Printer Friendly - Went to a screening of


Went to a screening of "Les Miserables" film.....
Posted by camncal 2012-11-30 23:38:31


It's absolutely flawless and perfect in every way. I don't think they could've done it any better. I wasn't really a fan of the musical, i thought the musical on stage drags, but it was just right on screen.

So the performances-

Hugh Jackman- He's really the center of the film. He carries it from beginning to end, and his final song made the entire theatre cry. It was heartbreaking and so touching. I REALLY hope he gets an Oscar. He so deserves it. Great singing and flawless acting.

Anne Hathaway- I'm sure she's going to get an Oscar nom, or even win it for her performance. She's only in the first 1/3 of the film, but her 'I Dreamed of a Dream" is a breath of fresh air. I have never heard it sung that way....actually I never knew the lyrics to the song and how sad it is and Anne definitely played the truth of the song. It's going to go down in history as one of the best renditions of the song, or at least the most honest. Her last scene will make you cry as well. Actually, just bring a tissue box, 'cause people were crying throughout.

Amanda Seyfried- She def made the character A LOT more likable than in the musical. She has 1 solo and few duets. She doesn't come off as a spoiled brat. She is very likable in the film. I love her as an actress, but I'm really not a fan of her singing, even in Mamma Mia. Her voice is always shaking and i think a few notes were a bit too high for her, but she is beautiful to look at and her acting made up for the rest.

Russell Crowe- At first I wasn't sure if he could sing with his first song, but he can definitely sing and has a few solos. Great, but the character was kind of annoying at times. Sometime you get the "oh him again?" .... 'cause all he does is going after Hugh Jackman throughout the ENTIRE film and the film spans like over 10 years. Get a life already.

Helena Bonam Carter- Same character she plays in Harry Potter, only she sings.

Sacha Baron Cohen- Funny, but thought i could do without him. However, him and Helena are the only comedic relief in the film.

Samantha Barks- She sings "On my Own", which is another big song from the musical. She could've been the Jennifer Hudson of this film with that number, but sadly, she's just not in the film much at all. It's like she comes on, sings her song, and then became a background character. She has much a better role in the stage version. It's a missed opportunity because she is great.

Aaron Tveit- He was great and Eddie Redmayne has a big song that was on the par of Anne's I Dreamed of a Dream. Eddie held his own among all the big stars, he had a lot of great scenes. I thought what was great about the film is that every single character had a shining moment, the only character i felt was left in the background was Eponine.

Overall, it will def be a strong Best Picture contender. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway should get noms and should win. I haven't seen anything this year that comes close to what they've done.

Samantha, Amanda, and Eddie along with the director were there to do Q&A after, they were all very nice.

Went to a screening of
Posted by kyl3fong2 2012-11-30 23:48:57


How much does Aaron sing in the movie? I've heard that a lot of his parts have been divided among the barricade boys?

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-11-30 23:59:37


Aaron sings a few songs, mostly in a group, but does get a lot of screen time. Whenever the barricade boys are together, the camera is usually on him, and he's like the focal point of the ending, as he's the only one holding and waving the flag with all the cast singing together.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Movidude742 2012-12-01 00:02:00


He sings a fair bit but there are snips here and there. I really would have preferred him as Marius over Redmayne. His voice was just a little caught at the back of his throat.

I loved the film. I loved the live singing so much, even if that is why there is an overabundance of closeups to hide the mics.

still processing the movie

there were a number of audience applause moments throughout

Went to a screening of
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-12-01 00:21:51


"She could've been the Jennifer Hudson of this film with that number, but sadly, she's just not in the film much at all. It's like she comes on, sings her song, and then became a background character. She has much a better role in the stage version."

That's a shame because after watching the sneak peek clip here on BWW and re-watching the 25th Anniversary concert just the other day I appreciated her portrayal of the character more than I did before, and I had already thought she was great in the role. I wonder if Hooper and the producers wanted to focus more on the big names in the film.

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 00:26:11


Definitely. She's the only actor who didn't get a character poster... Considering the size of her role on stage and that one song, she should've gotten a poster over Amanda Seyfried, but Amanda's Cosset had a lot more screen time and was a much bigger role. Samantha kind of shows up, walks/sings around in the background, sings her one song, and gone.

