Les Miz Takes Imaginary Lead at Gold Derby

I have never believed you can trust people predicting a movie to WIN that they haven’t seen. It’s sort of like the choice between spitting in the wind and hoping it lands in the cup you can’t see, and just leaning over spitting the cup that’s already sitting there. Hope springs eternal when imaginary movies are winning imaginary Oscars.  It’s like imagining that perfect wedding day with a person you’ve never met. So much could go right. So much could go wrong.

Nonetheless, here is how Best Picture is shaking down over at Gold Derby (and you can add Kris Tapley to the Argo list, though he doesn’t participate in Gold Derby) [UPDATED]:

8 predicting a big win for “Les Miz”: Edward Douglas (Comingsoon),Tariq Khan (Fox News), Sean O’Connell (Hollywood News),Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Alex Suskind (Moviefone), Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and me.

5 “Argo” backers: Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today).

4 still behind “Silver Linings”: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Steve Pond(The Wrap),  Dave Karger and Chuck Walton (Fandango).

Loyal to “Lincoln”: Matt Atchity (RottenTomatoes), Kevin Polowy(NextMovie) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).

Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire) picks “Life of Pi,” Guy Lodge (In Contention/Hitfix) opts for “The Master” andMichael Musto (Village Voice) chooses “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Tom O’Neil doesn’t agree with me on that – he’s of the  mind that you can predict movies without seeing them based on subject matter, pedigree and, if any exists, buzz. A commenter over at his site who calls him Snuggles4 (I can’t get beyond the name – he should be something more formidable?) predicted well in Gold Derby’s Emmy and Oscar contest. But of course, these predictions that were so successful were made right before the Oscars happened. I don’t think anyone tracked last year how early Snuggles4 declared his winners.

It is possible to know very early on – to guess and to be right. The winners of our contest often score way higher than any of the pundits and do so often when you’d think it was too early to know. So these predictions today mean “it’s gonna be this movie unless it isn’t.”

Many of these films have yet to hit the major critics — the only one of them, in fact, is Argo, which passed the test with flying colors.  The rest of them have a few reviews but not the requisite 43 on Metacritic. Not yet.

But let’s go through the ones that are being predicted right now to win shall we?

Honestly, I feel there are two competing films for “frontrunner” status right now. Argo — because, of the combination of audience response and reviews, subject matter and quality ensemble. Silver Linings Playbook because it won the audience award in Toronto, beating Argo. One is a broad, global political story and one is a smaller, honed in, personal story. There aren’t many previous Oscar winning Best Pictures to set the precedent for either of these films — funnily enough, both seem to point to Shakespeare in Love as their best comparison. Silver Linings, though, is more As Good as it Gets and Argo is more … All the President’s Men. Neither of those won Best Picture. You could argue, I guess, that Silver Linings in Rocky and Argo is All the President’s Men.

We go into Argo more on our latest podcast, if you’d care to listen.

These two films head into the race with the most going for them because they’ve been seen by the most people. Argo is the only film that has been seen by all of the critics and is now opening to the public. That is really your best litmus test for Oscar.

Since Guy Lodge is still predicting The Master to win, it’s worth noting that The Master did extremely well with critics, coming in at 85 on Metacritic (as opposed to Argo and Beasts’ 86) and has opened to the public. The response has been divisive.  And divisive ain’t never gonna get you a consensus vote.  Insert comment here about how none of this really matters in the long run.

Silver Linings wowed them in Toronto because it came in with the lowest possible expectations.  That made it an irresistible crowd pleaser.   Does it have enough stuff to take it to the win, beating all the others? There are many open-ended questions still — it hasn’t been reviewed by most of the critics and it hasn’t opened to the public. How it does with the public could really make all of the difference. The Weinstein Co. is a well-oiled machine and if they know they have a winner they know how to sell it.   It isn’t over yet for Silver Linings. In fact, being viewed as the underdog is always the best way to enter the Oscar race.

Lincoln and Life of Pi have been seen now by festival crowds.  Life of Pi is the most moving film I’ve seen this year — well, it’s right up there with Beasts of the Southern Wild in that regard.  It’s the kind of movie that if it hits it will sweep in a big way. That’s the story with Les Miz, too, except one’s been seen and reacted to, and the other still resides in the fantasy realm. Life of Pi is brilliant, audacious, imaginative and extremely well executed. It has the potential to be divisive but it’s still too early to make that call.

Lincoln is trickier.   It has been seen though none of the reviews have come out yet. The responses to it on Twitter were mixed but you really had to read between the lines to suss out which voices are Oscar-corresponding and which voices aren’t. Sure, a Best Picture winner will have to appeal to 20-somethings and 60-somethings alike but with a film like Lincoln, since it’s Spielberg, the critics will ultimately be the ones to shape its Oscar narrative, not the festival-goers.

What Les Miserables appears to have going for it is that, first, it was directed by an Oscar winner, Tom Hooper. Second, it looks as though the performances are all stellar. It is an epic (joining Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas in that regard).  What could be hit or miss is this notion of having no dialogue at all, only live singing. Live singing. It’s a big gamble but one that could pay off enormously.  Still, it’s almost as risky a prediction as saying Django Unchained will win based on the trailer. Complicating matters further is the high expectations raised in predicting a movie to win Best Picture that no one has seen. It almost feels like a curse — since, in all of the years I’ve been watching Oscar I’ve never seen a movie people predicted to win before seeing actually win after being seen. It just never happens — the movies in our heads aren’t usually the movies on the screen.

Still coming: Zero Dark Thirty, The Hobbit,  Django Unchained. You just can’t predict these films to win because no one, not even Snuggles4, has seen it.  O’Neil said he didn’t know whether Snuggles4 had seen it because he wouldn’t say one way or the other. Les Miz has everything going for it sight unseen. But how many movies have we said that about? We seem to never tire of learning this same lesson over and over again.

For my money, right this moment, Argo has the stuff that Oscars are made of. But things could change and change quickly.  We just don’t know anything with so many films left to be seen.

UPDATE: The tally shifted a bit this morning.  SLP lost a supporter who defected to Les Miz.  Tom O’Neill says there was a test screening of Lez Miz at the Arclight Hollywood, Saturday, Oct 6, that went extremely well.  It’s possible his poster “Snuggle4” may have attended that event.  It doesn’t appear any journos have seen the film, but persistent buzz from the Arclight screening could be triggering this new stampede.

