137 Comments on this Post

  1. Bryce Forestieri

    War Horse > Les Miz

    And I mean intellectually speaking.

  2. Tri County Area

    War Horse?! Really? Your opinion. Personally, I was so emotionally detached from that film. Like EL&IC, it never slowed down and took its time. It never grounded itself in anything but this sappy, sentimental BS. That said, War Horse is a better film than Lincoln. Not by much…barely, if anything. Not that either film is really all the great. I personally prefer that last Indiana Jones travesty to these 2 films.

    And how does one stay crying for 20-30 min post movie? I can understand getting a bit teary eyed during a movie and in the moments as you get into the car. But shake it off, folks! It’s one thing to feel sad and moody after experiencing something that affects you, but crying? We will all one day get old and die. It’s a fact of life, sadly. But if that’s all we focus on, what kind of life could we possibly live? A sad, unfortunate and wasted one.

  3. I still don’t understand all internet backlash against War Horse. Most blamed Spielberg for sentimentality (inspirational in fact) but the book which film based on is sentimental itself. Les Mis is also sentimental. Should we blame it?
    I am happy War Horse will stand taste of time.

  4. Christophe

    but but the trailers said it would be “the most joyous epic experience you’ll have this holiday season”, how could hollywood possibly lie about this?

  5. christiannnw

    To be honest, I left the theatre after Anne Hathaway kicked the bucket; what an ugly, overwrought, calamitous chunk of filmmaking (I saw a matinee screening on Friday, so I didn’t lose too much money wise).

    Then again, this was “Les Miserables” staged by both Tom Hooper with songs written by Andrew Llyod Webber, so I should’ve known what I was getting into.

  6. The American response.

    The entire population of the UK could see Les Mis and not cry as much between themselves as those two.

    And believe me, the entire population of the UK will see Les Mis.

  7. christiannnw, I was almost going to berate you for judging a film after watching less than half of it. Then you declared that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Les Mis, and you spelled his name incorrectly, so I decided against berating you, as it’s not fair to make fun of people with special needs.

  8. Okay what we can deduce from this is that people who think it’s better than “the play” and who cry during the film, basically hate their family.

    It’s weird though, I thought I was the only one here who liked WAR HORSE last year. My memory is getting bad.

    Eh…. I like Andrew Lloyd Webber and I donut think he wrote LES MIS. But having said that there’s nothing wrong with the musical that was in existence before this cinematic plague hit us.

  9. christiannnw

    *my bad!

  10. Les Mis was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, and Herbert Kretzmer. It was part of the 80s mega musical imports of London to Broadway, which included the god awful Phantom of the Opera by Webber. Just to clarify.

    I think this is a film where I see it as really flawed but I can’t help but like it. It’s odd.

  11. I think this is a film where I see it as really flawed but I can’t help but like it. It’s odd.

    Because you like the music. The music swells and everyone gets carried away. The movie could have been a guy eating a bag of potato chips for 2 1/2 hours and the score would swell and people would be so moved they’d think it was the best thing ever. The movie is getting credit it doesn’t deserve. Pfft.

    Seriously though what’s wrong with Andrew Lloyd Webber? I’ve heard complaints for a long time but it’s just that he sucks. I never hear why he sucks. I’m not a composer so maybe it’s a matter of writing music that I don’t understand? Anyway I pretty much love all his stuff. It sounds good to me. (I would like an explanation though.)

  12. Antoinette: ALW gets criticized for ripping off other tunes. Also because most of his musicals feature variations of about 5 songs. Phantom is especially repetitive.

  13. As someone who has composed classical music (although I wouldn’t consider myself a composer – I’ve never made any money out of it), my opinion is that Andrew Lloyd Webber is about as bad a composer as exists in the public consciousness to any extent. One issue has been his habit of sometimes writing melodies to which he sets words, rather than the other way around, which is a notoriously bad habit to have. But, basically, his music is lacking in subtlety, it’s overly-commercialised, simple, derivative, forgettable bombast, full of ugly, unoriginal harmonic progressions and crass key changes. He’s one of the worst musical theatre composers, yet he’s probably the most famous.

  14. Loved War Horse. And with an 82 on rotten tomatoes top critics, I will never understand the whole “mixed reviews” thing.

    People started trotting out “mixed reviews” when the movie started not getting some guild nominations. Then it got 6 Oscar nominations including best picture.

  15. Les Mis is flawed. A lot of Hooper’s directorial choices are suspect. A few songs didn’t work. I could go on.

    But it’s undeniably effective and affecting to many, many people. And that’s a tribute to the source material, the songs, and the actors performances in this movie. Jackman, Hathaway, Redmayne, and Barks are nom-worthy. They all won’t get in, but it certainly doesn’t mean they’re not deserving.

    I don’t really understand the enormous hatred that this film incites. I found it to be imperfect, but still provided me a positive cinema experience.

  16. Adam Lewis

    Sasha, I thought you hated War Horse?

  17. The Great Dane

    This is me after going to see “A.I.” ten years ago. Couldn’t stop crying for thirty minutes after, and the film still has the same impact on me every time I see it.

  18. Reminds me of a recent emotionally walloping film, I can’t seem to remember the title, but it’s at the tip of my t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tongue…..

  19. Bryce Forestieri

    @The Great Dane

    A.I. is fucking awesome, damn

  20. @Mel and Paddy Thanks. :) I like bombast so that probably explains it.

    A.I. is a masterpiece.

    I don’t remember coming out of a movie crying. I had a crying migraine after SCHINDLER’S LIST, but that’s a gimme. IDK. Maybe THE ENGLISH PATIENT might have had me crying on the way out. I cry at movies all the time, just while I’m still there. I guess I usually get over it pretty fast.

  21. That was hilarious but think it stemmed more from her own losses that anything in the film. Les Mis does have some glaring problems most of which stem from lack of exposition between songs and lack of time. Having said that, Unless DDL can sing Lincoln (which we know from Nine that he can’t), then Hugh Jackman deserves the Oscar for putting 30 years of hardship, cold, love, redemption, and age into one bravura performance plus if he doesn’t win the GG, they might as well name it the Harvey Weinstein Appreciation.

  22. Christophe

    Yeah! Meloves A.I. too: Aldiss + Kubrick + Spielberg = pure greatness!
    I’m just glad because AD readers usually make fun of the movies I like and that I’ve never understood “meat eaters” films like those of PTA and Fincher, despite multiple viewings. So yeah I’m glad for once I can agree with you guys…

  23. Sasha, I thought you hated War Horse?

    I didn’t think it was a worthy film but that doesn’t mean it didn’t make me sob hysterically. The sobbing thing? Not always a reliable indicator of a potential Best Picture win. There are other factors needed.

  24. Wouldn’t it be a shame if Les Miz won Best Picture over any of the other nominees it will be up against?

  25. John, I don’t think the hatred is directed at the film so much as at the fans who are in denial and who continue to trot out false claims like “critics have a stick up their butt” if they didn’t like it or “only people who hated the play hated the movie,” etc. The fanbase is probably what the hate is about more than the movie, I suspect.

    I cried at Hathaway and once or twice throughout but it was never War Horse ugly cry for me.

  26. But you start to look like a fool if you tear down a movie like this that so many people seem to enjoy. Where is the joy in that? There are so few mainstream Hollywood films of substance, especially this year. It’s hard to complain when Spielberg comes along and makes one that has its heart in the right place. So it isn’t perfect, so I expected more from him, so I hope he could practice a bit more restraint with the schmaltz — none of that takes away from what War Horse might bring to weary audiences looking for yet another sentimental education, 2011 style.” Sasha Stone

  27. War Horse > Les Miz

    And I mean intellectually speaking.