Went to a screening of
Posted by kyl3fong2 2012-12-01 00:27:24


Do they not have Attack on Rue Plumet?

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 00:29:30


Attack on Rue Plumet is in it.

Went to a screening of
Posted by beautywickedlover 2012-12-01 00:32:20


"Definitely. She's the only actor who didn't get a character poster... Considering the size of her role on stage and that one song, she should've gotten a poster over Amanda Seyfried, but Amanda's Cosset had a lot more screen time and was a much bigger role. Samantha kind of shows up, walks/sings around in the background, sings her one song, and gone."

I bet if Taylor Swift was Eponine, the role would have been bigger because she's an international pop/country star.

Went to a screening of
Posted by ACL2006 2012-12-01 00:35:32


how was "Master of the House"??

Went to a screening of
Posted by ray-andallthatjazz86 2012-12-01 00:42:02


There is also the chance that from a structural point of view Eponine did just end up being not that important of the role, I contend that that is the main reason they cast Samantha Barks in the part rather than a big name which would have given the audience unrealistic expectations about how large the role is in this adaptation. Perhaps they realized early on that Eponine wasn't just going to be that big of a character.
I asked this in one of the other threads and I didn't get a response, is Frances Rufelle's cameo in the final cut of the movie?

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 00:43:01


"how was "Master of the House"??"

It was great. A lot of stuff going on and done very well and clever. A great highlight of the film, a lot of energy.

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 00:47:02


"is Frances Rufelle's cameo in the final cut of the movie?"

i think she had a cameo as one of the whores. still in.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Movidude742 2012-12-01 01:10:56


Eponine's role suffers from the shuffling to eliminate the act break. All of her moments are smushed together other than her death.

They make her death a little more tragic in a way, but it doesn't really balance out.

I loved the nod to Enjolras on the rotating barricade that they staged at the end of the battle.

And to clarify my earlier point, Redmayne's singing isn't bad, it just sort of pales next to Tveit, just as Seyfried's pales next to Barks and Crowe's pales next to Jackman's

Went to a screening of
Posted by Baiseur82 2012-12-01 01:52:01


What was the running time? I have heard 2 different times and they were not even close!

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 01:54:42


"What was the running time? I have heard 2 different times and they were not even close!

I think it was around 2 hours. Someone behind me complained it was too long, i thought it was fine.

Went to a screening of
Posted by jo 2012-12-01 02:37:25


The official running time, based on the Universal Pictures Awards site, is 158 min, or 2h 38m.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-01 08:40:00


That's only eight minutes longer than Lincoln.

Went to a screening of
Posted by The Other One 2012-12-01 09:58:11


You had a problem with Redmayne's singing but not with Jackman's? I find that surprising. I thought Redmayne sounded terrific. I'd never heard him sing before.

He does overshadow Tveit a bit, but I think that's because they are somewhat similar (I think Tveit could have played Marius, too, and was surprised last year to read he was cast as Enjolras) and we see more of Marius in the piece. (In the Original Broadway production, Michael McGuire's darker, larger presence and booming voice dominated the smaller, breathier David Bryant) They are both quite good, though. I was grateful when the younger cast members, with better voices, entered the film. Redmayne deserves his Oscar talk.

Hugh is very impassioned throughout the film, but his voice is awfully nasal, shrill and vibrato-heavy at the top of his range, where much of the difficult score sits. When he repeatedly sings "one day mawhhh" in the climax of the song "One Day More", the results are not pleasant. I liked his performance, I just wish some of his live singing had been tweaked.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Someone in a Tree2 2012-12-01 10:04:26


Re Movidude's comment: "I loved the nod to Enjolras on the rotating barricade that they staged at the end of the battle."

SPOILER--
True, Enjolras' final beats are beautifully set up in the film, and anyone who has the turntable reveal of his dying moments onstage seared into his memory will be very gratified with the way Tom Hooper has translated that climax onto film.

In answer to other posters, Aaron Tveit does everything right with the part, sings with passion and looks adorable, but he simply never catches fire onscreen, particularly when he's competing for attention with Eddie Redmayne, who simply wipes everyone else in his scenes off the screen. The camera just adores that Redmayne guy-- his is the performance you'll remember.