 

87 Comments on this Post

  1. I disagree. the Oscars are all about predicting winners without seeing them. I just think Hooper is too fresh. He’s not seasoned enough to get 2 already… Though if Les Mis wins, I’d say its going to Afleck or Russell in the Director’s slot.

  2. Joao Mattos

    “The Film Awards Show” said something that is probably the most interesting Oscar question at this momento, and maybe during the next weeks: even if “Les Miserables” takes the front, isn’t too soon for a second Oscar in a row for Achievement in Directing for Tom Hooper?

  3. Only two directors in history ever won two consecutive Oscars.

    John Ford – The Grapes of Wrath(1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941)
    Joseph L. Mankiewicz – A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950)

    Do we think Les Miz will be on par with All About Eve?

  4. Tero Heikkinen

    But Hooper didn’t make a film last year, it would be HIS consecutive. Someone mentioned here that David Lean might be the only director to have won with two consecutive directorial efforts.

    Anyway, if Les Mis wins, Hooper still misses to Affleck or someone else.

  5. “Do we think Les Miz will be on par with All About Eve?”

    HA! Even my crazy imagination can’t go that far.

  6. Sasha Stone

    I disagree. the Oscars are all about predicting winners without seeing them.

    Huh?

  7. Sasha Stone

    I just don’t think you can predict the winner without seeing it. You can predict nominees….

  8. Multiple Best Director Oscar Club:
    John Ford, William Wyler, Frank Capra, Billy Wilder, David Lean, Fred Zinnemann, Steven Spielberg, Elia Kazan, George Stevens, Clint Eastwood, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Oliver Stone … and Tom Hooper? Right now, just not feeling Hooper’s invitation to that Pantheon.

    On the other hand, Robert Wise won 2 best Director Oscars for West Side Story and… The Sound of Music.

    Do we think 2012 is 1965?

  9. Tero Heikkinen

    I was fairly close to naming the winner without seeing it with ROTK (had predicted this win two years before its nomination), but that’s the only time, and quite a special occasion. With Schindler’s List I was very sure, too.

  10. wow, Tero. How old are you, guy?

  11. Well, Les Mis on stage takes any version of The Sound of Music down, and Les Mis on screen could be even better.

    On Silver Linings Playbook, I continue to get an Up-in-the-Air-vibe. That was a major frontrunner, a little lighter than Oscar’s typical fare, and then it was gradually dismantled by the awards season process. It probably ended up behind four other films in the end. This is already a slightly crowded year, and the same could happen to SLP. But same things don’t often happen twice in this race.

  12. julian the emperor

    It is interesting that Sasha mentions that the live singing potentially could “pay off enormously” for Les Miz. I think that is very true. On one hand, you have a very conventional Oscar-bait proposition, on the other hand – and at the same time – it is a daring piece of work (Oscar-wise, anyway) because it breaks new ground (live singing, no spoken dialogue). In other words; the perfect combination of safe and daring. A winners’ combination? It just might be.

    On the other hand, if the live singing doesn’t work, Les Miz will bomb immediately and be a laughing stock more than anything (although I think it will be awarded a “prestige” nomination, a la EL&IC and War Horse last year. Sometimes a movie becomes so much a part of the conversation, that it is impossible to leave it out of the equation all togther.

    Still, with all that said; Argo and Life of Pi remain my frontrunners.

  13. PLEASE not another win for Tom Hooper. He shouldn’t rob another one who’s 10 times more deserving. He already took one from Fincher, don’t let him take one from Affleck or P.T Anderson too.

  14. BTW is anyone else getting those 8-minute long previews of LES MIS now when they go to the movies? I have now had to sit through that 3 times… and if it weren’t for the fact that the music kicks major ass I would have fallen asleep.

    And actually for ARGO I not only got the 8-minute preview but when the actual movie trailers started they showed the 2 minute preview. Talk about battering you over the head with it. My audience actually groaned.

  15. Remember that time a Clint Eastwood directed Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela couldn’t possibly lose? Yeah… I don’t trust anything sight unseen. It’s not worth the time.

  16. “It almost feels like a curse — since, in all of the years I’ve been watching Oscar I’ve never seen a movie people predicted to win before seeing actually win after being seen. It just never happens”

    Not true. Many people predicted that “Return of the King” would win the Oscar for Best Picture long before it was released, and they were right. Now, you could argue that it was an exception to the usual rule because the previous two LOTR films both got Best Pic nods, but I say it is basically the same thing: they were going on the director’s previous pedigree, and they were also going on the strength of the source material. Same thing applies to Les Miz, especially since it seems like a direct translation of the book of the musical.

    Personally, I’m not sure if it will win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did based on the aforementioned reasons.

  17. unlikely hood

    Paddy nails it again. SLP = UITA feels very right. We’ll see if it does the full arc from front-runner to going home empty-handed,

    I’m glad to hear Sasha notices aliases, cause mine’s the best.

    mecid: ageist much?

    As a huge fan of Ang Lee’s and of the book Life of Pi, I’m still skeptical that voters will rally behind the film. Nominee, probably, but winner, I doubt it. It’s getting Pixar’s “slot” since Pixar doesn’t seem to want it anymore.

  18. Hooper would win for consecutive films (not done since David Lean) and he would win for his first two theatrical efforts? Count Bigelow out for the whole consecutive film issue as well

    I think Spielberg or Ang Lee for Director and a split with Best Picture.

  19. “On Silver Linings Playbook, I continue to get an Up-in-the-Air-vibe.”

    Exactly the same comparison I’ve cited to Sasha privately the past couple of weeks. Didn’t say it loudly. Just murmuring, grumbling. But that’s my feeling too, Paddy.

  20. “Many people predicted that ‘Return of the King’ would win the Oscar for Best Picture long before it was released, and they were right. Now, you could argue that it was an exception to the usual rule because the previous two LOTR films both got Best Pic nods, but I say it is basically the same thing: they were going on the director’s previous pedigree, and they were also going on the strength of the source material. Same thing applies to Les Miz, especially since it seems like a direct translation of the book of the musical.”
    The predictions of ROTK’s wins aren’t terribly impressive. given how well received the previous two were, conventional wisdom was a win for ROTK would essentially be a win for the entire trilogy, so long as he stuck the landing. Considering they were all made at the same time and intended to be taken as a unified work, it made sense to make him the odds on favorite.
    Les Miz, however, doesn’t deserve the same automatic pass, regardless of how good the trailers look or the pedigree. Don’t forget, following a Best Picture win and Best Director Nom for “Chicago”, Rob Marshall went on to make “Nine” with an all star cast anchored by Daniel Day Lewis. That movie had strong enough early buzz and pedigree to pull out some nominations, but didn’t come close to Best Picture or Director and was generally panned. The same thing could easily happen with Les Miz.

