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Old 06-02-2013, 18:58
CM
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I attended the premiere last night and thought I'd give the heads up on it for fans since it's one of the most anticipated releases ever! I am lucky enough to have seen the original production and cast back in 1985 and seen it again several times since, and now the film premiere. I won the tickets in a ballot.

On their way in, on the red carpet, the key players were interviewed by Michael Ball (the original Marius) and Emma Willis. You could hear these interviews outside and see them inside on the cinema screen. His interviews were excellent and mainly about performance and filming technique. Hers were her usual Big Brother level.

All of the leading cast, the producers, the director Tom Hooper, and Cameron Mackintosh, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer were there, and before the film started, they came up on stage and introduced themselves one by one to great cheers. Whatever the movie was going to be like, those who had made it seemed to think it was their best work and one of the best films ever made! Tom Hooper said it could not have been made without Hugh Jackman and no one else could have played the role.

Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean, appears in the film as the priest who changes his life when he forgives him for stealing his silver. I didn't see him there, so I don't know if he was in attendance, I assume not. If you don't know Les Mis from the original and anniversary versions, then his role in the movie is not going to be imbued with the same status, but for me, it was genuinely moving and wonderful, and as always, he sang so beautifully.

Eric Fellner, the producer, told us that there were a lot of the rest of the cast and crew in the audience and during the film to make our appreciation felt. This resulted in the unusual practice of much of the film being cheered and applauded and the slightly irritating but also comic effect of some of the peripheral cast whooping and applauding each other when they first came into shot, even if they appeared for only a nanosecond or had one line or no lines at all!

Well, it took them 27 years to make it, but it was well worth the wait. From the moment it opens on an incredibly visually dramatic scene with the famous pounding opening orchestral chords, you just know it's going to be one of the all time great films. It's a fantastic, moving, brilliant, technically dazzling, truly epic transfer to film of one of the greatest stage productions ever. Every shot looks amazing. It's faithful to the stage show but has been opened up and on the grand scale. Yet it's also mostly intimate, personally involving as if you are there yourself and at times it's very raw, almost unbearably painful. There's much more 'miserables' in this version than on the stage. I don't know if everyone will like that.

I think most will know that virtually all the dialogue is sung through, and for the first time in a major film the singing was recorded live on set and blended together in post-prodution. This was a masterstroke but it may not be to everyone's taste. The director clearly went the route of placing acting/character/emoting over 'beautiful singing', Julie Andrews diction and perfect musical timekeeping. The movie is just not sung as musically or attractively as on stage, but it is probably much better acted. The characters are drawn in greater detail and the storyline is made clearer, with extra elements in it. There's also some extra spoken dialogue some of which from the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen might have been ad libbed. I think I really understood the full implications of all the minutiae of the story for the first time.

The stage productions are cast with top level singers who can act and the film is cast with top level actors who can sing - and yes, they can all sing, no one lets it down. However, the singing in the film, for me, was slightly underpowered in almost everyone's top register, except for Samantha Barks as Eponine, who nails her performance, and Anne Hathaway. Helena Bonham Carter told us up front she can't really sing and I'm afraid she wasn't being falsely modest. Sacha Baron Cohen can't really either. But they play the Thenardiers so they get away with it - and this is also personal taste, I like the more musical singers.

In terms of the lead performances Anne Hathaway will walk away from this with armfuls of awards. She is a revelation, taking Fantine to a new level. She stopped the movie dead with her astonishing rendition of I Dreamed a Dream. Much of the audience was in tears, the applause was spontaneous and prolongued and it only stopped because it wasn't a live performance and the film was continuing.

Russell Crowe as Javert is also perfectly cast. Yes, he's the villain of the piece, but we totally understand his own morality and personal crusade so he becomes our anti-hero. Also with the way the film is opened up he becomes the counter-balance and equal rival to Valjean, I don't remember Javert being so all-present in the stage version. This is as much about Javert as Valjean. He's also a surprisingly effective singer and nails his songs.