Went to a screening of
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-01 10:04:26


Definitely. She's the only actor who didn't get a character poster... Considering the size of her role on stage and that one song, she should've gotten a poster over Amanda Seyfried, but Amanda's Cosset had a lot more screen time and was a much bigger role. Samantha kind of shows up, walks/sings around in the background, sings her one song, and gone.

I bet if Taylor Swift was Eponine, the role would have been bigger because she's an international pop/country star.

... or they just went back to the original source. In the book, Eponine is practically a nonentity. She only exists to deliver letters, and Marius only utilizes her in order to find Cosette, but he never pays much attention to her. But in the musical they're buddies and her part was beefed up inexplicably. For example, it is Gavroche who delivers Marius' letter to Cosette, but they gave that task to Eponine. However, in the film, they give that job back to Gavroche and Eponine now delivers Cosette's letter to Marius instead, which is also taken from the book.

In the grand scheme of things, Eponine is not that important to the storyline, and it's no surprise that in some adaptations her character has been eliminated. The book's main characters are Fantine, Cosette, Marius, and Valjean -- four of its five volumes are named after them, in that order. Everyone else is supporting or peripheral.

I'm glad they put more focus on Cosette 'cause she's the central character in that she ties everyone's story together, and everything Marius, Fantine, and Valjean do is for her.





Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-01 10:31:40


Trying to understand the logic here.

Moviedude, are you saying that the only reason Eponine might seem to have a less important role in the movie than she had on stage is that the act break in the show gives the false impression that her role is more extensive?

In other words, the only way to counter this problem would have been to give the movie - which, thankfully isn't particularly long - an act break, or to expand the role for the film? Would anyone have thought those would have been improvements to the movie? (that question might seem rhetorical, but I only half mean it that way).

Went to a screening of
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-01 10:47:53


At least so far, I don't have a problem with Jackman's unusual, slightly braying vocal style, simply because it's one of those things one expects of Hugh Jackman. His somewhat peculiar voice has shown up at award shows, The Boy From Oz and elsewhere.

Colm Wilkinson undoubtedly had a peculiar voice too. It's actually one of the things I often miss about the old Les Mis- other than Drew Sarich and Daphne Rubin-Vega, there has been a movie to cast mostly legit traditional voices in the show for years now, especially the tours. Like it's an opera, or at least Phantom. When I see Les Mis casts performing as guests on talk shows or things like America's Got Talent, it's always heavily pushing the operatic side of the show at the expense of the gritty, pop-rock-theatre-chanson experimentalism at the heart of the early productions.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Movidude742 2012-12-01 11:05:37


No, just that with the shuffling of a few numbers she is heavily involved for like 20 mintues (an estimate, don't hold me to the time) and then she fades to the background until her death. Moving on my own to before One More day works better for a movie's non 2 act structure, but condenses a role that feels larger on stage. I wonder if people who first see the show through the movie are less inclined to have her as a favorite character.

Does that make any sense?

Went to a screening of
Posted by broadway guy 2012-12-01 11:07:27



"I'm glad they put more focus on Cosette 'cause she's the central character in that she ties everyone's story together, and everything Marius, Fantine, and Valjean do is for her."

SEE that COULD have worked but the problem here is they picked a mediocre singer for cosette and an amzing singer for eponine. Amanda's character ties the story together but her singing is a b!tch to listen too.In this case i would rather have cosette die at the barricade and eponine live ( only half joking).

I see cosette as more of a symbol than an actual character



Went to a screening of
Posted by minicko88 2012-12-01 14:40:19


Two Questions...

How was the Bishop scene? I am anxious to see Colm!

Also, how does Russel perform Stars? I am very worried he won't be able to pull it off...

Went to a screening of
Posted by Mister Matt 2012-12-01 14:55:04


Great, but the character was kind of annoying at times. Sometime you get the "oh him again?" .... 'cause all he does is going after Hugh Jackman throughout the ENTIRE film and the film spans like over 10 years. Get a life already.

So...you're not a fan of the main plot to the story? I mean, it's not like it was changed specifically for this film. Or do you mean you didn't like the way his character was filmed? I just thought that comment was a bit confusing.