  21. Pete, The King’s Speech and Les Miserables aren’t Tom Hooper’s first two theatrical films – he also made The Damned United, and a 2004 film named Red Dust which was made for cinema.

  22. Hooper would win for consecutive films

    I’ve started a misleading rumor. Because Oscar Night 2012 is Lost Weekend to me.

  23. For me it just felt about time for another musical to hit in a big way. I just imagine the Academy would be ready to give some love to another musical. Then that trailer hit and blew pretty much everyone away. Add that to the fact that this is a story that’s already been proven, is relevant and completely in the wheelhouse of what they usually go for, and I think that’s where it’s coming from.

  24. I am very much looking forward to Les Miz. However, I am curious is anyone can recall how the buzz was for the Billie August version of Les Miz with Neeson, Rush, Thurman, and Danes. They were all in great spots in their careers and I really like that movie, but it was NOT a hit and didn’t get much award recognition.

    I am just not sold that a full on singing version is going to register with the public. Not that that matters in terms of awards I guess.

    At this point, it seems it’s a four-horse race between Les Miz, Silver Linings, Argo, and Lincoln.

  25. Question Mark

    I think The Master is already done. For an unusual film like that to win BP, it would’ve had to receive acclaim across the board and become something of a phenomenon. The 70-30 split of praise it’s receiving isn’t enough. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see it fall out of the BP field entirely and Anderson out of the Director race.

    PLEASE not another win for Tom Hooper. He shouldn’t rob another one who’s 10 times more deserving. He already took one from Fincher, don’t let him take one from Affleck or P.T Anderson too.

    Since none of us have seen the movies, it’s way too early to talk about one film, director or actor “robbing” another. For all we know, Les Miz is going to be a masterpiece and Hooper’s award will be seen as a slam-dunk. It’s unfair to paint Hooper as some kind of a hack just because he became a villain on this website two years ago for the cardinal sin of Not Being David Fincher.

    Also, how is Affleck “ten times more deserving” than Hooper? They’ve both made pretty much the same number of feature films, and since I didn’t like The Town, I’d argue Hooper’s work is better.

  26. “Tom O’Neil doesn’t agree with me on that – he’s of the mind that you can predict movies without seeing them based on subject matter, pedigree and, if any exists, buzz.”

    — Sasha i’m 100% with you. it just seems like such a tremendous waste of time writing about (and even worse arguing about) films nobody has seen yet.

  27. This year is reminding me a bit of 2006, when there really wasn’t a solid, sure-thing frontrunner at any point. Dreamgirls was thought to be that movie sight unseen (like Les Miz is now), but it ultimately didn’t even end up with a nomination despite generally favorable reviews. That was an example of a movie that was so hyped as a frontrunner that it was regarded as a disappointment despite still getting more nominations than any other film that year and winning a major award (Best Supporting Actress). I wonder if Les Miz could follow that trajectory. Although it should be noted that Dreamgirls would almost certainly have been a Best Picture nominee under the current system, so I don’t think it will affect Les Miz in regards to a nomination, but Tom Hooper could be left out of Best Director if the movie isn’t an all-out grand slam with critics and audiences.

    Anyway, back to the 2006 comparison, I could easily see the precursors being scattered all over the place. Remember when the Golden Globes went for Babel and Dreamgirls, then the PGA and SAG went for Little Miss Sunshine, the DGA and BFCA went for The Departed, and BAFTA went for The Queen? Not to mention the NBR going for Letters from Iwo Jima(though they rarely pick the Best Picture winner anyway). As of right now, I don’t see any movie sweeping through the precursors this year.

  28. Really? Expectations were that high for “Dreamgirls” at this point in the year?

  29. The listing of predictors and and their picks needs some updating.

  30. watch out for J. A. Bayona´s “The impossible” as this year underdog. The only powerful drama in a crowded field + stunning visual and sound effects + 2/3 great performances + excellent early critics reviews (89 at metacritic). Add it is a true story and the emotional factor…Seems to be a real contender, isn´t it?

  31. Remember that Tom O’Neill saw 15 minutes of Sweeney Todd and proclaimed it to win BP and maybe sweep. We know how that went…

    I always think of the Dreamgirls situation as such: For many months everyone was fed the idea that the film would win BP. The Academy does not like to be told what to do and it reacted against the film. Well, that, and that it was not good.

  32. @ Question Mark

    I also think The Master is done for the win. And I’m getting more and more convinced that it can’t be nominated together with Beasts of the Southern Wild. They seem too “unusual” films for the Academy and I guess only one of them will take Tree of Life’s spot. I also think just like Pete Hammond and Tom O’Neil discussed recently that the very divisive aspect of The Master will hurt J. Phoenix. And that there are performances that could be left out of the actor race (John Hawkes or Danzel Washington, for example) that could have easily won in other years.

    @ matt

    I’m feeling the same way regarding The Impossible. In a field of up to 10, it’s very unlikely that a very late release doesn’t get in. I don’t think it’ll be Promised Land. It will be The Impossible. And Les Mis is not a very late entry. It’s an automatic nominee (just like Lincoln) unless it really really bombs.

    Hitchcock is another one I’m putting in my predictions. Fox Searchlight is very competent in terms of awards campaign. They would never through such a big project surprisingly without the confidence that it’s a very good material.

    And I’m mostly sure that if The Intouchables was an english-speaking film, it would be nominated for BP considering it’s subject and feel-good aspect.

    My current nominees (in order of likability):
    Argo
    Lincoln
    Les Miserables
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    Hitchcock
    The Master
    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Impossible
    Django Unchained

    Alt: Beasts of the Southern Wild

  33. enotS ahsaS

    Sasha I predict that ‘Lincoln’ will win best picture… I believe I just made a prediction of the winner without seeing the movie :P

  34. “It’s an automatic nominee (just like Lincoln) unless it really really bombs.”