    I agree.

  28. Funny Vince! How quickly we forget. I don’t think the same applies to Les Mis because I thought it was mostly a torturous experience. On the other hand if people react like that lady did well…I didn’t think War Horse was very good and I’ll probably never watch it again.

  29. I think I Marley & Me made me cry but the crying didn’t make me think it was Best Picture.

  30. Film Fatale

    War Horse is greater than Les Miz? What a joke. Can that actually be taken seriously given the complexity and scope of Hugo’s vision and narrative? Reductive in the musical to be sure but still throughout in spades.

    War Horse is a lachrymose and embarrassingly empty movie with artificial “sweep” and next to zero character development, instead substituting a series of over-scored emotional climaxes set against sunsets and battlefields. There is next to nothing happening in that film other than cinematography and score minus the heavy lifting of a good screenplay. Utter crap with one good scene in the barbed wire. At least Secretariat had a brilliant scene where the horse and Diane Lane looked deeply at each other and into each other’s eyes and there was a spiritual connection and transference — ALL MISSING in the shallow War Horse.

  31. Film Fatale

    There is nothing “intellectual” in Spielberg’s movie version of War Horse — it is textbook simplicity from first to last scene.

  32. The haters will take that very seriously Film Fatale, especially the ones with ax to grind against Tom Hooper.

  33. Sasha, I don’t fault the lady in your clip. You said you ugly cried with War Horse. I know I ugly cried during War Horse more than once. I just ugly cried towards the end of Amour. I didn’t ugly cry after either of those films. But, once upon a time, I do distinctly remember breaking down in public (unfortunately, not in a car) a few minutes after I left Trainspotting with a friend. It just happened and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

    Is there really a judgment to be made between crying during a movie verses after? Some affect us and stay with us more than others. Why would her reaction diminish the film?

    As far as Ryan’s comment, I wouldn’t necessarily place all of these films in the Best Picture column, nor would I keep all of them out either.

  34. With all due respect Film Fatale, using the word “brilliant” and “Secretariat” is some sketchy territory. But, I get what you’re saying, the film tried to develop a connection between the Lane and horse without any bells, whistles, John Williams, or heightened emotional manipulation. Perhaps, I would have enjoyed it more had there been more manipulation like Spielberg is so masterful at. You bring up a good point, though. “Brilliant” seemed a stretch, however.

  35. Adam Lewis

    Ryan

    What did you think of Safety Not Guaranteed?

    I actually shed a tear at the end of it when I saw it yesterday – what a delightful film!

    It should be considered for Original Screenplay!


  36. War Horse > Les Miz
    And I mean intellectually speaking.

    So that basically makes Les Mis the worst movie of the decade?

    God, War Horse was awful. Awful, awful, awful.

  37. I could never let myself ugly cry during a film. IMAGINE!

  38. Tero Heikkinen

    What’s with all the hating on War Horse, and comparisons to Les Mis? Well, music in film is important to me, so I can see that one thing in common is that both films have repetitive music. Other than that, I don’t know. Have not seen Les Mis yet.

    Great that people keep loving A.I. – a film that was often misunderstood when it came out. Now those very same people have come to praise the film. Happens a lot in that particular genre.

  39. Except for Hathaway’s big scene, I don’t really get how people could cry during Les Miz. I’m a pretty big softie and everything after Fontine’s death left me cold. No attachment to the characters whatsoever. Why? Because it’s extremely difficult to identify with a character when they’re singing through the entire thing. Movie musicals need a breather between songs to develop the characters and their relationships in a more human/realistic way. Les Miz didn’t have that.

  40. (first video)
    When it saw the guy coming with a hammer and realized it was about to become trim for a coat, that furry thing around her neck probably had a good cry, too.

    The only movie that came close to affecting me like that was The Elephant Man. No idea why.

  41. The Great Dane

    So happy to see that I’m not the only “A.I.” diehard fan out there. People never got me when I told them how amazing that film was and, to me, it’s one of the best films ever made. I just sob every single time I see it.

    Haley Joel Osment was ROBBED! The boy’s in every single scene of the movie, and the way he plays the robot-becoming-a-boy arc is simply amazing. Best child performance ever! He literately does not blink ONCE during the entire film – because a robot wouldn’t do that.

    He should have been nominated. Damn!

    Speaking of how films like “Les Miz” is getting assaulted these days. So did “A.I.” back in the day. People mostly butchered Spielberg for ruining the source material, but history has been kinder to “A.I.”. People seem to appreciate it much more these days (like Fincher’s “Alien 3″ and Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and several other films first discarded by the critics).

    I wonder how history will look at “Les Miz”. I remember some podcasts back that Sasha & Co. considered “Les Mis” to make around what “Evita” and “Phantom of the Opera” did at the box office. Well, it looks like those numbers were easily passed within the first FOUR DAYS.

    The funny thing right now is, that it would seem that DJANGO and LES MIZ are just on the outside of the frontrunners looking in. But they could end up eclipsing Lincoln as the two big Oscar contenders with the best box office.

    This is still a seven horse race! Not since Departed’s win did we have a race with so many possible winners. I LOVE IT! I could see all Top Seven films win in different scenarios. How much attention will the media give different films (and which ones will steal the headlines?) in the next month – and how many nominations will Silver Linings, Pi, Django, Les Mis, Zero, Lincoln, Argo have each? Will Beasts, The Master and/or Amour join them? Who will get the shocking Dreamgirls/Dark Knight snub? And could one of the Christmas releases turn into a Million Dollar Baby/Letters from Iwo Jima late bloomer, leaving Lincoln/Argo/Zero in the dust. Will Lincoln/Argo/Zero steal political votes from each other – leaving something else to do an Adrien Brody?

    So many questions – and SO MANY WEEKS to final ballots are due. Anything can happen.

  42. You may be confusing “fans who love anything Les Mis/Hugh and will brook no argument not to mention spelling hot – Hawt” and fans who can see the flaws in the film but love the acting, the source and the music. Just sitting here listening to the highlights album, I can hear the acting in the voices and start to slightly tear up – much different from musical purity or close up directorial choices.

  43. Adam Lewis

    @The Great Dane

    A.I. has always been one of my fave films! I think the final 30 minutes are a masterpiece and I watch it often. John Williams’ score is phenomenal!

  44. When I watched this video I cringed at the son’s callous reaction to his parent’s crying. Wow that was cold!Sentimental is sneered at in this Hollywood. Why is that? The parents were talking about how Valjean’s death affected them, they were thinking of other deaths, maybe their own. Isn’t that what film is supposed to do,remind of the human condition? Most contemporary films have an edge and emotional distance that is viewed as fashionable.Expose films are given lots of respect,maybe too much respect.Dramas, comedies, action pictures can be cathartic, a good cry can be a good thing.Some scenes are unforgettablelike the Sophie’s Choice/child scene. That one was tough and it caused a flood of tears.Les Miserables is worthwhile because Hugo reminds you of your connection to all of humanity for good and for bad.Critics are often wrong ,they are not infalliable.”God created the poet, then took a handful of the rubbishthat was left and made three critics.”T.J.Thomas

  45. Bryce Forestieri

    The Room by Tommy Wiseau > Les Miz

  46. Tero Heikkinen

    I’m quite proud of the fact that I wrote the first published 5/5 review in my country. I was not the only one to do so a decade ago, but in minority. A.I. is a masterpiece.

