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Baz Bamigboye of the UK Daily Mail shares what he could from the screening of Les Miserables that he has seen —
>>Hugh Jackman said the film of Les Miserables would revolutionise the way people viewed movie musicals.
The actor plays Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper�s stirring film version of the award-winning musical by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer.
When I spoke to him, during filming at Pinewood Studios, he explained why. �We sing as we act, rather than lay down songs weeks in advance,� he said. �It makes it much more realistic � particularly with a gritty story like this.�
People lucky enough to be invited to private screenings of Les Miserables this week told me that having the actors sing live, as it were, added a grippingly emotional intensity to the picture (which is already pretty emotional!).
One showing yesterday in central London left the audience moved to tears.
Viewers I spoke to praised the film�s �breathtaking� appearance, and the performance of stars, including Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
They revealed that Russell Crowe, as Inspector Javert, had a scene-stealing moment halfway through which allowed cinema-goers to have a quiet sob.
People who caught yesterday�s screening seemed equally impressed by the younger actors, mentioning Eddie Redmayne�s knockout Marius, Samantha Barks� moving Eponine, Amanda Seyfried�s touching Cosette, and Aaron Tveit�s enjoyable Enjolras.
And Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter bring the house down as the Thenardiers, unsurprisingly.
I have seen Les Miserables, too, but I�m not allowed to write about it yet, alas.
The fact it�s even ready this far ahead of its January 11 UK opening date (its world premiere is in London on December 5) is a tribute to director Hooper�s tenacity (and that of producers Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Cameron Mackintosh and Debra Hayward).
Les Miserables will be a major Oscar and Bafta contender.<<<
I guess we’ll have a sense very soon for who this will play. I’m a big fan of Lincoln. But this movie could be a mighty force if all the stars align.
OMG! Every trailer is more moving than the next! Aces! And that Guardian article is saying Eddie Redmayne is registering, too, in that impossible role of Marius! Who knew he could sing like that???
I must be on a different planet it seems… with every trailer, i think it just looks like more and more of a miss. If anything, this will have to fight to be considered a Top 5 flick this year.
OMFG!!11 This is surely the greatest film of all time!
This isn’t new.
“This isn’t new.”
There’s the understatement of the season.
It was just posted today – it’s an extended version of the last one.
I think this is going to make heaps of money (everywhere) and win lots of statues (all types).
I know no one has screened it yet, but I see this as the only real challenger to Lincoln. And I don’t like that. Watch Tom Hooper win Best Director, making him as honored by the Academy as directors who have been working much much longer than he and with a far more substantial body of work and impact on the industry. I’d be inconsolable.
Can’t wait. Didn’t realize Russell Crowe had such a low register. These trailers keep sustaining my interest. Not sure why the promotional materials keep giving Samantha Barks the shaft. She’s flippin’ Éponine! Being new to features has it’s disadvantages? Wonder if this was something worked out beforehand, considering the statue is already spoken for … ahem.
Les Mis can still win Picture and lose director to Argo, that is, if Lincoln doesn’t take both statues. See 2002 Oscar race. One musical + two period epics. Lincoln is doing incredible box-office, though its sobering material and cerebral tone gives me pause about its chances.
I’m with Ted. I want this to be awesome but the past couple trailers leaves me kind of ho hum
Vince – I’d been wondering the same thing (Barks being ignored in the promo material). I think your explanation is likely: the studio wants the spotlight on Anne. The character of Eponine is a Tony-winning role that the audience gets to spend more time with, so highlighting Barks at all could translate as a threat to Hathaway. Can’t have them splitting the vote, eh?
Since I haven’t seen the movie, I can’t comment on whether Hathaway gives a deserving performance. But it irks me that this year’s supporting actress award has been considered “in the bag” for her ever since her casting was announced. It makes for a boring race. Plus, she grates me. Her general demeanor and desperate-sounding acceptance speeches from her Rachel Getting Married campaign were so off-putting.
On twitter the word is that Les Miz is really good.