    I don’t think Les Miz needs to bomb to miss a nomination. Since Chicago won there have been seven Broadway shows turned into movies, and at least three of them have ended up with at least an acting nod. None of them, however, have ended up with a Best Picture nod. Les Miz’s popularity as a musical may end up being what works against it. I think people will need to think that the movie exceeds the Broadway show to choose it as Best Picture. It easily could, but considering how well-loved the musical is, it’ll be difficult.

  35. My bad about Hooper’s output, but rewarding him two in a row seems wrong on a lot of levels.

    Of course, if Zemekis won two? Hmmmmm

  36. The Master is indeed done-for the win. It will probably get the nomination though. After all, if The Tree of Life could get in, why can’t The Master get in too? Beasts of the Southern Wild seems to resemble Winter’s Bone more than The Tree of Life, so there’s enough room for it too.

    So far, I haven’t seen ANY of the potential Oscar nominees this year, so this is all just guessing.

  37. Bob Burns

    recitatif.

    the correct term for sung dialogue is recitatif.

    everyone’s favorite use of recitatif in film is Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbellas of Cherbourg), with music by Michel Legrand.

    an inherently superior form, and more expressive than realistic dialogue, IMO, of course.

  38. +1 on the Silver Linings Playbook/Up in the Air Team

    phantom / September 29, 2012

    I’m getting an ‘Up in the Air’-vibe here, early frontrunner dramedy that has enough steam to get the nominations in the main categories, but not enough to go all the way. I AM looking forward to this film, I hope it will be a great one, but frankly, I am really not a fan of David O. Russell, so my expectations are limited. Having said that, if the last two years taught us anything, it’s that the Weinstein-factor should NEVER be underestimated, so if Harvey decides that ‘The Master’ is too edgy and ‘Django’ is too Tarantino for the Academy, I could easily see him pulling off the same ‘don’t see this film, feel this film’ crap that secured him his last two Best Picture Oscars.

  39. Tero Heikkinen

    Well, Weinstein factor…

    Go rent Piranha 3DD!!! One of the best films with Harvey Weinstein’s name on it. Yup. It’s not all The Artist or The King’s Speech.

  40. Tero Heikkinen

    mecid: I’m 36. Have no problem with that age, feeling young.

  41. All I have to say is remember all the hype for Nine. How did that work out for ya? I feel like the live singing is just a gimmick. Do people really care if singing is live or not in a movie? Predicting a musical for a win sight unseen regardless of the pedigree is asking for pie in the face.

    The Return of the King is not a good comparison because it was part of a trilogy that we had already SEEN two parts of in the theater. The previous 2 were great stories, beloved by audiences and the Academy. It wasn’t a big surprise nor a musical with no dialog. We have seen NOTHING of Les Mis but trailers which are usually deceiving.

  42. Okay so we know the obvious nominees: Les Miserables(this thing could get bad reviews and still get a nod), Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook(Honestly the trailer hasnt shown me anything special, but I cant wait to be proven wrong), and Argo(its a perfect movie)
    The Almosts: Life of Pi, The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained(although we dont know if its on a level of good, or great)
    The Blockbusters That Could:The Dark Knight Rises(best film of the year), The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey(I honestly feel that these two can get in)
    In Need of Some Steam: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, The Impossible, The Sessions, Moonrise Kingdom, Not Fade Away
    Wild Cards:This is 40, Cloud Atlas, Flight, Skyfall
    Fell off: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    Holy Shit, what a great year in movies!!!

  43. When and where did Tom O’Neill say there was a Les Miserables screening at Arclight last Saturday night?

  44. Tom told Sasha about the Arclight screening. I got cc’d on the email.

    The update footnote is my addition, paraphrasing. That’s how crack investigative reporters roll, yo.

  45. @ MikeS

    Remember it’s a field of up to 10 nominees. In the past, it was a field of 5. Sweeney Todd and Dreamgirls would end up nominees under the new rules. Nine bombed hard with the critics. And even bombing it still got a SAG ensemble nomination.

    Just naming a few of them, since Chicago, we had also The Phantom of the Opera and Rent bombing hard. The Producers bombing medium. Mamma Mia was never an awards player… was not made to be but made quite a lot of money. Hairspray was a very early entry. This killed its chances despite the great reviews.

  46. OK, thanks so much for the info, Ryan!

    I wish we could find out what the audience thought about the Les Miz movie, such as did Russell Crowe’s singing suck or not?? He’s the big question mark right now since nobody’s heard him sing a note in the role yet. But I know the people who were there probably can’t talk about it…

  47. If I had to place a bet right now, my money would be on Harvey. However …

    It has been ten years since a musical won Best Picture. There hasn’t been a decade since the 1960s that has surpassed the last ten years in terms of quantity and quality of produced Hollywood musicals (and demand). Only one has won, another nominated. Unless Les Mis is horrible, it’s very likely that this film will be embraced in a huge way. Its fan-base is insane and legend and the musical beloved.

    We already know (or, at least, some do) that Anne Hathaway is winning Best Supporting Actress. What film already has a +1 Oscars in its corner?

    Frankly, Les Mis for the win sounds right, right about now. I think I’ll side with Tom on this, even though he has been wrong in the past.

  48. rufussondheim

    Yes, several musicals have been made into movies since Chicago, and, it’s true, none have been nominated for Best Pic. Of these films none has the combination of critical success and popularity that Les Miz has.

    a) Phantom of the Opera. Yes, this is a very popular stage show, but this show was always more spectacle than substance. The shows consists of about 6 songs repeated over and over and the lasting popularity of the show is very suspect. No matter the source material, the film was leadenly directed. It was extraordinarily dull because, well, the director was a hack and the material was never as good as people thought (note, it lost Best Book And Best Score to Into the Woods at the Tonys, never a good sign)

    b) Rent. This is a great show (check out the filmed version of the show) but one of the reasons is great because it’s all done on a set that’s pretty static and there’s lots of commotion and moving around and connecting stuff that keeps the story exciting and moving along. There is a great flow when you see it on stage. This show was and is still quite popular but it was very much a zeitgeist film when it hit Broadway (AIDS was still widely seen as a terminal illness.