    The Great Dane: Oh, but he does blink. In the end when there’s fantasy within fantasy and he’s become “a real boy”. Did you blink and miss it?

  47. *watches Reservoir Dogs*

    I’m still trying to scour the Les Miz out of my brain. If Jackman wins over DDL I will lose my shit.

    I will explain briefly once again why I hate LES MIZ. I’m a huge fan of movie musicals. Ok. How many versions of GUYS AND DOLLS are there? WEST SIDE STORY? Right. You get one shot. So to have a great version of said musical you should get the best of the best. I knew when they cast it they hadn’t done that, but I was willing to give it a chance. Then we hear that they don’t even want them to sing properly. Ok. I still tried giving it a chance. It was lousy. The whole problem begins with HeWhoLovesHimself. His directorial decisions were all bad and obviously so before we even saw it. Handheld camera. Doodoo brown palette. Paris? What Paris? But still I hoped against hope that it wouldn’t suck. It was atrocious.

    I’m sorry if I’m picky. I’m sorry if I want people singing in a musical to be the best singer/actors you can get. I’m sorry if I think an Oscar-bait film should be Oscar caliber. If you want to like it or you were born with really low standards, fine. That’s your business. But everyone who dislikes the movie isn’t just some “hater”. And I’m tired of people throwing that around all the time instead of arguing their own side because they can’t. That goes for LES MIZ and every other crap movie that people insist is great but don’t back up except to accuse those of us who disagree of being “fanboys” or “haters”.

  48. Antoinette > “I’m sorry if I’m picky. I’m sorry if I want people singing in a musical to be the best singer/actors you can get. ” Can you be more specific. If you’re criticizing some of the more supporting “names” who don’t have much recognizability or box-office favor (i.e. Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne) please do. If you’re leaving Jackman, Hathaway, Siegfried, Crowe (who are all of varying singing/acting talent, but were cast partly on past success) out of the equation, please state thus.

    The film had to gain investors and turn a profit. This is a BUSINESS. This isn’t I WANT TO PLEASE ANTOINETTE. Just like with a few people griping last year about Streep and Roberts getting cast and not being right for the roles in August: Osage County: THIS IS A BUSINESS.

    Antoinette, please cast the film with commercial-friendly stars that would turn the numbers that Les Mis is doing right now. Because, apparently, the producers didn’t know what they were doing when they went to Nate Silver-like extremes to figure out how to secure financing when they made this movie.

    I didn’t like Django Unchained (well the last two-thirds anyway). I’m in an obvious minority. And, guess what? I’m going to write my review (when I get around to it) and then move on.

  49. So if it’s just a business then all we should care about is the box office? This is a site about awarding the best, regardless of how much money it made. So if we’re commenting it should be on which films are best and which are not. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not supposed to do that because it’s also a business and they wanted to make money? I know that. I said as much in other threads. But if movies were always made that way, movie history would be a lot different. Michael Corleone would have been Robert Redford and Al Pacino might not have had a career. What would movie history be like without Al Pacino?

    I’m a fan that’s all. I make no money from the movie business. In fact I give them a lot of mine. So I complain when they fuck up and I praise the films that are great. That’s what movie fans are supposed to do. But if you just want to check the box office, go right ahead. That’s not why I’m here.

  50. War Horse > Les Miz

    And I mean intellectually speaking. [2]

    Sure… It´s a real fact.

  51. Oh Antoinette, the moment you knew who got cast in the film, you started hating it. And by your own admission, you got picky when you actually watched it! Once you’re prejudiced about something or someone, the flaws get magnified.

  52. “I’m a fan that’s all. I make no money from the movie business. In fact I give them a lot of mine. So I complain when they fuck up and I praise the films that are great. That’s what movie fans are supposed to do.”

    *raises glass* …and makes no comment

  53. Bryce Forestieri

    The Lost Boys by Joel Schumacher > Les Miz

    I mean, c’mom people. Am I alone on this one?

  54. “If you want to like it or you were born with really low standards, fine. That’s your business”

    Maybe those who loved this Les Mis have low standards. Maybe not. Haven’t seen it yet. How kind of you to keep it their “business,” though. So thoughtful. What you have, on the other hand, is a low understanding about how movies get made. Feel free to cast Jean Valjean and Fantine with Hollywood stars that have the box-office exposure AND singing talent that Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway have. Jackman: 1) won a Tony for the musical The Boy from Oz, 2) Is worldwide known for playing Wolverine, 3) opened “Real Steel” to nearly $300M worldwide last year, and 4) Is considered by many to be “the romantic hero type” in movies such as this one. Hathaway: 1) Oscar nominated, 2) while she hasn’t opened a movie, she has had second-billing on a string of movies that either were hits and/or turned a profit internationally (Prada, Get Smart, Bride Wars, Love & Other Drugs, One Day) 3) She can sing, and 4), oh, yeah, she just played Catwoman and the movie made $1B.

    And, no, I never said this is “just a business.” Making a movie is a balance between art and commerce. From your comments, you’re pretending that no commerce is involved. Would Al Pacino ever got cast in “The Godfather” if Marlon Brando didn’t play the title character? It’s nice of you to bring up that film instead of answering my question on how you would have cast Les Mis. Nice dodge, Antoinette. Still waiting. Because, if you were in charge of a movie that cost $60M to make in a genre that people like to avoid like the plague (which they don’t seem to be doing with Les Mis), your version would be for people with “high” expectations. So, come on, Antoinette, feel free. Please entertain us with your refined choices, because you know so much more than all the minions out there.

    “But everyone who dislikes the movie isn’t just some “hater””

    No, certainly not. But, you certainly aren’t making the argument that you aren’t “just some ‘hater,'” judging by your words. If you think you are, you are mistaken. At least, from the view on my stoop. But, I’m having a hard time seeing with that high perception of yourself in the way. (i.e. someone with really lofty standards, as opposed to anyone who disagrees with her who has “low” standards).

  55. Bryce Forestieri

    When Littlefoot’s mom dies* > I Dream a Dream

    And I mean emotionally speaking

    *The Land Before Time

  56. Known actors who sing better than Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe:

    Patrick Wilson, Guy Pearce, Antonio Banderas, Michael C. Hall, Ewan McGregor, Neil Patrick Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black (lol), John Travolta, Kevin Spacey

    And those are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head who could pass for French. But last night as I rewatched DREAMGIRLS, I was considering cashing in my pennies to finance an all black reboot of LES MIZ. The working title is SORRY ASS BITCHES. :P

  57. Vince, you just admitted that you didn’t even see the stupid movie. So why are you even arguing?

    I didn’t say shit about Anne Hathaway. I’ve said give her the Oscar all along.

  58. Bryce Forestieri

    SERIOUS QUESTION: Is Les Miz this year’s gay movie? Or the movie of the gays? Or both or none?

  59. No denying what makes them cry is what makes them vote: Terms of endearment, ordinary people, million dollar baby.

  60. Vince’s arguments hold true, even without him mentioning Les Miz.

  61. Bryce keeps up firmly on the ground!

    Les Mis this year’s gay movie? Ha – only if they put back the deleted scene where Marius and Valjean play hide the baget. (intellectually speaking, of course)

  62. Reno, I need to hear your position. You said something about the flaws being magnified in my view. But that sounds like you think it has flaws. Are you saying we’re supposed to accept the flaws? And then what are we talking about? Why they were cast? I know WHY they were cast. But if you want good movies you hope that occasionally filmmakers will have some foresight and understand that star power plus quality is better than just superstar power. The quality film will make more money in the end and often makes stars out of the unknown people who were cast. That was the point of my Pacino example.