It's such a huge cast I can't review everyone in it, so I'll finish on its star, Hugh Jackman. His physical peformance is astonishing, he's almost unrecognisable in the opening, you can believe he's been 19 years on a chain gang. He carries the film and makes a perfect Valjean. I found many of his scenes moving, especially with Eddie Redmayne.

However, in true Hollywood tradition he does not age sufficiently through the story - he's been 19 years in prison before it starts and there's 20 years of plotline, yet he looks barely older at the end.

I had admittedly very high expectations of his vocal performance and I'm afraid he didn't quite live up to them. I heard him back in the 90s in Oklahoma when he had a great voice, but Valjean is much more demanding and was written for Colm Wilkinson's purer, much higher register. Jackman is a bit rough sounding and underpowered at the top of his register and in Bring Him Home he just can't match the aching beauty of Wilkinson or Alfie Boe. This doesn't mean that he doesn't deliver, he does, he just does it through a different style of performance. Whenever I've seen Les Mis, teh beauty of Bring Him Home stops the show. It didn't quite here, it received much more muted applause than either Anne Hathaway or Samantha Banks.

But I don't want to end on a down note. It really is a fantastic film, one of the all time best, and huge credits must go to Cameron Mackintosh and his colleagues for surpassing themselves in transferring their stage success with even more incredible results than they, or we, could have hoped for. Bravo!
Sounds boring
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Old 06-02-2013, 18:59
Mystical123
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Were the other singers all pro stage musical stars? Never seen them before in a movie, apart from Anne,Russell and Hugh.
The ensemble were music theatre pros, predominantly the current London Les Mis cast and Les Mis alumni. And Gavroche and Young Cosette were former and current Les Mis West End cast respectively (Daniel Huttlestone, who played Gavroche in the movie, is currently in Oliver with Samantha Barks)

But of all the principal cast, only Eponine (Samantha Barks) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) were music theatre people.

Eddie Redmayne (Marius) has done plenty of plays but never a musical. Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) did the Mamma Mia movie (though that was pre-recorded vocals) and is a trained singer. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (the Thenardiers) you're sure to have seen in something, they're both pretty famous... don't think Sacha has ever done a musical, but Helena did the movie version of Sweeney Todd a few years back.

Moviefone - Hugh Jackman & Anne Hathaway
Press Junket Interview - Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks
Press Junket interview - Russell Crowe
David Letterman interview - Amanda Seyfried
Facebook interview - Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne & Amanda Seyfried

Y'know...if ya get bored or you're just impatient like me....
This one's also good, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgtNatwyH4
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:01
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I apologise because I haven't read all the way through the thread, but a friend is trying to persuade me to go and see this with her and I'm really not convinced by it at all. Is it,as the name suggests a totally miserable film? Does anything remotely upbeat happen or is it all wailing and gnashing of teeth? Just wanted a bit more info before parting with my hard earned cash, and to make sure I won't be in danger of slitting my own throat on the way out
It's about the impoverished working class in 19th Century France, and revolution, injustice and atonement. People die, as they did in reality.


But of course there are upbeat moments in it, that's as much human nature as the miserable stuff. I'm not going to spoil it, but there's a great deal of happiness in the ending. And of course there's a love story in it, and a mother's love for her child. And some comic relief in the Thenardiers.


I wouldn't judge anything on what other people say though, you're always going to get different opinions and interpretations - one person's miserable is another's profound sometimes.

Go and see it for yourself and judge
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:06
Great Dane
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It's about the impoverished working class in 19th Century France, and revolution, injustice and atonement. People die, as they did in reality.


But of course there are upbeat moments in it, that's as much human nature as the miserable stuff. I'm not going to spoil it, but there's a great deal of happiness in the ending. And of course there's a love story in it, and a mother's love for her child. And some comic relief in the Thenardiers.


I wouldn't judge anything on what other people say though, you're always going to get different opinions and interpretations - one person's miserable is another's profound sometimes.