    The film failed because it came off as a Disnified version of something that in person is much grittier and adult. Plus so much of the connecting compositions and songs were cut and disrupted much of the flow of the show. Plus many of the show’s scenes are very theatrical and theatricality doesn’t translate well to the screen (see War Horse)

    c. Nine – I’ve not seen the movie nor the show. That’s saying something since I like Broadway Shows. This show is really an also-ran in the history of Broadway. None of the songs are well-known or really even known. It was a bad choice to put on the screen.

    d. Hairspray – This is a completely delightful show and film. Probably the best filmed version of a Broadway Show I’ve ever seen. But it’s just too light for the Oscars. Blame the Academy, not the film.

    e. Dreamgirls – This is one of those shows that had a following because of a legendary performance of a legendary song (Jennifer Holliday singing And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.) But outside of those 5 minutes, the show is really not good. Yeah, “I’m Changing” is also a quality song, but the character arcs for everyone in the movie outside of Effie are quite poor. When Effie is not on stage/screen, all you want to see is Effie. Note that Jennifer Hudson got the Oscar and the film pretty much bombed otherwise. I know many people predicted big things for it, but those of us who actually knew the show did not (I could say that for Nine, too)

    f. Sweeney Todd. – This is my favorite show that ever got turned into a movie. If you can find the filmed version with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, you really should watch it.

    The play is a Grand Guignol masterpiece that’s filled with dark humor, an edge of your seat storyline, tragic character arcs, a significant plot twist (that was ingeniously staged) song great melodies and more than anything else, some of the best four part song stretches you will ever hear. And the haunting main theme is performed throughout as a Greek Chorus keeps the momentum and energy at a very high level. This is an over the top musical as any that are out there and it serves the dark subject material extremely well.

    While the staging of the show is extraordinarily well done, it’s not overly theatrical and there’s nothing in the show that shouldn’t have worked on screen. And the stuff that did make the screen was very well done. The movie is a fine version of the stage show. But Burton chose to exclude that haunting theme and any of the group choral parts of the other numbers. This made the movie seem claustrophibic and small at times, but more importantly certain stretches of the movie seemed naked without them, especially the thirteen minute final sequence that seems frantic on stage but lifeless in the film.

    2) And that brings us back to Les Miz. Les Miz doesn’t have many of the problems the other stage musicals had. First, it’s not an overly theatrical play. It’s very straightforward even though the stage rotates. Most of the time the scenery is incidental and there’s nothing gimmicky going on.

    The show has a ridiculously popular score with several songs that are mini-masterpieces. This isn’t a show that’s riding on the popularity of one song, there are 6 or 7 songs that are all great, and if you ask different people they will all chose different songs they consider great. My least favorite number of the show is the favorite song for others.

    Outside of a few group numbers most of the songs are solos/monologues sung directly to the audience or duets/group songs that have a lot of solo segments in them. yes, there are big group numbers (At the end of the day, Do you Hear the People Sing, One Day More, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables primarily) these are readily filmable with the exception of the crucial One Day More. But, all in all, this is a very filmmable show.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t potential problems with the show. The first is its length. The movie could wear on people’s nerves since it will be close to three hours long if filmed in entirety. If it’s not your thing, you will hate it by the end. While there are strong numbers throught, there are moments that drag in the theater (at least from my perspective) and those could be problematic to many.

    There’s also the problem with the numerous song solos. A lot of the songs are 4 to 5 minutes and it’s just the person standing on the stage. This will be very difficult to find new and interesting ways to keep them interesting. The live singing should help this a great deal as the performances will be more immediate, but, still, this could come off very much like a concert than an actual film.

    Then there’s the dramatic problem of One Day More. It’s an utterly fantastic moment on the stage as each cast member joins a desperate anthem. It’s less than three minutes on stage and it’s a barburner. And it ends the first act. And then you have 15 minutes to revel in its greatness as you get up and move around. It’s a glorious theater high.

    The film won’t have that luxury as it moves pretty quickly into a torch ballad. On the stage this is also a standout number and will be the centerpiece to a Samantha Barks Oscar Campaign. But I wonder if the transition from One Day More to On My Own will be too quick in the film for the audience to truly enjoy either. If this transition fails, the film will fail to register big with people unfamiliar to the show.

    And this is where that Anne Hathaway trailer assuages me of some of my fears. The snippet of the song and the shots of Hathaway singing it are far more interesting than the song is on stage. I find the song to be rather forgettable in the show, it comes early and is not part of the main narrative and by the end of the show you’ve seen better stuff. Hooper and Hathaway work magic in that 90 seconds.

    But can they maintain it for the three hours? I don’t know. But in this stage of the game, I think this is going to be a huge success. Could I be wrong? Of course, but I think this stage to film project has a lot going for it that translations listed above did not.

  49. rufussondheim

    Oops I forgot to write about The Producers and Mamma Mia!

    Yeah, sure The Producers was a huge success on stage and it’s a lot of fun. But it’s such a high energy production that really only works on the stage. I never thought it was going to be a good movie for that reason. And it’s not. And when I saw the movie it occurred to me that the show really isn’t that good. The songs are amusing but not particularly good when taken out of context.

    And Mamma Mia – well this show is not very good, but I must say the movie with its big stars and gorgeous scenery is a shit-ton better than the execrable show. (Maybe it was the production I saw)

  50. Trying to endure that insufferable 8-minute infomercial that treats live recording as if it were the advent of sound is torture enough — the film looks dull, dreary and dead. Hooper is the most overrated hack ever to con his way into an Oscar, for which the Academy should hang its head in shame, and the idea of giving it to him again two years later is both horrifying and laughable.

  51. Tero Heikkinen

    These evident comparisons will be tough for you MANY who have seen the staged version. Worldwide, it will be easier, for MOST of us who have not seen it. Some of you speak like everyone’s seen this, whereas most people would have to be forced (with a gun) to ever go to theater, especially to a musical one.

    Sure, if I lived in, say, NYC… then yes, I would’ve seen it.

    I hate comparing books to films, so I will quickly stop reading these stage/film -comparisons whenever they start coming.

  52. I co-sign on much that has been said. Rent, Phantom and The Producers had weak direction, Phantom and The Producers weren’t properly adaptable. I thought Nine would have done more. Mamma Mia and Hairspray were amazing experiences, but not quite Oscar-y. Dreamgirls stumped me. Ebert raved, the campaign was intense, the stylistic choices were pretty top notch. My thought is that they didn’t make the main two characters likeable enough. You can’t give Bey an eleventh-hour solo to make up for the lack of everything regarding her arc to that point. And Curtis finding out about his child seemed tacked on and a little over-the-top. There are cameras, Curtis. You’re going to ruin your image creepily standing over a little girl up front? Anyways…

  53. Guess who tweeted these tweets:

    · From Jaws to Lincoln. Spielberg is beyond compare. Lincoln. Wow.