    Either way LES MIZ’s box office is starting to slip and the word of mouth is bad. So time will tell if their cash cow choices were the right one. Either way the movie sucks. If Tom Hooper cast amazing actors it still would be a shaky ugly close up mess, unless he cast someone else as director too.

  63. sp- baguette (but baget is a beanbag, if that works for you)

  64. Antoinette: “I’m sorry if I want people singing in a musical to be the best singer/actors you can get.” Again, you weren’t specific when you wrote this sentence. So you praised Anne Hathaway on a previous thread. I don’t read all the threads here.

    So, give Anne the Oscar? I forget, now, remind me, is this someone speaking with “high standards” saying this? What if it was the crying mother in the clip? Does she have high or low standards? “If you want to like it or you were born with really low standards, fine.” Therefore the friends who I have who loathe Anne Hathaway and think she can’t ever act worth a lick have “low standards”? And the crying mother has high standards? Please clear this up for me, Antoinette. You keep digging the hole deeper, but you won’t say when you’re jumping in.

    And, since when does one have to see a movie to notice someone else being irrational about it and then professing to be level-headed? I may end up hating on it too. Some here have done so and have not come across as being “a hater.” You, on the other hand, do not fall into this camp, as much as you like to think you do.

  65. I didn’t like Django Unchained (well the last two-thirds anyway). I’m in an obvious minority.

    you’re not alone, Vince

  66. Les miserables was one of the few times I saw people clapping at the end. I thought the movie was good with some spectacular moments (Hathaway) but over all too uneven to be considered a Best Pic winner.

  67. @Antoinette. For me, just one big flaw — Russell Crowe. I am not any of the following: music major, French history major, design major, theater major, film major, literature major. As they say, ignorance is bliss, but I’m not ignorant, oblivious maybe, or maybe not coz I know the story and most of the songs, though I’ve never seen the stage production. The songs and the way they were sung and captured on camera mesmerized me, that’s it, I have no other way to defend my fondness for the film.

  68. Adam, I have Safety Not Guaranteed at around #25 on my Big Rough List of Roughly 50 Favorite Movies of the Year .

    It’s sitting amidst fine company in the same range as Arbitrage, Compliance. Ruby Sparks, Bernie. One of my favorite annual subset neighborhoods — the totally unexpected nice surprise from left field neighborhood.

  69. And, Patrick Wilson (who seems to have been regulated to TV these days and doesn’t have the cache to carry a movie without a Marlon Brando circa 1972 as his colead) and Downey, aside, you were obviously not being very serious. Jean Valjean carries the film. So, Viggo Mortensen has a singing voice that can endure and excel in a motion picture that’s sung the whole way through? You learn something new every day.

    Your only suggestion I can pay any credence is Downey, whom I’m not aware would have been up to the task or not. He’s uber-talented, so I’d err on the side of him being able to to it. Considering that he began filming Iron Man 3 last summer and had promotional duties with The Avengers, and taking into account the preparation necessary for the Valjean role, it’s pretty easy to surmise that the guy wasn’t available and wouldn’t be for quite some time. Your Renner suggestion doesn’t work in either role and, again, wasn’t aware he had such a top-notch singing voice.

    As for your other suggestions, you obviously aren’t very serious about your gripes concerning Jackman, if you’re throwing names like Travolta in the mix. Guess you haven’t heard that he’s considered very much a joke these days. But, the title for one of the latest internet sensations may be your answer to to the likely Best Actor winner for Oscar 2012:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGNIDXUaVts

    Really, Antoinette, Daniel Day-Lewis won Oscar when he scored the Time magazine cover in early December. Try some smelling salts and wake up. Your worry that it may go to Jackman is irrational and over-the-top, just like your disdain for Les Mis.

  70. Long-time reader/poster here with my thoughts on Les Mis after a family outing to see it. The theater was packed (the saleslady said it was not more than half full, but she was wrong! We still got good tickets, parents sitting separately.)

    I have some pluses and minuses, like practically everyone who has seen this film. First of all, Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman are exceptional. “I Dreamed a Dream” is truly spellbinding, and you could hear a pin drop when she sang. Yes, it’s histrionic, but it needed to be, and all the best dramatic moments in the film WERE histrionic. Limited screentime is a non-factor.

    Anne has the showstopping number here, a la “All That Jazz” in Chicago or “And I Am Telling You” in Dreamgirls. But Hugh Jackman should not be overlooked for the effort and commitment he brought to the role. One of my favorite moments in the film was when he tenderly sang “Suddenly” to Cosette in the carriage. As an original song, “Suddenly” is well written but not musically memorable, as I would say is the fault with most of the music in Les Mis. So I’m fine with nominating it, but I don’t think it has to win over “Pi’s Song” from Life of Pi or “Skyfall” or, frankly, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”

    Now on to the negative. There are some truly TRANSFIXING moments in the film. “I Dreamed a Dreamed,” especially, works in part because the camera is stationary. But even my mom, who teared at the end, loves her sentimental “event movies,” and would rank this among her top 5 movie musicals (not a real musical fan), even she said she was thinking, “There’s a time for a close-up.” For me, the constant close-ups, jarring canted angles, and over-editing really robbed the story of some of its emotional power. I also found myself unable to connect strongly with the story throughout the second half because everything is sung instead of told or shown, and only about three songs are truly memorable. I also could have used an intermission after the big song featuring the entire cast singing, but the film just keeps going. Among my family, I was in the minority regarding an intermission, but I’m an old soul who likes a good crowd-pleaser but also an old movie musical.

    Still, I would happily give both Anne and Hugh the Oscars they richly deserve. Lincoln was truly better, but DDL can live without a third Oscar and Sally Field isn’t winning anyway. Truly, though, I’d tie them, especially in Lead Actor where both Hugh and DDL feel undeniable in some respects. It would be just like the last time the Oscars tied. Katharine Hepburn, the revered veteran, won her third Oscar for The Lion in Winter. Everyone knew that was going to happen — it was undeniable, and justly so. But Barbra Streisand, the lovable new kid on the block, was undeniable too for Funny Girl, and how do you compare those two performances? Sure, Babs was playing herself, but it’s hard to find a stronger lead performance in a movie musical, at least of that era. Hugh Jackman is similarly a Hollywood favorite who’s never been honored before. Unlike Babs, he’s not playing himself, but I would say that working against him as far “undeniability” goes (though my parents would agree) is that, unlike Streisand, he is NOT in basically every frame in Les Mis. It spreads out a bit, and frankly I think Eddie Redmayne is worthy of a nod over some of the fillers that are likely happening. Barks sang beautifully, but next to everyone else, I didn’t find her emotionally expressive enough. (Lea Michele would have been distracting coming from Glee, but at least you know she could pull off histrionic.) Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen: I enjoyed them very much. Again, I was in the minority in my family, but I enjoyed the comic relief and felt it was needed.

    So, if you’re still with me, I came in with an open mind having read the critics but with my own preferences intact. Well, I love Moulin Rouge, but I don’t think Les Mis was the movie for a director to film so experimentally. I also have my reservations about the underlying source material, both the song score and the narrative, at least as presented in this film (i.e. Javert is bad, then good, then bad, then good? What are his true motivations?). Maybe, as Sasha wrote, it plays better on the small screen, but you can bet most Academy members are seeing it in theaters. Like it or not, it’s an “event movie,” which makes it impossible to ignore but builds expectations unrealistically.