Went to a screening of
Posted by sueb1863 2012-12-01 15:02:10


Yeah, bringing Valjean to justice IS Javert's life! It's the same way in the stage show and mostly that way in the book, although in the book it's more a matter of them just constantly running into each other.

Went to a screening of
Posted by BroadwayStar4 2012-12-01 15:59:20


How did Eponine's role get reduced? This makes no sense to me. This is sung-through. If they reduced her screen time, did they took out her parts in The Attack on Rue Plumet, One Day More, Eponine's Errand, etc,

One of the critics said that she almost stole the show, how is that possible if her role is apparently so small in this?

Went to a screening of
Posted by broadwaydevil 2012-12-01 17:47:13


I often wonder how old some of the people who post on here are. Les Miserables was written in the 1860s and is part of the Romantic movement. At the time, writers were very interested in exploring the human psyche and the idea of monomania - an individual's singular obsession with a particular task. Ever read Moby Dick? Why is Ahab so obsessed with some whale? It's the same idea. Javert lives for justice and to him Valjean has been slipping through the cracks and epitomizes injustice. The only mechanism for making all that's right in society is by bringing him to justice, no matter how long it takes. Sure, it seems ridiculous on the face of it, but it's literature.

Javert's obsession with Valjean has nothing to do with how the film was cut or edited and all to do with the source material.

Went to a screening of
Posted by SueleenGay 2012-12-01 17:49:35


I love how you state: It's absolutely flawless and perfect in every way. I don't think they could've done it any better... and then you kind of go on about how they COULD have made it better.

The clip on line of Javert/24601 makes it appear that they could have certainly made it better in the make-up design.

Went to a screening of
Posted by DAME 2012-12-01 18:21:46


Well I got all that from the film. And if I had not.. then it would have been the films fault. I don't go see a movie and judge it by its source material. I let it stand on its own.

Went to a screening of
Posted by jpbran 2012-12-01 18:35:11


"I often wonder how old... Les Miserables was written in the 1860s..."

I think I know what you're saying, but when you're talking about the 1860s, what does someone's age TODAY matter?

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Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 20:17:36


"How was the Bishop scene? I am anxious to see Colm!"

It was good. Nothing bad, nothing good. He does return for the finale.

"Also, how does Russel perform Stars? I am very worried he won't be able to pull it off..."

I don't remember the original, but i thought he was good for what i saw.

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Posted by theaternut 2012-12-01 20:18:38


I hated Russels "Stars".

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Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 20:20:25


"I love how you state: It's absolutely flawless and perfect in every way. I don't think they could've done it any better... and then you kind of go on about how they COULD have made it better."

Every film can be made better, but i do believe they did the best they could with this and what i wrote are my opinions, i stand by the fact that they put out a solid perfect film adaptation of the musical.

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-01 20:26:56


"How did Eponine's role get reduced? This makes no sense to me. This is sung-through. If they reduced her screen time, did they took out her parts in The Attack on Rue Plumet, One Day More, Eponine's Errand, etc,

One of the critics said that she almost stole the show, how is that possible if her role is apparently so small in this?"

I took a friend to another screening of it today, and she also agreed that Eponine didn't get enough screen time, because my friend really liked her. The Attack on Rue Plumet was shorter than the stage version? It felt brief. One Day More had a bunch of people singing with a bunch of cutaways, so she wasn't the focus. Eponine's Errand was very short as well.

I think the focus was just never really on her. For instance, Attack on Rue Plumet, you were so much more in it for Cosset and her safety. One Day More, it was everyone. Eponine's Errand felt like it was more of a moment for Marius.

However, she has an awesome death scene.


Went to a screening of
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-12-01 20:27:18


I think maybe he was pointing out that something can't be flawless if you go to list its flaws. Kind of like when you just said, "It was good. Nothing bad, nothing good."

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Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-01 21:35:39


I'm immediately wary of people who say something is perfect, flawless but...could have been done better.

And I wouldn't take the audience applause as anything unique. These are screenings where the director and some of its stars are in attendance. Audiences are very good at kissing ass at such events.

Went to a screening of
Posted by eatlasagna 2012-12-01 21:40:17


didn't really want to start a new thread since i am lazy... and i'm too lazy to see if someone posted this... but the young Cosette in the movie is going to perform the part in London... that's cool... and it's a nice article

Went to a screening of
Posted by scripps 2012-12-01 22:38:16


I'm happy I'm not the only one who felt Eponine was superfluous in the film. Granted, I've never liked her enhanced role in the musical, but there are a few revisions and exclusions in the film concerning her character that really give her the shaft.