    · 2012 is such an amazing year not just for film but for studio films.

    · Lincoln: not your typical Spielberg movie – but I cried aplenty. It probably helps if you’re a fan of history and esp. Lincoln.

    · Some of the shots in Lincoln are among the best Spielberg has ever composed. Lighting, cinematography, costume all sensational.
    Expand

    · And you can complain all you want about John Williams but the dude knows how to score film. The Lincoln score played by the Chicago Symphony

  54. Houstonrufus

    Rufussondheim, well done on the musicals to movies recap! I’ve seen all the shows you touch on here, on stage and the films, and I pretty much agree. I do think Les Miz has the potential to be a truly spectacular film musical, something that could dwarf the musical adaptations from the past couple decades. There is a gravity to its story most musicals just don’t have. And its songs are gorgeous. I remain cautiously optimistic. I’m optimistic, because Hooper has such rich material with which to work. But I’m cautious because it’s early and that’s just how I roll; the potential pitfalls are there for sure. I’m not ready to make any sort of prediction yet. But I’m very much looking forward to Les Miz.

  55. Jeremy E

    Fool-proof predictions:

    Picture: Life of Pi
    Director: Ang Lee, Pi
    Actress: E. Riva, Amour
    Actor: Hawkes, The Sessions
    S Actress: Hathaway, Les Mis
    S Actor: Deniro, SLP

    That’s what’s gonna happen. Done.

  56. Tero Heikkinen

    Ryan, sounds like Sasha would be OK with Lincoln cleaning up the table.

  57. rufussondheim

    I didn’t go through each of the major stage to screen musical adaptions for any other reason than to show that comparing this years adaptation to the failed recent ones was not prudent and why Les Miz likely won’t see the same fate.

    Too many people just wanted to dump on the Les Miz possibility, and it was clear to me that they were just jabbering rather than expressing clearly thought out opinions.

    I’m not of the opinion that you actually need to see the films to predict the Oscars. For me, it’s usually a detriment since my taste isn’t remotely where the Academy’s is. I can virtually guarantee that if Les Miz is every bit as good as I think it will be it will go on to win Best Pic, but it still won’t be my favorite picture of the year. That dubious honor will probably go to some indie feature that wasn’t even on the Academy’s radar.

    But I think you can look at pedigree and the source material and get a pretty good idea of what has a shot and what doesn’t. Of course, many films are not adapted so you need to examine what the studio allows you to see, but that’s a really tough assignment. And that’s why something like Django Unchained is really hard to guage and why, I suspect, most predictors don’t rank it highly.

    But as soon as I heard Ang Lee was doing Life of Pi I knew that would be a player. It’s hard to believe that would be a misfire. When Lee is at his best there’s a spiritual aspect to his films, and he’s also good at emotional longing, which is one of the basic elements in Life of Pi. It’s a natural fit.

    I feel the same way about Hooper and Les Miz. Hooper has the ability to bring an emotional richness to material that’s rather drab and uninteresting. He found dramatic tension and got great performances in material that other directors would not have seen as possible. And he didn’t overdirect, which is something that would kill a musical. He’s a confident director who doesn’t try to bring something to the table that isn’t there, which is exactly what I think Les Miz needs. I think it’s a good fit.

  58. Tero, Still too soon to be tied down. So many movies grabbing our hearts this year, I think we’re all going to be torn in several directions. Safe to say we have one less thing to be apprehensive about; one more safe place secured.

    JP:
    @AwardsDaily

  59. ” So many movies grabbing our hearts this year, I think we’re all going to be torn in several directions”

    It doesn’t feel that way Ryan. I agree it’s been a great year, but the predictions don’t really reflect that. I know it’s Oscar and people have a certain type of film in mind. Hopefully the critics groups truly reflect the year we’ve had.

  60. Return of the King is the only movie that can fall under this category of an “early oscar call.” Les Mis could very well be horrible. I hope it’s not, but it could really fall flat like Phantom of the Opera and Nine. There really haven’t been any great musicals in the last couple years. Chicago and Moulin Rouge were well received, but it goes this way every time a musical is about to come out. Everyone thinks it’s going to be the next big thing and it flops. It’s harder to call with Les Miserables at this point.

    There are other choices that aren’t as hard to call.

    “Lincoln” is a Lock. WHY? because there are more than 5 nominations and Warhorse got in, so this one will. Warhorse was horrible in my opinion.

    “Argo” is a lock. Oscar and everyone loves a good comeback story, and Ben Affleck’s time is up for his next oscar nod, if not the statue. Plus don’t they love it when actors direct movies and write them? Yes.

    I think those two are the only locks at this point.

    I would say “THE HOBBIT” was a lock if it weren’t for Jackson making other films after Lord of the Rings that failed to get an oscar nod. (Except for the awesome District 9 which he didn’t direct but produced) I personally think that King Kong deserved a nod and that Lovely Bones was way underrated. For now, I very much want to say it is in, but it’s hard to call it a lock at this point.

    Ang Lee has had some hits and misses (Hulk), otherwise i’d consdier Life of PI more…

    There are only two locks, and it’s because of the names involved.

    Atonement barely made the cut the year it was nominated, Anna Karenina has a chance and it’s weighted in all the other technical categories (that is it’s costuming, art design, cinematography etc will have suporters)

    Zero Dark Thirty has a lot of advantages: The subject matter, the controversial topic, and the director all give it an edge. Plus the oscar-bait cast.j

    I don’t really know anything about Silver Linings playbook.

    My preditions:
    Argo
    Lincoln
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    Anna Karenina
    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Master
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Hobbit

    Byt the time it comes down to it, I think Moonrise Kingdom will miss out unfortunately, I hope I’m wrong. I do wish Royal Tenenbaums would have been recognized by the Academy.

  61. I am wondering why the 5%-rule is so completely neglected in this discussion. Why were War Horse and Extremely Loud Incredibly Close nominated last year, whereas The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t? Although there were enough who disliked War Horse or ELIC, there were still a few who really loved them. On the other hand, it was no big surprise that TGWTDT could not gather enough votes. So I believe that Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and (even) The Master simply cannot miss. I am sure that there are enough voters which will put each one on #1. I also believe that Life of Pi should get enough #1-votes. However, I fail to believe that enough voters will put Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild or Anna Karenina on #1, while they could also vote for, say, Argo or Lincoln. Just a feeling…. And also just a feeling that there should be enough #1-support for Les Miserables.