  71. In response to what I’m seeing above me, I’d like to add that Russell Crowe was generally fine, and I couldn’t see another Hollywood star playing Javert. Gerard Butler is too young and no different. The others suggested couldn’t sing it halfway as well as Crowe did. And at least there were times when the depth of Crowe’s voice played well against Jackman’s lightness. My biggest problems with him were the writing for his character, not anything Crowe did.

  72. And (last post, I promise!) I must have been one of the few people not to cry or even tear up. I was transfixed at times by the power of the songs, singing, and narrative, but I couldn’t be brought to tears by this film. The camerawork was too frenetic and the singing too constant for that to happen. (For the record, I don’t cry at Moulin Rouge either, and it’s one of my favorites.)

    Oh, but at the end this girl nearby said it was like Titanic. I was thinking, how the fuck can you say that when you left to go to the bathroom every hour?

    Sentimental films usually move me quite easily. I think I just hate Tom Hooper, and was overwhelmed by the constant operatic singing.

  73. Intellectually, both films are somewhat lacking. However, War Horse is better MADE than Les Miz. Tom Hooper has absolutely no idea where to put a camera, or how to edit images together into a cohesive sequence. It’s all random cutting (chop chop chop), no rythm. Judging from his work on Les Miz alone, Hooper has absolutely no idea what the hell he’s doing.

  74. moviewatcher

    I really don’t get how people can cry in a movie they didn’t like (a la Sasha Stone and War Horse). But that’s maybe because I’m a tough cryer, it’s really hard for a movie to make me cry. Of course when I cry, I cry in emotional scenes and sad stories, but I’ve already been loving the MOVIE for a long time by then. It’s just the cherry of top of the cake. To me, when I cry in a movie, it’s a definite signal that “I loved this movie”. That doesn’t mean I measure movies by whether I cried in them or not. But it is a fact to take in consideration, because it happens so rarely.

    From this year’s movie, I’ve only cried in Cloud Atlas (*SPOILER* when Jim Sturgess returns home and hugs doona bae *END OF SPOILERS*). And that was one HELL of a great movie. The crying (and I cried the second time I saw it: very uncommon) at the end just made that whole experience much more satisfying. The movie completely enthralled me intellectually and emotionally. I can ask no more than that. The best movie of the year, however, IMHO is The Master. And there’s just no way anybody is gonna cry in The Master.

    But because I cry so rarely, and only under very specific circumstances, I find it really strange that people cry and then come out of the theater and say: “meh, it was merely a good/average movie.”

  75. Vince you really don’t pay attention to what people are saying. You asked for people who I would cast before Jackman and Crowe and I listed them. It was inherent in everything I said that they were not the level of A-listers that Jackman and Crowe are. That’s why I said stars in a quality film is better than superstars in a film. Meaning Jackman and Crowe are the superstars. That was the point of everything and you missed it. Remember my point was the quality of the film, not the money it would make on opening weekend.

    If you didn’t know Mortensen and Renner could sing, you’ve missed even more. Downey has sang (sung?) on film and in real life before. Russell Crowe isn’t the only one who does that on the side. Many many actors have bands. But I’m not sure what’s wrong with McGregor and Banderas? Why are they a joke? If Jack Black can get notices for BERNIE and he’s the successful lead singer of Tenacious D I don’t think he deseves to be dismissed either. And Renner doesn’t work in either role because why? I take it that Michael C. Hall, Guy Pearce, Neil Patrick Harris, and Kevin Spacey are also filed under not to be taken seriously with you? Because once again, you’re talking money and I’m talking talent. We’re not even having the same conversation.

  76. Antoinette, you lost me at Banderas.

    Les Mis may have its problems, but casting was not one of them.

  77. Much as I didn’t like the film, I can’t fault the actors, either.

    The thing probably will look better on the small screen. I don’t know if that’s due to deliberate forethought or Mr Hooper’s limitations to TV faming. He’s good at that and has made some excellent series for the box, but I don’t watch them with my nose 6 inches from the screen, which is the effect Les Mis on the big screen had for me.

    The problems are not with the actors or the musical itself. The buck stops at the director.

  78. What’s wrong with Antonio Banderas? Someone tell me!!!

    (i.e. Javert is bad, then good, then bad, then good? What are his true motivations?).

    He’s Catholic, so yeah.

  79. Bryce Forestieri

    @Ryan Adams, when are you putting it out there? I need official motivation to build mine!

    Sneak Peek: LES MIZ is ahead of ONE FOR THE MONEY which made ME cry and the audience I was with applaud

  80. Well, this wasn’t supposed to be Evita. What was wrong with Hugh??

    Banderas should have done Nine, though. In case anyone has any doubts, Jackman is at least better than DDL in musicals.

    Javert is Catholic…well, Jessica Lange does it better on American Horror Story.

  81. Bryce — 2 or 3 more movies I still need to see. But the list is firming up fast so I might try to post it in a day or two — at midnight New Year’s Eve when we’re all drunk and feeling huggy? Then maybe nobody will notice that there are 50 movies I like better than a couple of the Oscar frontrunners.

  82. Well, this wasn’t supposed to be Evita. What was wrong with Hugh??

    I never liked his voice but he sounded much worse than I was expecting. Worse than Crowe whose voice grew on me as it went actually. But it was still C- singing.

    Yes, Ryan. We need to see that list.

  83. I guess I’ve always enjoyed Hugh singing. OK, he’s not the powerhouse of a Harve Presnell, but come on, he was born for this role on film! He emotes perfectly and powerfully and his voice is tender in the softer songs. Certainly your other choices couldn’t have done half as well!!

  84. Singing Vs. Singing in a film that is entirely sung-through Vs. Singing in a film that is entirely sung-through LIVE

    I’ve already alluded to the fact that Jackman carried a musical eight performances a week for almost one year, in addition to his commercial power. Not sure how I can get any more specific than that in context of your casting choices, most of which didn’t warrant a response. Yeah, Renner was great in the SNL-opening monologue. He played piano too. So, does that mean he can handle a sung-through motion picture? Not just any musical, a SUNG-THROUGH musical. And, oh, yeah, THE ACTORS ARE RECORDED LIVE. And there were multiple takes in a motion-picture where, every time the camera came on, the actors had to sing. The same thing over again, again, and again. I mean, really Antoinette? Renner is up for the task? Love the guy, but, he didn’t open a (franchise) movie on his own until this Summer. Were the investors supposed to be clairvoyant? Not saying he couldn’t have done it, but would he have been as commercially viable an option as Jackman? And has he already proven he could handle such a role considering the physical and vocal demands?

    Most of your suggestions can’t open a movie, nor even wield must drawing power in the context of a big-budget DRAMATIC movie musical. Not sure others could see MacGregor in either role. And, as much as I love NPH, I see him even less in either role (and he’s popular on TV, for the most part). Jack Black’s star has diminished since the mid-00’s and, as Javert? Or, do you mean Valjean? Haha. Not really, but perhaps others will champion your suggestion that he has what it takes to overcome all of the comedic baggage that comes with casting Jack Black in a serious role. What? You mean Bernie erases all that? Michael C. Hall? No drawing power. He can sing? Guy Pearce? Let’s see … after his breakout lead role in Memento, he flopped with The Time Machine a decade ago. He hasn’t opened a movie since. Cast him! Kevin Spacey as Javert? He can sing? Okay, sure. People RUSH to see the next Spacey film. Then, who is going to play Valjean? And I was going to agree with Banderas as Javert (the only actor besides NPH you mention who has Broadway musical experience to match Jackman’s), but I think I’ll just go along with Zach.