First of which is song order, or rather, Eponine's quartet of self-pity (In My Life. A Heart Full of Love, On My Own and One Day More). Here you have four songs, pretty much in a row of Eponine singing about the same damn thing, over and over. We get it.

Remember that moment after the botched robbery attempt, when oblivious Marius introduces Eponine to Cosette as his "friend" who brought him to her and just saved the day again? Cut. Remember when Marius, at his wedding tells the Thenadier's that Eponine was "more than you deserved, who gave her birth." Cut.
At least with small moments like such, you can gather that Marius actually cared about this poor love sick girl, so her affections don't appear completely unfounded.

Also, the film now has Fantine and the Bishop appearing to Valjean in death. No more Eponine appearing and singing that to "love another person is to see the face of God;" and this only makes sense, it's Valjean's conclusion to his story after all.

Went to a screening of
Posted by BroadwayStar4 2012-12-01 23:32:18


The Attack on Rue Plumet was shorter than the stage version? It felt brief. One Day More had a bunch of people singing with a bunch of cutaways, so she wasn't the focus. Eponine's Errand was very short as well.

I think the focus was just never really on her. For instance, Attack on Rue Plumet, you were so much more in it for Cosset and her safety. One Day More, it was everyone. Eponine's Errand felt like it was more of a moment for Marius.


Well I wouldn't take your word for it. You really showed no proof of even going to the screening of this film. You didn't even bother to mention if her part was cut shorter in "The Robbery" or not.

"It's like she comes on, sings her song, and then became a background character"

Obviously that's not true since she sings more than one song. Is she also in the background of her own death scene? You're seriously not making any sense.


.

Went to a screening of
Posted by camncal 2012-12-02 04:58:41


"Well I wouldn't take your word for it. You really showed no proof of even going to the screening of this film. You didn't even bother to mention if her part was cut shorter in "The Robbery" or not...Obviously that's not true since she sings more than one song. Is she also in the background of her own death scene? You're seriously not making any sense."


People like you is exactly why i barely post on the board here. Just because you have a different opinion, you want to attack. I'm simply sharing my personal thoughts on the film as i know people in the Broadway world cares about the film. If you've seen the movie, you'll know what i'm talking about. She's simply not in the film enough, simple as that. if you don't like my opinion, then open your own thread.

i barely remember the stage production, so I can't compare much to the stage production other than being familiar with I Dreamed of a Dream and On My Own.

As for "The Robbery" i don't even know the song, i googled the lyrics, and the only part i remember from the film was a little conversation between her and Marius-

Marius :I like the way you always tease
Eponine: Little he knows! Little he sees!

Besides On My Own and death scene as her shining moments, she is more of a background character. The story always focused more on Marius and Cosset when she's involved.


If anyone have questions about anything, just PM me. Going stop checking here since the film is coming out soon.






Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-02 05:58:20


"It was good. Nothing bad, nothing good."

Is this Les Miserables or A Tale of Two Cities?

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Posted by DivaBrigader 2012-12-02 10:24:22


I have seen a screening as well (loved it) and one Eponine moment I missed specifically was the acknowledgment from Marius that she is there fighting as a boy ("God Eponine, the things you do / I know this is no place for me, still I would rather be with you," etc.) It felt like she was just there as a guy the entire time and everyone knew it.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Movidude742 2012-12-02 12:14:53


"How did Eponine's role get reduced? This makes no sense to me. This is sung-through. If they reduced her screen time, did they took out her parts in The Attack on Rue Plumet, One Day More, Eponine's Errand, etc,

One of the critics said that she almost stole the show, how is that possible if her role is apparently so small in this?"

If I said reduced I misspoke. It was condensed. Other than Fall of Rain, her scenes are all pushed together into one sequence. So all of her scenes are there, if trimmed here and there, but they happen all at once and then she takes a back seat until she dies. And then when that happens, I don't even think that "She is the first to fall . . ." eulogy is sung, she is just carried off.

