pitiable orphaned Cosette but didn't get that wonderful crosscut romantic triangle "A Heart Full of Love",  Liam Neeson played Valjean but didn't get that 11th hour manly weep-a-thon "Bring Him Home". Etcetera.

Fantine (UMA) Dies From Musical Malnourishment

Word is that Tom Hooper may be directing the first film version of this musical as his follow up to The King's Speech. Honestly, if he pulls this off, we'll pretend that this year's Oscars never happened and stop being angry on behalf of David Fincher.

Les Miz is perfect for big screen. Let's talk why and cast the characters after the jump.

Click to read more ...

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