    That’s all I have left to say on this matter, Antoinette. Your suggestions were lacking 1) proven vocal endurance like Jackman has and/or 2) Box-office muscle Jackman has. And, frankly, 3) the actual muscles Jackman has, but that’s besides the point.

    Bottom-line: You can’t cast Valjean or Javert with a Marlon Brando to make up for your Al Pacino. If Crowe was as crappy as you say he was, I’ll give you that. But, you proved that you couldn’t come up with names for either role that wouldn’t have justified risking a no-namer in the other role.

    We get it. You loathed Hugh Jackman and Crowe in this movie you found deplorable, even though you’re ready to hand Anne the Oscar. Anyone who loved Les Mis has “low standards” and aren’t right-minded enough to realize they’re “getting swept away by the music.”

  85. Zach wrote: “Jackman is at least better than DDL in musicals.”

    How true? Whenever anyone says to you, Daniel Day-Lewis can do no wrong, just remind them of the awfulness of his work in Nine (which makes Les Miz look like a masterpiece, btw).

  86. Speaking as a singer, I think it takes extreme talent to sing through your emotions as Hathaway, Jackman, Barks and Redmayne did. I loved Les Miz (mostly for the performances) but, I do have a soft spot for musicals. Just my two cents.

  87. Vince, you’re continuing to concentrate on “opening a movie” in terms of box office. Like I said, we’re not having the same conversation. As to a sung through live musical, that’s Hooper. Without Hooper, that’s not a problem. Record it all and get it right. Jackman and Crowe probably would have been fine recorded. But here, look what I found: for the lulz

  88. Whoops. The link didn’t go. Here. All singing, all dancing Avengers: http://youtu.be/G0cG0fBFpLg

  89. Jesse Crall

    Well, Antoinette might have been suspicious of Les Miz from the early goings but I had my hopes up even as critical reviews started pouring in. When the trailer came out I immediately called it to win the Oscar because it looked like a classic Old Hollywood bit of bombast that could overwhelm voters amidst the edgier fare like Zero Dark Thirty. I’d never read the book or seen the musical and I went in cold with no preconceptions about who could sing and who was cast right or the wide-angle lens Hooper was using.

    I thought Les Miz was awful. With you all the way, Antoinette.

  90. Antoinette, There’s nothing I’m not understanding. You don’t understand the different levels of singing abilities required given a medium, while ignoring having a commercially-viable actor in at least one of a movie’s main leads, while marrying art and commerce. Les Mis needed Hugh Jackman for every last reason he was cast. And most people have responded positively to the choice. You failed to produce many viable artistic choices for Valjean OR Javert. Of the ones you did, even fewer have a proven ability to sing well and sing often. Throwing in the commercial factor wipes away nearly your whole slate. Like I alluded, Downey (the only commercially viable option from your slate) may have been a good Valjean, but I have no idea if he was up to the task of singing live in a motion picture, let along available to do so, let alone even interested. So, you know Downey could handle the sung-through role? What? From playing that charming lothario who took to the piano and song once or twice in Two Girls and a Guy?

    You have made the argument that Jeremy Renner, Viggo Mortensen, and Kevin Spacey, among others “can sing better than Hugh Jackman,” though you never prove it (why is that?) and, yet, you then confess had Hooper dubbed his vocals in post, “Jackman would have been fine.” Huh? What does that even mean? Did you not see him in The Boy of Oz, let alone host the Tonys after it opened? Was he really that bad that you throw names out of people who could have done better, yet some of whom have never proven their singing abilities outside of an internet clip or one scene in a past movie?

    Bottom-line: Most people’s reactions were middling to outstanding for Jackman, and poor to above average for Crowe. You hated them both. And you hate Tom Hooper. And you hate Les Mis the movie. That’s all fine and dandy, but when you start judging other people for loving on the film, including somebody’s weeping mother (whether it was because of the source material and “they didn’t know it,” or because they actually thought that Hooper elevated the material with his directorial choices, as well as including the live singing, which many have cited as one of its strengths), that’s where I draw the line.

    And, no thank you, I don’t need to see Samuel L. Jackson in a fluorescent pink bob-cut wig. Keep that eyesore to yourself. Watching him in Django was painful enough.

  91. Dude, the lulzy video was supposed to be a peace offering. I get it. You would never hire anyone unless they were a sure thing by your standards. I don’t think great art gets made with “proof” and doing what’s been done before. You would never risk. I get it. Geez.

    That’s all fine and dandy, but when you start judging other people for loving on the film, including somebody’s weeping mother

    I don’t remember saying word one about that woman or “judging” anyone.

  92. The Great Dane,

    I completely agree about AI.

    Its´a brilliant movie. A very particular brilliant movie.
    Osment was robbed. The second bestc performance by a child ever – the first, for me, is given by Christian Bale in “Empire of the Sun”.
    I will never understando how a movis as AI – being a half Kubrick and half Spielberg, but a complete little masterpiece – wasn´t received all glories it deserves.

  93. By the way, Plan 9 from Outer Space > Les Miz.

    I DO believe! ;)

  94. rufussondheim

    What Antoinette fails to remember is range. The part of Jean Valjean has an exceptionally large range. The only singer I know of who could sing that part that is known by a large variety of people is Mandy Patinkin. Part of me wonders if Patinkin could pull the part off. Sure, he might be a little old to do the earlier scenes, but I bet he could have done the part beautifully (if they got a director that could rein in his tendency to be too excessive.)

    But I think Jackman was great. I had no complaints.

    One thing that really hasn’t been mentioned is that if the movie would have been cast with the toppest-notchiest singers who can go all apeshit operatic the movie would have been unbearable in the extreme. Almost every bar of music was toned down from the stage for the screen. Too much bombastic singing would have been far too melodramatic.

    As for the woman in the video (and the man) good for them. Glad they got their cry on. I was weeping uncontrollably for like ten minutes and starting crying again in the car. This was great cryworthy stuff.

    A note about Neil Patrick Harris – he’s a fine singer and can definitely carry a tune, but his voice is a tad thin to be the lead in pretty much anything. Every time I hear him sing a Broadway Classic song, I kind of wince a bit. I don’t think he’s as good as he’s given credit by the masses.

  95. I agree with all the AI love, when I saw it in the theaters I was transfixed! I even read the short story it was based on recently :)

    As far as Les Mis I just can’t bring myself to see it, I’m sure I won’t like it…

  96. Houstonrufus

    Some of you peeps are in way too deep over this. I agree with Sasha. War Horse is a better movie than Les Miserables. By far. I cried in both. But Les Miserables doesn’t even figure in my top 10 for the year.

    And this vid is hilarious. It makes me think of me and best friend. Everyone loves a good communal cry. Well, some of us do. But as people have said in the thread. That doesn’t mean a film deserves the Big prize. It just means we aren’t all dead inside.

  97. Houstonrufus

    Oh and the notion of AI as a Great film has gained decent traction in recent years. Ebert’s even added it to his Great film list.

  98. Antoinette: “You would never risk”

    You talk about risk and then bring up The Godfather? How RISKY does a film musical have to be to get your approval? Do you know how hard it is to get one financed today? Making a musical today is a risk, because the marketplace doesn’t demand that genre to begin with. The marketplace, more than ever depends on novelized teen series and action films. Was that the environment in the early 1970s? Hell, if Les Miserables the musical existed then, it probably could have gotten cast with all French actors. While Coppola was beset with his share of headaches and challenges, was he dealing with a film-going audience who was waiting for the next Twilight? The Godfather was made in the 1970s partly because it could get make, if at any time, then. Do you actually think for a second it would be made today? Because, if you do, you’re wrong. It wouldn’t have been The Godfather. It would have been turned into a HBO TV show, set in modern times, starring James Gandolfini.