Go and see it for yourself and judge
Thanks for the info, feel more inclined to give it a whirl now
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:09
Kolin Klingon
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I seem to remember there being a behind-the-scenes documentary on TV just before the film was released. Anyone got an online link as I never watched it (I didn't think that I'd be seeing or enjoying the film!)

Thanks in advance
Oh I watched that when it was on and it annoyed the hell out of me. I was trying to show my brother how good the movies was but every time they opened their mouth they got about 3 words out and then CUT! No one expects the whole film or even a whole song but the clips were so ridiculously short, not even I could get into them.
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Old 06-02-2013, 19:15
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Sounds boring
It's beyond boring.
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Old 06-02-2013, 20:09
tally
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Moviefone - Hugh Jackman & Anne Hathaway
Press Junket Interview - Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks
Press Junket interview - Russell Crowe
David Letterman interview - Amanda Seyfried
Facebook interview - Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne & Amanda Seyfried

Y'know...if ya get bored or you're just impatient like me....
I've d/l over 2 hours worth of stuff from You Tube, there's loads on there, especially relevant are the official channels clips of stuff like hair, costume, makeup etc. Plus press junkets galore.

It's my own little addition to the DVD.



Is this the behind the scenes stuff you're on about? It's 17 minutes. of interesting extras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_lFp6nZkq0



This clip of Russell and Hugh singing The Soliloquy is one of my favourites if anyone's interested. Especially when they're trying to keep a straight face!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlYVHOUa3Vo
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Old 06-02-2013, 20:30
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I can't find the Eddie Redmayne interview by Michael Ball where Eddie does the "Michael Ball lick" in Red and Black. I thought that was funny.
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Old 06-02-2013, 21:09
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Much to my surprise, as I really don't like musicals, I really enjoyed this movie.
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Old 06-02-2013, 21:38
googleking
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The DVD had better have deleted scenes or even better..be a director's cut!
And an interval title

It can be optional, some people can watch it with an interval, theatre style; some can choose to watch it in one hit.
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Old 06-02-2013, 22:25
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I think Hugh sang Bring Him Home better than Alfie Boe. I find his rendition too harsh and operatic. He hasn't the smooth velvet voice of Colm or the sincerity of Hugh.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:14
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Is this the behind the scenes stuff you're on about? It's 17 minutes. of interesting extras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_lFp6nZkq0


Thank you for the link.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:56
tally
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Oh gawd, it's started. Just preordered Les Miserables - From Book to Stage & Screen , a new Documentary featuring Sir Cameron Mackintosh; Hugh Jackman; Neil Sean; Tom Hooper; Amanda Seyfried;
I bet it turns up on one of the Deluxe versions of the DVD. A fool and his money are soon parted, but it only cost me £2.50 as I had a £10 gift voucher. Canny or what?

I'm grateful for small mercies! And it's due to be delivered on February 26th
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:01
mimicole
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Here are some photos from the Paris premiere of Les Miserables.

I don't know whether or not it's been posted already. Thought I'd add to our little archive of all things Les Mis!


I've d/l over 2 hours worth of stuff from You Tube, there's loads on there, especially relevant are the official channels clips of stuff like hair, costume, makeup etc. Plus press junkets galore.

It's my own little addition to the DVD.



Is this the behind the scenes stuff you're on about? It's 17 minutes. of interesting extras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_lFp6nZkq0



This clip of Russell and Hugh singing The Soliloquy is one of my favourites if anyone's interested. Especially when they're trying to keep a straight face!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlYVHOUa3Vo
Thank you for the link. I don't know what the documentary was called but I'll watch it

I love that you've downloaded 2 hours worth of footage. You are the "well adjusted les mis fan" mentioned in the Youtube video review that someone posted a few pages back and I claim my £5 Thank you!

I can't find the Eddie Redmayne interview by Michael Ball where Eddie does the "Michael Ball lick" in Red and Black. I thought that was funny.
I wanna see this too!