In the show she is woven through more of the action over a longer stretch of time. we get to savor her for a longer period of time. She is my favorite character in the piece so it may be more of a gut feeling than a a quantifiable fact.


Went to a screening of
Posted by BroadwayStar4 2012-12-02 16:20:01


one Eponine moment I missed specifically was the acknowledgment from Marius that she is there fighting as a boy("God Eponine, the things you do / I know this is no place for me, still I would rather be with you," etc.)

Wait, they took out that scene?

Went to a screening of
Posted by StageManager2 2012-12-02 17:05:37


At least with small moments like such, you can gather that Marius actually cared about this poor love sick girl, so her affections don't appear completely unfounded.

In the novel, Marius is quite oblivious of Eponine and only utilizes her to get to Cosette. There is no friendship there for him to care about her. It's my understanding that the movie incorporated a lot of elements from the book not found in the stage show, and since Eponine is practically a nonentity in the book, I can understand them shifting the focus off of her and onto Cosette, who is much more important to the storyline. One of the "flaws" with the show is the beefing up Eponine's role at the expense of Cosette, who pretty much got the shaft. Which brings me to...


First of which is song order, or rather, Eponine's quartet of self-pity (In My Life. A Heart Full of Love, On My Own and One Day More). Here you have four songs, pretty much in a row of Eponine singing about the same damn thing, over and over. We get it.

"On My Own" is one of the most pointless songs in musical theater, for it doesn't contribute to the plot and, in fact, stalls the show. In the song, Eponine doesn't tell us anything we don't already know, that she has an unrequited love for Marius, which has been stated several times before as scripps pointed out. Eponine isn't a significant character and her feelings at the time don't really warrant a big show stopper.

I'm glad her part was reduced. Now, if only they hadn't cast a beautiful actress...



Went to a screening of
Posted by My Oh My 2012-12-03 00:58:12


I'm Ok with what they seem to have done to Eponine's part in the film, for the most part. I do wish they would've kept her in the trench coat get up for "On My Own" if just because I love how much more degraded it makes her look and the poignancy it evokes. I also wish they would have left "On My Own" closer to where it has always been at, because in that specific place in the show, having her sing that just moments before her death gives it a sort of "last words" climactic feel to it. I know I always got a majestic sense of what she was going through and what she was about to face every time I saw it live and that song neared the end and that french horn blared boldly from the pit. That was magical and hugely evocative.

I know this isn't theatre, but I still wish they would have left some of the placement alone. I'm not saying much though because for all I know I won't take issue with it after seeing it. But for now, it seems it may lose something more than just the size of Eponine's role.



Went to a screening of
Posted by BroadwayStar4 2012-12-03 11:35:43


I'm glad her part was reduced.

According to someone here, her part was not reduced, but condensed. Somebody on another site told me that all of her scenes are there, but has a few lines taken out.

Even if Eponine's role is condensed, I don't see how that would make Cosette's any larger. She just sings a couple of songs and then she doesn't come back until "Every Day".

Went to a screening of
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-03 12:59:07


My Oh My, have you seen the film?

Went to a screening of
Posted by Johnnycantdecide 2012-12-03 12:59:07


My Oh My, have you seen the film?

Went to a screening of
Posted by theaternut 2012-12-03 13:02:45


Reduced.. Condensed... LORD PEOPLE! I actually DID see the film. Nips and tucks. But all that pretty much happened is they placed "On My Own" before the 1st act finale ( One day more).

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Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-04 09:07:13


Quibbles I've had, dating back to C&W star Gary Morris taking over (successfully) on B'way for Jean Val Jean: I'm jarred by this obsessive use of high-falutin' British accents, the "Fahhhnteen" pronunciation lands with arch and affected precision, especially with an American actress.

"Yes it's true there's a child and the child is my daawwwtuh..." I'm slightly taken out of the moment, realizing that Hathaway is not only singing live, but singing live as a Brit, whilst playing a French woman.

Went to a screening of
Posted by SonofRobbieJ 2012-12-04 10:29:08


^ Eh...I only find it slightly jarring...and a little hysterical that costume epic = Brit-speak. It's certainly less awful than that Tom Cruise Nazi-paloza film.