    The fact that a musical gets made is in it of itself a risk, because no one knows if people are actually going to show up. You act as if Les Mis is a piece of caca that’s right down at the level of Joel Schumacher’s Phantom of the Opera (or did you like that one more?). The box-office, critics, award bodies, are disagreeing with that sentiment. You may have not liked it, but it’s far from being a film that’s universally despised. And your hate is tiresome and bullying.

    Antoinette: “I don’t remember saying word one about that woman or “judging” anyone.”

    Antoinette: “If you want to like it or you were born with really low standards.”

    Antoinette fail.

    I would gladly accept your olive branch if you actually read what I wrote. Do you even read what you write? I have. Looks like that was my first mistake.

  99. Eh.. that’s not what I call judging. I think of judging as condemning someone ala Javert. But if that’s what you meant, fine. I wasn’t talking specifically about her but I suppose it applies.

    You act as if Les Mis is a piece of caca that’s right down at the level of Joel Schumacher’s Phantom of the Opera (or did you like that one more?).

    You bet I did. It only had one crappy singer. And I was bitching up a storm when I heard Butler’s honking. Do you know who was rumored to play the Phantom in that film originally? http://www.playbill.com/news/article/78099-Antonio-Banderas-Ready-to-Star-in-The-Phantom-of-the-Opera-Movie

  100. Well, we certainly see eye to eye on Butler.

  101. Jesse Crall

    The development of The Godfather was extremely laborious and contentious DESPITE its status as a major bestseller. If Killing Them Softly, a film made from a far less popular crime novel that’s 40 years old, can get made in 2012, The Godfather certainly could.

  102. So if you like Les Miserables you are less intelligent than people who don’t like the film? What hubris! I didn’t expect to enjoy this film as much as I did, but I do believe Hooper has made a good film of the source material, and that the film is well cast . Jackman is a seasoned stage performer and Tony winner and Crowe is one of the best contemporary working actors, an Oscar, Bafta,and other awards for his acting talents. The actresses and other actors were very good as well.The choice of ,”crappy singer,”goes right along with the tasteless,and dumb comments from a bunch of the critics.As for the idea that it is the fans of Les Miserables who are causing the diviseness, well that is wrong headed. The critics have made war on this film in a particularly nasty way.Why? Oh yes, it’s Oscar time.

  103. Now there’s something Antonio could have done! Phantom actually had more potential than Les Mis, but the director, lead, and cheese factor damned it. One day, fifty years from now, they’ll probably remake Phantom and it will win Oscars.

  104. Crowe is woefully miscast. Truly awful and cringeworthy. His horrible singing stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the cast.

    There is no reason a better, unknown singer could not have been cast in the role. Jackman and Hathaway is enough star power.

    A bad decision by Hooper and his team.

  105. Tero Heikkinen

    I don’t think that we can even imagine whether or not The Godfather could be made today. The film is just too damn influential. Today’s Cinema would be very very different. We surely wouldn’t have Apocalypse Now, Scorsese had skipped a gangster flick or two, Al Pacino? Who? So, Heat etc… The Sopranos on TV, you name it. This speculation is pointless. And endless.

  106. rufussondheim

    I think we need to put to rest the concept that Antonio Banderas is a good singer. Here he is singing Oh What a Circus, which is probably the best Che song in Evita. Skip ahead to the three minute mark.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxAmCxfWA4o

    And then please go to my next post.

  107. rufussondheim

    Shockingly, I couldn’t get a good version of Patinkin singing it (he, of the original cast, winning a Tony) but here is a snippet of it. Just compare Patinkin and Banderas and you’ll see what Banderas doesn’t bring to the table. He’s really rather terrible in comparison.

    http://www.myxer.com/mp3/id/14549488/Mandy-Patinkin/Oh-What-A-Circus/

  108. Okay but that takes us back to original Broadway casts and we all know they’ll never use them. We were pulling from popular movie actors who could sing. I didn’t even attempt singers who can act. God knows the shit that would have kicked up.

  109. rufussondheim

    OK, here’s a full version of Patinkin. Go to Requiem for Evita/Oh What a Circus and, again, skip ahead to the 3 minute mark.

    http://grooveshark.com/#!/artist/Mandy+Patinkin+Patti+LuPone+And+Bob+Gunton/1587898

  110. rufussondheim

    Was there just a huge shift in format or am I going crazy?

    Antoinette, there just aren’t that many people who can sing AND act well enough. That’s one of the reasons why it’s hard to do a good film musical in today’s business climate.

    You could go with Norbert Leo Butz, he’s a genuine treasure. But, I can’t imagine anyone casting him in the lead in a 60 million dollar Hollywood Oscar Bait film.

    Here’s Butz singing and acting his ass off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciSOG27l8ts

  111. Daniel B.

    War Horse was bad, wasn’t it! It is hard for me to swallow the fact that it was nominated along with EL&IC over The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Drive! I wanted to die of boredom during the movie and was listing the many things I would like to do after it. I found it falsely santimental and with this sappy Williams’score it was even worse. And that coming from a huge “The King’s Speech” fan.
    Speaking fo “Lincoln”- this is this year’s best movie and it is hard for me to believe that it was directed by the same director. I am glad that I didn’t have the usual sense that when a character isn’t presented in a scene it is as if his life has stopped.

  112. Budgets:

    Other films in the early 1970s of varying genres (for context):
    The Godfather Part II (1974): $13M
    Papillion (1973): $12M
    The Exorcist (1973): $12M
    Diamonds Are Forever (1971): $7.2M
    The Godfather (1972): $6.5M
    The Sting (1973): $5.5M
    The Poseidon Adventure (1972): $4.7M
    Dirty Harry (1971): $4M
    What’s Up Doc?: (1971): $4M
    Straw Dogs (1971): $3.3M
    The French Connection (1971): $3.3M
    A Clockwork Orange (1971): $2.2M
    Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971): $2.1M

    In the late 80s/early 90s:
    Die Hard II (1990): $70M
    The Godfather III (1990): $54M
    Dick Tracy (1990: $47M
    Licensed to Kill (1989): $32M
    The Hunt for Red October (1990): $30M
    Goodfellas (1990: $25M
    Pretty Woman (1990): $14M

    Today:
    The Dark Knight Rises (2012): $250M
    Skyfall (2012): $200M
    The Poseidon Adventure (2006): $160M
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): $93M
    Gran Torino (2008): $33M
    Straw Dogs (2011): $25M
    Killing Them Softly (2012): $18M

    “If Killing Them Softly, a film made from a far less popular crime novel that’s 40 years old, can get made in 2012, The Godfather certainly could.”

    If The Godfather IV was made today, Coppola could (and would) probably get a budget of $150M. If The Godfather had never been made into a movie and was being done so today, a recent Oscar-winning screenwriter whose had some commercial success as a director, would have to do The Godfather at a minimum of $75M (that’s low-balling it, no?). While a legend would attach himself to the project, keep in mind that the technical lead of the film would be an untested actor who has only appeared in two films to his credit. What studio is going to shell out $75M for an epic drama about a family of gangsters. American Gangster was made for $100M, but had two stars at or near the top of their game (Crowe was beginning to slide) and I’d hardly argue it was as ambitious or poetic in nature.

    Maybe Annapurna productions. But, Megan Ellison hasn’t green-lit anything over $45M. And her company didn’t exist a few years ago. Perhaps The Godfather *could* get made today. I don’t think it’s such a sure thing as you do.

