Les Miserables: So, what did you think?

michellek45
Leading Actor
joined:5/20/11
It could be implied that he is the baby in the Master of the House scene, though I believe if we're going off Hugo's timeline, that wouldn't be right. Gavroche is eleven or twelve in the book, and I can't see that baby being older than a year. No idea how old Daniel Huttlestone is; he could play throughout that range, though I would peg him as more nine or ten.

Also in the leaked screenplay, there is a moment after Eponine dies where Courfeyrac asks Gavroche what's wrong, and he looks at Eponine's body and says, "That was my sister." I think they were trying to imply the relation- changing the verse in "Look Down" where he explains the Thenardiers as though he's not part of them, that baby, the cut line, the placement of their bodies next to each other after the barricades.
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/11
Thanks!

I'm sure it's been talked about before in some thread or other, but I wouldn't know where to look.
AKA McDreamy
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Look down. Duh.
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/11
All I see are my stylishly attired feet...?
AKA McDreamy
Rumpelstiltskin
Stand-by
joined:4/22/07
Does anyone know if the film is dubbed into other languages? I know that every Hollywood film is dubbed for the French audiences. It would be cool to see the French version, and they always have amazing singers.

I'd love to hear the foreign-language versions. The international casts of the musical that have been showcased at various milestone events have been stellar. What a gift it would be to compare the different soundtracks. I look forward to the inevitable YouTube video of Hugh Jackman competing against himself in multiple languages.
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
I really enjoyed it, it does feel like a film in terms of scale and there are some great performances from Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Anne Hathaway.

I wonder if they intially filmed it with more spoken dialogue than what is in the final cut? The film still has more dialogue though not by much in the film than in the show.
StageManager2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/21/05
Marni Nixon gives her $.02:

Marni Nixon, the 82-year-old Hollywood musicals veteran, is known in the industry as the “ghostess with the mostess”, having been a “singing double” for everyone from Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, Deborah Kerr in The King and I and – without her knowledge – Natalie Wood in West Side Story. Famously, Nixon was drafted in to sing the high notes in Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. In her opinion, the Les Misérables film was misconceived.

“If you’re making a musical, you should hire singers,” she tells me. “Singers who can act. In a musical, you want singing that’s technically good. It’s cruel to make people who can’t sing, sing.”

For Nixon, Jackman wasn’t a bad singer, just miscast: “Acting-wise he was wonderful, but could have done with a nobler voice.” Crowe, on the other hand, “was nothing. It wasn’t that he was choosing to sing like that, he just couldn’t do anything else.”

The female actors, says Nixon, “came off much better” – apart from Helena Bonham Carter, that is, whose comic number, Master of the House, a duet with her screen husband Sacha Baron Cohen, is meant to provide the film’s light relief: “You couldn’t understand one word she said. There wasn’t enough tone in her voice to carry any emotion.”

Nixon is warm and funny; there’s nothing mean-spirited about her. She is passionate about singing, and musicals in particular. What, then, went so wrong with this one? Nixon believes it was Hooper’s decision to make an operatic musical in the vernacular: “It doesn’t suit this score to have actors speak-singing it. Les Misérables is written to be sung operatically, with long lines to make it come off.” She chuckles, adding: “Maybe the director told the actors, 'You don’t have to hold the notes that long, because it’s silly. It sounds like you’re singing!’?”

She gives short shrift to Crowe’s “raw and real” defence: “We’re talking about a musical. Is that real? People don’t go around singing 'La la la la’ to each other all day!”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9812939/Why-I-walked-out-of-Les-Miserables.html

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra
Salve, Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Eva
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
O clemens O pia
Updated On: 1/22/13 at 06:50 AM
Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Here is Russell Crowe's studio version of Stars (versus the live version used in the film)
Stars
lovinlovett
Stand-by
joined:7/18/05
With all due respect to Marni Nixon -

She is certainly entitled to her opinion. She is, after all, a professional singer and it's understandable that she feels that way. But I'd love to ask her why she thinks she wasn't cast as the leads in these classic movies? Why wasn't she asked to be Eliza Doolittle instead of Audrey Hepburn? Or Maria instead of Natalie Wood? Or Anna in the King and I? She was just their dubbed singing voices and that's all.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Because the others were bigger names?

Now I think film is all about the creation of illusion, make it convincing and believable. What you hear and see on screen is all that counts.
If there are 3 people that can create one perfect character together than that's a beautiful thing.