But let's talk Gary Morris. Wasn't he just MAGNIFICENT? He was the first Valjean I encountered, and I was stunned by the how high-flying his vocals were. And they sounded more effortless than Wilkinson.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Miranda3 2012-12-04 11:24:55


Jacqui Dankworth, Cleo Laine's daughter, also a singer, is in the film in a small role. Someone on the board posted earlier that she is listed in the cast as a "Crone". Maybe she is one of the whores. Did anyone who has seen a screening notice her?

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 11:40:18


The choice of accent for Hathaway and Seyfried in Les Mis is easily legitimized by the logical effort to harmonize an international cast into one national dialectical system (with variations of class and character, of course).

Similarly, the choice of England's for the national dialectical system is easily legitimized by the fact that England is an English-speaking country and the musical is, after all, in English.

Doubtless, no one would have preferred Jackman and Crowe to play it Australian, Hathaway and Seyfried American, Barks Manx, Redmayne Etonian, Baron Cohen Hammersmithian, and Helena - to put too fine a Shavian point on it - of posh Mayfair origins with Miramaxian and Belair influences and that sublime continental grace bequeathed her from her Spanish half-Sephardic diplomat grandfather.

Of course not. Although it certainly would have been preferable to them all affecting French accents.

Of course, Auggie, it is a different - though related - question when the -a- is jarringly overdone.







Went to a screening of
Posted by jimmycurry01 2012-12-04 11:57:21


Why would it be preferable for them to have french accents? Simply because it takes place in France? Then why not just have everyone speak french?
The main reason everyone in this film has a British accent is because it is a British film and uses a primarily British cast. Because of this we get the British accent and British and the dialects which signify various social standings. If this were an American made film, this would perhaps be different.
The other reason for the British accent is that, in film, the accent tends to stand in for a European accent in general. That isn't always appropriate, but it happens a lot.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Auggie27 2012-12-04 12:41:59


I'm very clear that it stands it for "European," (French would be laughable) and that the British production was the first and thus the standard for pronunciation. It's just more jarring to me on the screen. With two ingenues American, forced to sound "European," we do notice it. I am quibbling; I'm sure I'll get over it several minutes in.

For what it's worth, I saw the original production, about 3 weeks in, at the Barbicon yet, and before it was this big beloved show, it was actually perceived to be almost intimate. Yes, we had the barricades. But the show felt like the story was in our laps in the original house.

But Gary Morris was wonderful. I'd seen him the BOHEME with Rondstadt at the Public (his alternate was the late great David Carroll), and he was a legitimate heartthrob in that. Everyone expected that to move, but the critics were snippy, and Rondstadt had a helluva time (my friend in the show said she complained that it "hurt" to sing; heaven knows what it would've done if she went on for many months), though she sang half of the 8 (Patti Cohenhour was her alternate.)

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 12:51:44


Jimmy, perhaps you are not talking to me, but I wasn't suggesting that it would be preferable if they all affected French accents. I was saying the diametrical opposite; that just about anything would be preferable to that.

Auggie, I actually had a similar issue with Thurman and Danes performing in British accents as Fantine and Cosette, until I realized that they were doing so to harmonize their accents with Neeson, Rush and the rest of the cast, as Jimmy suggests. Still, that doesn't change the fact that it is somewhat odd to watch American actors sounding British for this reason alone when they are not playing British characters.

International casts in works like these are tricky.

Case in point: some find the film version of The Lion in Winter, in which the characters are both English and French, and the actors English and, in one instance, American, very odd because the English actors speak with English accents, Hopkins perhaps sounds more Welsh than he has ever done on screen, even Merrow and Dalton, playing French royals, sound English, and - unlike in Les Mis - Hepburn's dialect is her own even though she is playing Eleanor of Aquitaine; she made no effort to harmonize it with the rest of the cast. Then again, this is a play in which most of the principles are from one country and three are from another. The movie is in English, more than half the characters are English; it is set in France at a time when not only the French royal family but also the English royal family spoke French, most of them probably with somewhat altered 12th Century Norman accents.... and no one really knows what that would sound like anyway. I doubt there has ever been a production of Lion, with the exceptions of those done in France, where anyone has played any role with a French accent.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Jon 2012-12-04 13:01:49


I'd like to hear Hamlet and A Little Night Music with Scandanavian accents.

How about Romeo and Juliet with Italian accents?