They did the same thing to Jennifer Hudson. She wasn’t even on the poster! It just said:
JAMIE FOXX BEYONCÉ KNOWLES and EDDIE MURPHY
And then she won the Oscar, and they knew all along she was going to be the breakout star – and they just kept ‘undercover’.
Best Supporting Actress is MADE for female breakout stars from musicals. West Side Story. Dreamgirls. Catherine Zeta-Jones (not a debut, but you know that I mean).
Anne Hathaway must ride a way on goodwill to get that Oscar, cause when she exits the film after 30 minutes, the female star of the show becomes Éponine – a role that won the Tony way back over Hathaway’s. They can easily end up forgetting how good Hathaway is when this new star takes over the rest of the film. And with no apparent “new stars” in contention in the acting categories this year, Hathaway should be afraid. Streep was in a good position to finally win her third Oscar for “Adaptation.” – until Catherine Zeta-Jones came along. And remember, Jennifer Hudson got more votes than Cate f***ing Blanchett.
A world where Zeta-Jones and Hudson win acting ‘competitions’ over Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett is a world where Samantha Barks could win over Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Maggie Smith and yes, Anne Hathaway.
Early reactions from NYC sound really positive. Kris Tapley’s tweets are effusive, especially for him.
Kate, your judgement of Anne Hathaway’s performances will always be clouded, because of your hatred for Anne Hathaway. I can’t take you remotely serious. Obviously, Samantha Barks is your favorite , and you want her to overshadow Hathaway. For your information, Samantha has more screen time than Hathaway. And, Amanda Seyfried is getting more coverage than Barks. So, where is your hatred for Amanda ? Please, be sensible and wait for the film to be released, and see how the performances will fare with the critics. Who cares about someone’s demeanor or acceptance speeches? You sound like a 13 year old teenager. For example, every time I see Michelle Williams being interviewed, she is painfully shy. And, it is very distracting and unbearable to watch as a viewer, but I am not going to despise her or disrespect her for her personality traits. Get a life.
@The Great Dane, West Side Story wasn’t Rita Moreno’s breakout role. She was already an established film actress, perhaps best known for playing Tuptim in The King and I. So Jennifer Hudson is really the only one who won Best Supporting Actress for her film debut in a musical.
Now, on the other hand, Julie Andrews and Barbra Streisand both won Best Actress awards for their film debuts in the musicals Mary Poppins and Funny Girl respectively.
I also think it’s going to be a failure. The last trailers are terrible! I’ve read the book this year and it was wonderful and It’s awful to se such a great book being adapted into a corny stupid musical!!!
Early word out of the first screenings (twitter #lesmiserables) has really been *very* positive – a failure seems pretty unlikely at this point.
First (?) analysis posted by Scott Feinberg – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/les-miserables-wows-first-screening-393758
Tom Hooper is the new Stephen Daldry! Only, unlike Daldry, he’s already won an Oscar.
Anyway, yeah, I just can’t see them giving him an Oscar again just two years after The King’s Speech. But they probably will, if Les Miserables steamrollers the competition.
I agree with many of the posters above, this trailer makes it look very bland. The first trailer we saw was more moving, maybe because it was placed against I Dream a Dream.
Here though, is it me or does Anne Hathaway seem VERY MELODRAMATIC, overacting. Reminds me of her Oscar hosting duties performance.
I really don’t think this film will overtake Lincoln, and something makes me think Sally Field may be saying “You must REALLY REALLY REALLY like me” if she accepts her 3rd Oscar !
And please let’s not forget The Master or Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild…..hopefully the critics awards will bring the focus back on them
I’ve just read the tweets, and frankly, even though it is clearly still too early to call it, I think the film will get at least 3, maybe even 5 (!) acting nominations. Let’s see who would get bumped if that happened :
We have a definite lock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and the rather strong Phoenix-Hawkes-Washington-Cooper-Hopkins quintet. 2 of those 5 have to go to make room for Hugh Jackman). At first glance, John Hawkes might look the most vulnerable being in a small film that isn’t doing that well at the Box Office even by indie standards, also facing massive competition from sexiestmanalive-type of movie stars and previous Oscar winners. But then again, two contenders have to be ignored and right now there are two who publicly trashed the whole Awards System…it probably won’t influence the Academy THAT much, BUT if neither Anthony Hopkins nor Joaquin Phoenix make the cut, it will be definitely a cautionary tale for future contenders : if you want one, don’t pretend you don’t !
