Friday, September 21, 2012

An extended look at Les Miserables. It still looks wonderful.

This four minute featurette goes into detail about the gimmick of allowing actors to sing live on set as they are filmed.  As if I wasn't anymore excited by the project on principle, this sounds like a wonderful experiment that seems to be working very well.  And the discussion about Hathaway's performance of "I Dreamed A Dream" (around 3:20) is one of those wonderful moments where you realize that the filmmakers indeed made the right artistic choice for exactly the reason you hoped (in this case, doing the song less as a triumphant ode to resiliency and more as a rock-bottom admission of defeat). I know the disappointments of Phantom of the Opera and The Producers have quieted Oscar talk for this one, but this still feels like the one to beat.  It's a fantastic and wrenching drama filled with obscenely good songs performed by some of the best musical actors in the film industry.  In the words of William Hurt in A History Of Violence, "How do you fuck *this* up?".  Anyway, I'm not thrilled about Universal moving the film to December 25th, mostly because I want to see it sooner and there are already a bazillion releases during the last two weeks of the year as it is.  Let's hope one or two of them take refuge in the now nearly vacant December 14th slot (yes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be huge, but there is room for viable counter programming). Les Miserables opens on December 25th.  If it's as good as I want it to be, this may be the first film in 4.5 years that I end up seeing twice in a theater.  At the very least, I will certainly be buying the soundtrack.

Scott Mendelson    

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