Much to my surprise, as I really don't like musicals, I really enjoyed this movie.
I felt exactly the same.
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Old 07-02-2013, 13:21
PJ68
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The ensemble were music theatre pros, predominantly the current London Les Mis cast and Les Mis alumni. And Gavroche and Young Cosette were former and current Les Mis West End cast respectively (Daniel Huttlestone, who played Gavroche in the movie, is currently in Oliver with Samantha Barks)

But of all the principal cast, only Eponine (Samantha Barks) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) were music theatre people.

Eddie Redmayne (Marius) has done plenty of plays but never a musical. Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) did the Mamma Mia movie (though that was pre-recorded vocals) and is a trained singer. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (the Thenardiers) you're sure to have seen in something, they're both pretty famous... don't think Sacha has ever done a musical, but Helena did the movie version of Sweeney Todd a few years back.



This one's also good, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgtNatwyH4
sacha was in sweeney todd too
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Old 07-02-2013, 13:34
googleking
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Korean Air Force (huh?) parody version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZunEARBb6I
BRILLIANT.
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Old 07-02-2013, 13:39
tally
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Thank you for the link. I don't know what the documentary was called but I'll watch it

I love that you've downloaded 2 hours worth of footage. You are the "well adjusted les mis fan" mentioned in the Youtube video review that someone posted a few pages back and I claim my £5 Thank you!
Nah! I never comment on You Tube links. But guilty as charged about rhapsodising. I LOVE this thread. It's bought out all my anal qualities about the show/film.
I'm a self confessed Les Miz freak/nutter. I'll hold my hand up for that.

Weird, because this is the only thing that I've been obsessed with for nearly 30 years. I go and see all the shows I can, enjoy them, maybe return (I always enjoy stuff more the 2nd time around) but that's it.

Nothing comes close to my freakery over this particularly musical. I first saw it on my honeymoon, then through the years lots of personal events are marked by "that was the year we saw ....( insert name)... in Les Miz", right up till my divorce. I suppose you can say I can chronicle my life events through it. Sad or what.

It's also the only time I saw my ex cry. A truly amazing feat for a control freak. Who knew he had emotions like that?
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Old 07-02-2013, 13:46
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Old 07-02-2013, 14:30
mimicole
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Don't forget the 'Making of' today on itv1 guys
Making Of! That's the documentary that I wanted to see!

I've just gotta find it on ITV now. Thank you!
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Old 07-02-2013, 16:10
mimicole
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There is a Les Mis special on sky arts 2 tomorrow morning at 5:30. Set it up to record! Looking forward to watching it tomorrow afternoon
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Old 07-02-2013, 19:19
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'The Making Of Les Miserables' was good. Samantha Barks gave a little set tour. It was interesting!

I can't wait to get the book that's out later this month. It looks really good! 'From Stage To Screen' I believe it's called.
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Old 07-02-2013, 19:38
tally
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'The Making Of Les Miserables' was good. Samantha Barks gave a little set tour. It was interesting!

I can't wait to get the book that's out later this month. It looks really good! 'From Stage To Screen' I believe it's called.
I was tempted, but have gone for the DVD instead. Released on the same day but £4 cheaper.
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Old 07-02-2013, 22:59
Jenbonjovi
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It's beyond boring.
I fell asleep.
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Old 08-02-2013, 00:03
Kolin Klingon
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Korean Air Force (huh?) parody version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZunEARBb6I
BRILLIANT.
Bloody hell! Jokes aside, they had some very good voices there and great production values.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:56
tally
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I get that you might have hated it, but "fell asleep"? Nah, not buying it. Why didn't you walk out?


Even watching the worst film on the planet, I've always found the seats too uncomfortable to fall asleep. I've played games with the number of lights, rows, people in the audience etc because I've been bored rigid, but I normally go and find a pub and chalk it up to my eclectic tastes being far too good for the drivel on the screen.
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