Even if the film had been trashed, Anne Hathaway would have been still a solid contender here (Cruz in Nine, anyone ?), but now that the film actually has great, early (unofficial) word, she is definitely in the near-lock quartet with Sally Field, Helen Hunt and Amy Adams. Now that both Samantha Barks and Amanda Seyfried seem to be heading for critical acclaim, the crucial 5th slot could easily go to one of them. Also, the Academy tends to nominate two actresses from the same film in this category, or at least that’s what they did in the last 4 consecutive years. Jackie Weaver doesn’t have the kind of buzz her 3 co-stars do, Judi Dench and Kerry Washington are in genre films, Maggie Smith might split votes with herself, Pauline Collins has massive British competition and Scarlett Johansson didn’t get an enthusiastic enough critical response (neither did her film). Clearly they could go with one of their faves (Nicole Kidman or the recently ‘downgraded’ Laura Linney), but in my opinion the biggest threat for a second LesMis-nom here is also the biggest question mark in this category : Jennifer Ehle.
Now this category could be the most difficult for Les Mis : it already has 3 near-locks Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones , also probably someone from Argo, not to mention Ewan McGregor, Matthew McConaughey, Jude Law (all three seem to have passionate campaigns and are currently making the rounds) and two very promising unseens, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Clarke…and even if we hesitantly cross Javier Bardem and Michael Caine off the list, that’s still 8 names for 3 slots if we consider the possibility that both Russel Crowe and Eddie Redmayne could make it. Long story short ? Not gonna happen, and if it does, we don’t even have to bother with the rest of the season, in that case Les Miserables will pull off a clean sweep. I think the Redmayne-Crowe duo is a classic case of ‘either/or/neither’.
@Eduardo – You do realize that the musical is still running in London after 25 years and ran in NY for 16? And has had numerous recordings/concerts and is still touring the US as we speak. Obviously this “corny, stupid musical” has done something right (like it’s stunning score and epic emotional scope) to warrant its staying power.
The film looks great from the trailers and the word from these screenings just feed the anticipation. I agree with some posts about Samantha Barks as Eponine…if she knocks it out of the park like Hathaway as Fantine, there’s formidable competition in the supporting category.
Phantom, I’ve read the tweets and it does seem that some of the supporting actors and actresses will compete with each other and possibly cancel each other out, but what I think is more likely is that a concensus will form around some of them. We know Hathaway is in and I bet either Seyfried or Barks is in, but it will take a week or two to see which one opinion coalesces around. Same with Redmayne and Crowe. One will be in, most likely.
I really think Jackman is a lock no matter what people say. People will always bring up Gere in Chicago, but the simple truth is, Chicago is all about the two females, Gere, the male lead, is almost tertiary to the two females. This is quite unlike Les Miz, where Jean Valjean is the clear lead he’s in it more than twice as much as anyone else, I’d wager, and even the added song is his. If Les Miz has the momentum to win, and right now it seems like it might – we’ll know more by Monday (Zero Dark Thirty gets seen this weekend too,) then Jackman will almost definitely get swept into a nomination as well.
I still think Jackman is the fave to win Best Actor, and I’m more convinced after reading the early tweets. I think the film will win BP, and so often the BP winner takes along Best Actor or Actress as well, even when the Best Actor was supposed to go to someone else (see last year for a great example.)
I think the top 5 will be Jackman, Day Lewis, Washington, and two others (probably Hawkes and Phoenix, but maybe Cooper if they go bonkers for SLP) I think Hawkes will be seen as in too small a film, Phoenix will be in a film that’s loved by only a few. Cooper’s nomination will be a win enough for him. And Washington won’t win his third when Day Lewis is in the same category.
So that leaves Day Lewis and Jackman. I’m guessing the winner will go to the BP winner, but if not, I think Jackman has the edge simply because he’s showcased more new talents in his performance. He’s a really popular actor and this will be a great chance to award him.