    What other studio has proven they’d go ahead with a project like this?

  113. rufussondheim

    Last video, I swear. Here’s Michael Cerveris doing Sweeney Todd. His voice would be too low for Jean Valjean, but compare him to Johnny Depp! Depp looks like an ass in comparison.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7UOTuntLMk

    I link this video mostly to show Patty LuPone, though. Who originated Fantine (Anne Hathaway) on Broadway. She’s an amazing talent who has been trying to get into a Hollywood musical for years, but to no avail, even though she just might be the greatest Broadway Star working today.

  114. rufussondheim

    Great Gatsby budget is 125 million. That’s not going to be money well spent.

  115. Was there just a huge shift in format or am I going crazy?

    Some people are having trouble accessing the site so Sasha was testing another theme to see if that was the issue. It wasn’t. So we switched right back.

    Those having access problems are seeing a “500 Internal Server Error” message — but we think that it’s only a problem in Firefox and Safari. (Chrome, IE, Opera, no problem).

    Can I ask anyone on site right now: What browser are you using?

  116. Robert A.

    I’m on Chrome. Everything is working normally for me.

  117. Chrome. The only problem I have is the loading time. But, that has been going on for a while and it’s my computer. I think I have to update my flash player or something for all of those Oscar ads.

  118. Chrome. Nothing out of the ordinary. The last two times I tried to post, it didn’t work and I lost my comments (I’m sure to the pleasure of some, just kidding).

    My Shockwave Flash crashes often while loading your site, in general, but that is my computer needing an update or something or other (not sure), I think.

  119. Christophe

    Kim K pregnant with Kanye W baby > Les Mis

    and I mean intellectually speaking…

    just kidding, haven’t seen the film, just tryin to join in on the meme.

  120. Tero Heikkinen

    I have the same problem, Vince. No idea how to fix it. I can’t really access the front page at all, so I click on Recent Comments or Recent Posts, but never Home.

    Firefox here.

  121. Can you do me another favor and check to see what version of Firefox you’re using? Are you running Wizard Firefox? Because my Regular Firefox won’t connect.

    Seriously. Firefox v17 and v18 both give me a 500 Internal Server Error
    Check your version for me, please? (menu: Help/About Firefox)

    (sorry to hear the ads are putting a strain on some connections)).

  122. Tero Heikkinen

    v18 here, and they are the ads that my computer hates.

  123. Tero Heikkinen

    It has to be my computer, because my connection is awesome. Every other site is superfast (providing high speed connection is written in law here; it is one of basic rights). I could download a full length movie in 2-3 minutes, loading the frontpage of AD takes about the same :D

  124. Connected to charter internet with chrome as browser, sometimes it takes 5 minutes to load. Will it get worse as more people access this site in the coming weeks?

  125. Tero Heikkinen

    This has happened before and Sasha/Ryan/whoever have acted on it very fast. It’s only the Oscar night when the site falls down completely. Maybe nomination morning, too.

  126. Is there a way I can view Award Daily’s ads that automatically resorts to a default lower (but visible) quality, so loading wouldn’t take so long? It seems things have gotten worse the last few months. But, again, I’m assuming it’s my computer/flash player/whatever.

    Tero > Sometimes, it takes 10 seconds to load AD, before I can even scroll down to Recent Comments!

    Okay, Christophe’s last comment has to be the best on this thread. But, I’ve had a glass of wine since my earlier interactions.

  127. Ok, cool. The problem Sasha and I were seeing an hour ago looks solved for us now. We found a way past the 500 Error through a backdoor, and somehow that reset out browsers. Now we’re back to normal. Hope the trouble rectifies as easily for anyone else who was having difficulty.

    Trouble was just begging to get rectified through the backdoor, that slut.

    Thanks, pals. Appreciate the quick feedback.

  128. SeattleMoviegoer

    getting back to the subject at hand…the video. i’m disappointed that Stone felt the need to post it. these are obviously very sincere individuals and to display their honest emotions is unsettling. i feel like i’ve intruded on something truly personal. hopefully it wasn’t an attempt at ridicule. and more pointedly, ridicule at those who are moved by the film of LES MISERABLES. let’s consider why tens of millions of people around the world respond to this show: it is a story of faith, sacrifice, life, death and belief in God. you can’t get much more basic than that. to compare, another popular novel was written in the same era and was directly inspired by LES MIZ–General Lew Wallace’s BEN HUR. it featured a similar story of a man wronged for a minor crime and sent to the galleys for many years. he is constantly dogged and challenged by another man (Messala) while trying desperately to protect 2 women, his mother and sister. at the depth of his despair, he is saved/converted by a holy man (in this case Christ himself) and vows to change his life. in both stories, the theme is that of a man who–despite huge challenges–turns his life over to God. William Wyler’s image under the opening credits of BEN HUR illustrate the theme beautifully–the outstretched fingers of Adam and God reaching to connect from Michelangelo’s mural on the Sistine Chapel. there you have it folks. LES MIZ taps into that basic yearning of most men and women…to connect with the divine. Love, Hope, Sacrifice, Life, Death, etc. it moves people deeply. LES MISERABLES touches people to their core. if you want make fun of someone blubbering like a fool, watch me when i’m viewing the end of BEN HUR as he returns to his home and reunites with his mother and sister.

  129. Is there a way I can view Award Daily’s ads that automatically resorts to a default lower (but visible) quality,

    Opera browser actually has a setting you can toggle to speed up page loads. It’s called Opera Turbo and works exactly as you describe, Vince.

    It reduces the resolution of jpgs and other graphics almost imperceptibly, and thus requires less bandwidth.

  130. Thanks, Ryan! I downloaded the software. I wasn’t able to access AD, unfortunately, after opening Opera. I could see other sites though. I tried my blog, but its aesthetics were compromised. So, maybe I have to tool around with the settings.

    And, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Django, now that I have gotten mine out of my system (I hope). I always hate bagging on a movie, especially one that I want to love. But, now, that I have, I feel much better, and can hopefully concentrate on its positive aspects (because I do remember thinking I was watching possibly the best film of the year, for, at least, the first hour or so … which then turned into … something else entirely).

  131. Wow, SeattleMovieGoer, thanks for that. I hope I see Les Mis on Tuesday.

  132. Just saw Les Miserables. Quite hated it. Hathaway was undeniably brilliant, but the musical, for me, did little to work me into an emotional frenzy. The camera angles and closeups gave me a headache (as did the music and the performances of Cohen & Carter, who pop up conveniently throughout–couldn’t they just…disappear?), and just what was that cockney child doing running around Paris? Were they simultaneously filming a remake of Oliver?

    As far as A.I. goes, one of the best and worst movies I’ve ever seen. So many great moments (Haley being abandoned in the woods and the final scene are heartbreaking), and so many awful ones (I think Robin Williams is to blame for that).

  133. “I hope I see Les Mis on Tuesday.”

    Brace yourself, Vince. Sit wa-a-a-ay back. Try not to think about Directing 101.

    We await your report!

  134. Steve50 > LOL. ACTUALLY, it was YOUR comment that finally hit home with me to beeline for the back of the house. :)

    Thank you.

  135. Great Gatsby budget at 125 million. I still think it could turn profit.

  136. Ok so the hating on the “little boy running about Paris” well he was in the original story… His character made the town citizens care… And was why the crusade fought so hard and started the revolution. And let’s be real we all were thinking “oh my gosh he was so cute, I didn’t want him to die etc.” but were all too cool to say it and this movie was a great rendition of the musical maybe not the best but very good

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