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 13:11:39


Twelfth Night with Illyrian accents might be fun.

Went to a screening of
Posted by newintown 2012-12-04 13:17:54


Sunday In The Park With George with French accents; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum with authentic 200BC Italian accents. Fiddler On The Roof with Russian accents.

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 13:20:43


Only the Russian characters in Fiddler would have Russian accents, the Jews would have Yiddish accents.

Actually, many of the Jewish characters in Fiddler are typically played with Yiddish accents (whether the production is in English, Spanish, Hebrew or Japanese - I doubt Fiddler has ever actually been done in Yiddish), so perhaps it's not the best example.

Went to a screening of
Posted by newintown 2012-12-04 13:28:32


Is a German/Yiddish accent the same as a Russian/Yiddish accent?

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 13:35:47


Yiddish accents varied as did colloquial expressions used by Yiddish speakers in the diaspora. But a Russian Yiddish accent was far closer to a German Yiddish accent than to a Russian Russian accent; not to mention that Fiddler likely takes place not in Russia Proper but in some other part of the Empire - Ukraine? Belarus? - where even the Gentiles may not have generally spoke Russian. Most Jews in the shtetl, like my grandmother, spoke little if any Russian (or, for that matter, Ukrainian, etc.). In contrast, at the time Fiddler is set, the great majority of German Jews primarily spoke German (and many did not speak Yiddish at all), and quite often with accents indistinguishable from the population at large.








Went to a screening of
Posted by madbrian 2012-12-04 13:46:10


Ich bin ein Anatevkan!

Went to a screening of
Posted by jimmycurry01 2012-12-04 14:06:29


henrikegerman, I must have misread your post.

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 14:34:58


No worries, Jimmy, Perhaps when you read my "Although it [describing everyone using their own accent] certainly would have been preferable to them all affecting French accents," you mistook my "to" for a "for".

Went to a screening of
Posted by Someone in a Tree2 2012-12-04 16:06:50


Nice to know henrik's shtetl roots (that bely his Swedish wanna-be avatar...)

Back to Les Miz, having seen a screening, I've gotta say the pseudo-French accent Sacha Baron Cohen employs when speaking (though not while singing) is really an atrocious choice. God knows what possessed him and Hooper to accept such an accent when not another character onscreen goes there. Maybe it was an inheritance from his role in Hugo the year before...

Speaking of SBC and shtetl roots, was anyone else horrified to hear the mangled Hebrew that he employed in BORAT whenever he was supposed to be speaking Kazakhstani? Oh horrors...

Went to a screening of
Posted by jpbran 2012-12-04 16:50:20


Sounds like when Travolta was the only cast member in "Hairspray" to attempt a Baltimore accent... and a BROAD one at that.

Went to a screening of
Posted by SporkGoddess 2012-12-04 17:55:04


It drives me nuts how only Marguerite has a French accent in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Went to a screening of
Posted by The8re phan 2012-12-04 18:21:08


question for those who have seen it-----

how was the music and orchestrations? Similar 'oomph' as the stage musical, or changed/softened/toned down to accomodate the 'non-tradional' singing style?

Went to a screening of
Posted by DAME 2012-12-04 19:05:47


I did not feel cheated on the "oomph" .

One thing I might add. I am very happy I got to see this in a fantastic movie theater. It matters.

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 19:36:44


Someoneinatree, I could be part Swedish and still have Jewish roots. As it happens I'm not, but given your similarly international Sondheim avatar, I have to ask, are you Japanese?

I have the same concerns you do about SBC's faux-French spree in Master of the House - sounds like a very strange choice.

Went to a screening of
Posted by Someone in a Tree2 2012-12-04 19:52:27


^ I picked my Avatar because the song is fantastic, the tree design is fantastic, and I remember all those great shows of the past so fondly because...
I WAS YOUNGER THEN!

Turns out I'm Russian Jewish too-- near Odessa on my mom's side, near Lithuania on my Dad's. I'm guessing there's a lot of the tribe out there on this board.

Went to a screening of
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 21:37:20


Lantzman! Near Kiev on my mom's mom's mom's side, Lithuanian (from Vilna) on my dad's dad's. I picked my avatar because I occasionally enjoy beginning posts "As I've often stated" and signing them "thelateorratherlater..."