I also think Les Miz will be a huge box office success with well over 200 Million in Box Office (Chicago got like $175) so this is a low estimate. And that will help votes coalesce around Jackman.
Obviously, it’s way too early, phantom, but you seem to like to talk and think about it, as do I, so here you go
“I really think Jackman is a lock no matter what people say. People will always bring up Gere in Chicago, but the simple truth is, Chicago is all about the two females, Gere, the male lead, is almost tertiary to the two females. This is quite unlike Les Miz, where Jean Valjean is the clear lead he’s in it more than twice as much as anyone else, I’d wager, and even the added song is his…I still think Jackman is the fave to win Best Actor, and I’m more convinced after reading the early tweets. I think the film will win BP, and so often the BP winner takes along Best Actor or Actress as well, even when the Best Actor was supposed to go to someone else (see last year for a great example.)”
Dare I say we could see Best Actor/Best Director/Best Picture a la “The King’s Speech”?
I don’t know purlgurl, I still think they might give Affleck a BD win for Argo. It’s clear the academy will love that film, and it would be the most likely way to award Argo if they decide to spread the love around in the major categories. I’m not one to normally predict a BP/BD split since it happens rarely, but I see it being a possibility if Les Miz takes BP. I don’t know if they would want to give Hooper a second trophy just yet.
This isn’t new.
You’re talking about the trailer but those are my exact thoughts after hearing the reactions on Twitter. Hathaway had it in the bag when she signed the dotted line, but what’s a pleasant surprise is to hear that the awesome Russel Crowe has some scene-stealing moments. And I just came back from seeing him almost steal an entire kung -fu blaxploitiation film. Things are shaping up for ol’ Rusty!
How is Argo’s screenplay going to be submitted? It’s based on an article, so I’m leaning towards Adapted. In that case, it won’t beat Kushner’s Lincoln. And in that case, I don’t see Argo walking away with anything major because I’m predicting a Lincoln/Les Miz BD/BP split.
It’s funny how Dave Kruger isn’t giving Day-Lewis ANY kind of chance for Best Actor. Says Jackman might push out Phoenix and Washington.
I just don’t see DDL winning either, Nik. I’m not anti-DDL or anything, I just think when you look at people who win three Oscars, they are iconic Hollywood legends (except for Brennan who did it before the Oscars became a Huge Affair like they are now. I evidence to support this, but I suspect they were less political back then than now.)
Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman. They are all Hollywood royalty and then some. DDL, as great an actor as he is, does not have their legendary or iconic status.
that one clause should read “I have no evidence to support this”
jeff – I stated in my original comment that Eponine gets more screen time than Fantine. That’s party why I think the role of Eponine gives performers a good shot at awards.
Cosette is a very milquetoast part, so I don’t see the point of talking about Amanda Seyfried. She’s most likely not getting nominated.
I hope I do like Hathaway’s performance. Sorry my dislike of the actress offends you so much. I certainly don’t “despise” her.
Great Dane – I completely forgot about Hudson, but you make a good point.
WOW, there is not one thing in your comment I don’t agree with. Yes, I also think and have been saying for months, that Jackman will be probably the only viable threat for Day-Lewis and it will probably come down to which film gets BP/BD. But Jackman has to campaign for it hard, the consensus seems to be that Day-Lewis is untouchable, so if Jackman wants to win, he has to give the campaign his best shot.
Having said that, even though the early triumphant screenings are definitely good signs, first Les Miserables needs unanimous OFFICIAL critical praise and strong Box Office (100M+ in the US) to have a shot at winning against Lincoln which already has those. I’m glad the first screenings were succesful…now we have a race. Without Les Miserables, it would have been a clean sweep for Lincoln. Now I only hope Zero Dark Thirty is a masterpiece, too, that would mean ALL current frontrunners would have ‘suddenly’ serious competition. Lincoln will go up against Les Miserables in 13 of its 14 possible categories, meanwhile Jennifer Lawrence would be up against Jessica Chastain whose character is probably one of the strongest, most fascinating female roles…hmm…EVER ? If the film is decent and she nails the role, she will be VERY hard to resist especially if her biggest competition is a 22-year old in a comedy, excelling a considerably LESS compelling female role…but if her main competition will be a previous nominee long overdue for some Oscar-recognition playing a very likable character (Naomi Watts) OR one of the most complex, difficult female roles ever written (Keira Knightley), then all bets are off.