  62. rufussondheim

    Stefan, the 5% rule is new to so many people and they simply forget. But, to be fair, we’ve only had one year of the rule in place and it’s just too early to know if it will have any noticeable effect. I think it will, but I can’t be sure at this point.

    One thing that is different than last year is that this year appears to be a much stronger year for studio pictures than last. It’s shaping up to be such a strong year for studio pictures that they may even dominate Best of the Year discussions by critics. If that’s the case, this year could shape up to be completely different than last year.

    Last year, outside of The Artist, Hugo and The Descendants there weren’t any pictures that utterly captivated the Academy. This made lots of room for The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris and Moneyball to get a lot of support. And there was even enough support for War Horse, The Help and ELAIC.

    With potentially more studio pictures to rally around this year, there won’t be a lot of Academy members to support the second-tier options. Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings all are “locks” according to many. And Les Miz and Zero Dark Thirty also look quite strong. That’s six major films to rally around. Throw in Django which could be a major player as well. So we’re looking at 7. And add any other film that could suprise us at this point.

    Recall, the Academy has sad that under these rules there would have been anywhere from 5 to 9 nominees in recent years. I think this is a year that could see five nominees. I think there will be an enormous amount of pressure within that studio system to support the major players that the vast majority of votes will go to those 5 to 7 films that are the favorites. It might be hard for any film outside that select few to get the 5%. Heck it might be hard for any film that’s considered a lock to get that 5%.

    I’m hard pressed to call anything a lock this year, there’s just too many good films out there right now. And it’s still way too early to be confidant about anything.

  63. Tero Heikkinen

    If a film gets more than 20% of the votes, the rest of the votes are redistributed (surplus rule) still, right? That would mean the five films would have to be pretty equally popular in order to not have a sixth nominee. To me it feels that it is easier to get 10 than 5 and probably 7 or 8 is the more probable amount. Last year’s 9 was probably a rarity still (as 5, 6 or 10 would be).

    We need a few more years with this system to see how it really sinks in.

  64. For nominees, I will guess these 8 for now:

    Argo
    Silver Linings
    Les Miserables
    Lincoln
    Life of Pi
    Zero Dark Thirty – just feels right
    The Impossible – emotion, technicals, box office (?)
    Django Unchained – I think it will be big

  65. We still haven’t seen Russell Crowe in that VERY crucial part of Javert. Acting-wise, he’s a slam dunk, but the singing? We have already glimpsed how Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Tveit, and Samantha Barks are all going to be just fine.

    And they’re STILL hiding Sasha Baron Cohen & Helen Bonham-Carter in the roles of THEIR careers! And they’ve got block-buster songs, too! “Master of the House”! HBC, Samanath B. AND Anne Hathaway could all end up in Supp.!

    And the reason Tom O. is so excited is that that Arclight screening in Hwood is what made the majority of his predictors switch horses. It’s been seen. Snuggles4 presumably was at that screening, too.

    This reminds of the week last year that all of the Gurus o’Gold SUDDENLY all dropped “War Horse” and lined up behind “The Artist” and then stayed there for the duration.

    Some of Tom O.’s Gold Derby-ites would NEVER have switched like this is they hadn’t heard from people who actually SAW it.

    Guess it must’ve really been a true sneak in the Old School fashion, with no journos, “accidentally” in the house. Except it seems Snuggles4.

    And Tom O. is a life-long Lincoln nut. It’s a hobby of his, strange as it sounds. So his Lincoln reaction becomes a bit more understandable when taken in that context.

    I always said it was going to be “Les Miz.”

  66. Wow, you still don’t know that snuggles4 is Tom himself?

  67. @ Stephen Holt

    And Tom O. is a life-long Lincoln nut. It’s a hobby of his, strange as it sounds. So his Lincoln reaction becomes a bit more understandable when taken in that context.

    *******

    Some months ago Tom said Lincoln is gonna to be epic fail (am I right?). But after seeing it he loved it. That is so simple.

  68. “Although there were enough who disliked War Horse or ELIC, there were still a few who really loved them.”

    That is true, but only to a point. The reason these late releases had so much traction going into nomination season was buzz due to a) the directors’ past records with the Oscars, b) oscar-worthy subject matter and c) the orgasms by sites like gurus/gold who nailed them to their sure-thing lists, sight unseen.

    Both went into the race with so much velocity and the feeling that they “should” be nominated, based on some glitzy teasers, that there was no stopping them.

    The same is assured from Lincoln and Les Mis this year. As long as they don’t get any really bad preview notices (like Dream Girls, another supposed “shoo-in”), they’re in.

    Every year, there are films that earn their spots on the BP nom list, and those whose spots have been reserved in advance. The former usually win the oscar while the latter seldom do.

  69. @steve50: I agree with the existence of “usual suspects” in every year, which “should” be nominated. My statement referred to the fact that War Horse and ELIC succeeded in mobilizing a certain number of harcore supporters who put them on #1, no matter what the overall reception was. Apparently, TGWTDT was reviewed much better, however, did not have a fanbase among the Academy which put it on #1 in sufficient numbers. I understand from this site and others that “Beasts of the Southern Wild” “should” be in, no matter what. But I do not believe that there will be enough #1-voters. Getting back to 2010: anyone here who really believes that The Kids Are All Right or Winter’s Bone would have been nominated under the new rules (although I personally believe that both belong to the Top 5 of this year)?

  70. Stefan – I’m with you all the way. The hard part is waiting to see which deserving candidates are excluded in favor of pre-determined ones.

    To succeed under these rules, you need an organized campaign long before the film is released and a late release is preferable as the list of anticipators is always longer than the list of supporters once a movie has been seen.

  71. I’m curious about Skyfall’s chances, actually, as the popular nom. I would also like to see Moonrise Kingdom regain traction.

  72. steve50 – Fully agreed. I am wondering, whether “Cloud Atlas” can win a “Tree of Life”-nomination. Those who love it seem to embrace it, and we know now that a small but enthusiastic fanbase does not harm….