I am considering Knightley more seriously than most people, because of the British-vote in the Academy : Pride & Prejudice wasn’t supposed to get any nominations, it got 4 including Best Actress, Atonement had absolutely no guild-love in the main categories, yet it still managed to score acting, writing nominations, not to mention picture, cinematography…and all that without a single mention from SAG/PGA/DGA/WGA/ASC. If she wins the Bafta, she could be closer to that Oscar than we think. But if she wins Bafta, it most certainly won’t be an easy call, she has MASSIVE British-competition this year (Helen Mirren in Hitchcock, Maggie Smith in Quartet, Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea, and even British-Australian Naomi Watts in The Impossible).
Phantom, I agree with you on the possibility for 3 to 5 acting nods. I think the only thing I’m not forecasting the same way you are would be the locks in each category. I think Hopkins and Cooper are the two who don’t make it into Actor, which I don’t think is QUITE as competitive as people are making it out to be. To me, the only “locks” are DDL and Washington with Phoenix and Hawkes next in line. I think Jackman is in.
Over in Supporting Actress, I think things are way up in the air. I’d call Sally Field a lock. Helen Hunt is very, very likely. But from Amy Adams on down, I don’t feel like there’s a sure thing here. If there is a ton of support for Les Miz, Hathaway will be a lock, but Samantha Barks and Helena Bonham Carter have incredibly juicy roles. I can’t see it happening for Seyfried based only on the role as I know it from the show. I think at least two of the miserables will be in with an outside chance the movie will Tom Jones the category.
And in Supporting Actor, Jones and Hoffman feel like the only sure things to me, so I don’t think it’s impossible that Crowe and Redmayne could both sneak in.
I mean…this is all wildly hypothetical and based only on the earliest word. But it seems to me that the entire Oscar race this year is more open than in the past several and that the acting categories have a lot of room for surprises. An enormously passionate response to this movie could really shake up those categories.
It what might seem tangential after all this fuss above me ^^^^ I feel the trailer, while compelling, is awfully revealing…..gives away too much for even someone not terribly familiar with Les Mis beyond knowing well of its place in pop culture.
I must say that I have been infatuated with this story ever since I read the book several year ago in school. It really is harrowing story as the name would imply. Of the people I have seen this with in the theatre, those that have read the book are most effected by it.
I really think that is because of the distance you are from the action, and the day in day out reaction of these very difficult emotions. It has to be so hard on the actors.
I am so excited about the film, because I really think it will be a great opportunity for those not willing to read through the very dense book to enjoy this story. Fantine’s role is pivotal to the narrative. Her energy is what drives the emotion the audience feels about the rest of the characters, because her tale is the most heart breaking and most central to Hugo’s novel. I am so happy to hear Anne Hathaway invested so much into her portrayal of Fantine.
Just seeing some of the snipits of these moments from the story is heart breaking. You can really see their pain when the camera is close up.
Can’t wait for this. I hope it will be as much of a classic as it looks to be. Funny how last year was such a dry year for movies and this year there are so many great movies that won’t be as recognized because of an animal of a film like this.
I’m glad that this new trailer came out. The older one of Anne Hathaway singing made it look like the whole story was around her when its more around cosset and jean valjean Ps I can’t wait to see it
This looks like the best picture ever in the history of the world. Even if it’s “Mamma Mia” odd (the ugly mean stepchild you love in spite), it doesn’t matter. I’ll see this a dozen times. Next week.
I love Daniel Day Lewis, all the way back to Room With a View, but Lincoln just doesn’t have my interest like Les Miz. Now, I’ll see Lincoln, of course, and Hitchcock and everything, but I just don’t see how Miz can miss.
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