  73. rufussondheim

    Cloud Atlas is a curious case. It’s a major studio film with a daring concept. And it’s divisive. This is the kind of nominating system that favors such a film. If it gets any traction with audiences it has a shot I think.

    —–

    Tero, yes, votes above a certain level do get partially redistributed. But there’s a catch, it’s only votes above 11% I think (it might be 9%, I can’t be sure either way) So there’s 4 to 6% of the votes that will go nowhere.

    So 5 films could gather 50% of the votes leaving only 50% for a dozen or so other options.

    Now we do know that films that get less than 1% also have their votes redistributed to the #2 film. But do they go lower than that if need be? I don’t recall.

    I hope we get to have an Awards Daily nominations process again this year, even though it’s not remotely scientific I learned a lot by examining those results. With all of the competition this year, it might be educational again.

  74. rufussondheim

    I also wanted to point out because no one else did that the two Oscar Watchers Sasha always points out as superb because they talk to a lot of voters (Anne Thompson and Dave Karger) both left The Master off their lists.

    I know a lot of people here love the film, but it’s losing traction right now. Maybe if some major films crash and burn it might gain some back. But it really shouldn’t be losing traction if it wants to get on the final list.

  75. “I disagree. the Oscars are all about predicting winners without seeing them.
    Huh?”… Sure, I guess I just mean that Oscar predictions are all about the fun of speculation. Also it appeals to anyone who is simply a more intuitive thinker. But predictions are predictions. And it’s not entirely blind, you can say many things about a movie before seeing it. But you pick your horse and just see where it goes… Or then change it… It’s a process, and for me at least, that’s the fun of it…

    ““On Silver Linings Playbook, I continue to get an Up-in-the-Air-vibe.”
    Exactly the same comparison I’ve cited to Sasha privately the past couple of weeks. Didn’t say it loudly. Just murmuring, grumbling. But that’s my feeling too, Paddy.”… That or The Descendants…

  76. Ahh – Cloud Atlas. That’s a tough one. Love the book, but I’m curious to see if the movie can pull it off. If it connects with the audience and provides some emotional satisfaction, it does have a chance.

    The Master may well be losing traction, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it is the most challenging (and, so far, best) film of the year. Oscar may or may not recognize this fact, but that won’t matter six months from now.

  77. I don’t think Winter’s Bone and The Kids Are All Right would be nominated under the new system. Winter’s Bone definitely wouldn’t. I actually think Toy Story 3 was way more likely to receive it under this system because Up would not have been nominated in 2009 and Pixar could have left the animated film race to secure a BP nomination. But this is too many ifs… The fact is that we all don’t know how this system truly affects the lineup. And we probably will never know exactly because there are so many variables involved. Bad years can lead to polarization. I’ve read in an old book I can’t remember which a critic calling 1975 the worst year for film… and there was a very very good BP category. Bad years can lead to split… 2011 with its 9 nominees. Good years can lead to polarization. 2009, for example, would most likely have only 5 nominees. Good years can lead to split. 1995 is a good example. There will likely never be a rule here and that made even the best predictor (in my opinion), Dave Karger, commit a huge mistake by pointing only 5 BP nominees last year.

  78. Tom O’Neil talks quite persuasively about Snuggles4 as if he, and it is definitely a he, is a real person in his podcast with Pete Hammond. I thought it was Tom, too.

    One day he says “It’s Lincoln!” then the next day he says”It’s Les Miz!” With a sub-head that says “Argo surges!” O that Tom!

    He’s just giddy with over-excitement this year! But I do agree with Susan W. who he ALSO just did a podcast with who says, sagely, “We don’t have a clear favorite yet.”

    But they both agree it’s a strong year for many different kinds of films, most of them studio films, unfortunately for “Beasts” for instance.

    I think it’s just #1 and #2 votes that count now, also not good for small films, as is the moved up deadline dates for noms.

    It’s like every rule change makes it harder for small films :(

  79. As on now, I think ‘The Master’ is only looking very good for Actor, S.Actor, and maybe S.Actress. Cinematography has a shot.

    But I think it will be helped by critics awards to come in another 5-6 weeks for it’s chances to get back with PIC, DIR, OS, Score, etc..

  80. Jacob Burns

    I agree with not predicting something to win unless it’s been seen. But I’ve seen the London production of Les Miserables four times (including seeing Samantha Barks, who is Eponine in the film, twice on stage), and if the movie is done right, I think it will definitely have the stuff to win.

    Based on the featurette and the fact that they’re doing the singing live, it looks (so far) like it’s gonna be done right.

    I just wish Fincher would have won in 2010 so I wouldn’t hate myself for predicting Hooper’s film to win this year.

  81. I still think Winter’s Bone would have gotten in under the new system. But, The Kids Are All Right would have definitely been left out. Perhaps even 127 hours.

    For the year before, probably also The Blind Side.

  82. I also see these 3 films likely missing the BP nom in 2010. In 2009, a good year, I only see the 5 polarizing films getting in. Up, An Education, District 9, A Serious Man and The Blind Side all out.

  83. SeattleMoviegoer

    i just hope it lives up to expectations. but listing it as a frontrunner is similar to situations in the past. think the anticipation with MY FAIR LADY or VIRGINIA WOOLF. both, like LES MISERABLES, were landmark entertainments of their times. not just acclaimed but legendary. given that they were amazingly cast and given top tier directors (Cukor and Nichols)–the expectations were naturally high. so it is with LES MIZ. those of you on this site that only know film have got to concede that there is a big, wide world out there of other entertainment–legit theatre–that is HUGE. the biggest Broadway shows have been seen by 10s of millions of people and have grossed more than AVATAR. so, yes, these expectations for LES MIZ are understandably high.

  84. I’ve seen…

    Les Misérables [1935], with Fredric March & Charles Laughton
    Les Misérables [1958], with Jean Gabin & Bernard Blier
    Les Misérables [1982], with Lino Ventura & Michel Bouquet
    Les Misérables [1998], with Liam Neeson & Geoffrey Rush.

    So you see, if there’s anyone here who’s really excited about

    Les Misérables [2012], with Hugh Jackman & Russell Crowe,

    IT’S ME!!!

    Them I’m also looking for the 6-hour 1925, 4 3/4-hour 1934, and the 1 3/4-hour 1952 versions.

  85. SeattleMoviegoer

    James…don’t forget the French version with Jean Paul Belmondo and the TV miniseries with Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins.

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