Luckily that happened in the past (even with Carlotta in the Phantom film) but unfortunately nowadays ego's get in the way.



Updated On: 1/23/13 at 07:26 AM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Maybe Marni should be grateful that Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried didn't take a look at any of her past studio screen tests and give a published interview on Marni's acting ability.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Marni is not denying that one thing sometimes excludes the other, but that there are solutions for this.

For example, dubbing. Why settle for singing that is not good enough?

It's all about the result in the film. If it takes 3 people to create one convincing character, so be it.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Wait, was Marni looking for a job here?

Actually, I'm all for dubbing movie stars and even lesser screen actors who are right for the roles. It was the norm, back in the day. Even singers such as Angela Lansbury were dubbed in films because their voices "weren't quite right" for the characters.

But people would never go for that today. Look at the meltdowns going on over Beyonce lip-syncing at the inaugural. And it was her own friggin' voice! If they can't handle that, they won't be able to tolerate someone else's voice coming out of a movie star's mouth.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 1/23/13 at 08:43 AM
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
I guess you are right, times have changed.

It also has a lot to do with "what do audiences know"?

They loved Beyonce's performance. Now people are hyperventilating over the fact that they found out it was an illusion. Their bubble was burst. But they loved it at the time.

But this illusion is what filmmaking is. I bet that if the world finds out that the whole confrontation is Les Miserables was dubbed too, it would burst their bubble too. I think that dubbing enhances things. In fact, I think that more parts of Les Mis should have been dubbed afterwards. But, of course, that would be done by the same people playing them.

As for roles being dubbed by other people, when was the last time this was openly done (a role dubbed and everyone knew about it).
Was it Carlotta in the Phantom film? In 2005 not many people seemed to have problems with it?



Updated On: 1/23/13 at 11:04 AM
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
^ With all the other problems with Phantom, that one just paled in comparison.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I agree with both of you. Phantom had a long list of problems before you even get to Carlotta's dubbing. I actually liked Minnie Driver in the part. I hated the voice they dubbed her with because she was intentionally bad and hammy. Carlotta should be a Diva, a bore, even comic relief, but she should be able to sing incredibly well, even if Christine is better (or at least more suited for the roles they are in competition for). It makes no sense that a leading soprano with the Paris Opera would sing badly enough to cause the theatre maids to put cotton in their ears. Of course they cast a terrible singer for Christine, who sounded (at best) like an untrained boy soprano, and ages away from the Diva she was supposed to be "in training" for.

To summarize, it sucked.

But Dave19, I completely agree with you about dubbing. I don't mind it any more than I mind a stunt double for an action star, or CGI adding explosions behind an actor when they weren't there (all the endless green-screen work). It's all an illusion.

The trick is to convince audiences that it's real. Easier said than done, but if you can manage it, I couldn't care less knowing that Marni Nixon dubbed Deobrah Kerr in The King and I. It's a seamless performance of two talents, and one I will treasure as an audience member always.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
lovinlovett
Stand-by
joined:7/18/05
While I do love the Phantom movie in spite of its flaws I must say it is one of the worst examples of lip syncing in a film. The actors and the lyrics were horribly out of sync in so many places. I was really amazed that they couldn't fix some of that in post production.

I do think it's interesting to see which actors they decided to dub in some of the classic films. For example, why did they dub Jean Simmons in Guys and Dolls, but not Marlon Brando? Why dub Deborah Kerr in The King and I, but not Yul Brenner? Why dub Franco Nero in Camelot, but not Vanessa Redgrave or Richard Harris? And what about Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady? I must also say that though I adore Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, their singing voices were not the greatest. But it just didn't matter because of their dancing skills and their wonderful personalities on the screen. I believe that perhaps the quality of the singing voice is not always the most important aspect of making enjoyable movie musicals. The actor must have charisma on the screen. They must make you believe in the character and care about them.

Edit: may I also mention Marilyn Monroe. Not the greatest singer, but who in the world cared? Can you imagine if she had been dubbed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?





Updated On: 1/23/13 at 07:28 PM
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
Yeah, the whole thing about Carlotta was that she wasn't up to Erik's standards but she was incredibly popular. People not liking her singing made no sense.

I actually think Bollywood uses an interesting approach--they have different singers sing all of the songs, and the requisite actor just lip-synchs. So you don't even have the same singer, but it's supposed to be the same character.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
"May I also mention Marilyn Monroe. Not the greatest singer, but who in the world cared? Can you imagine if she had been dubbed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?"

Well, she was dubbed by Marni Nixon on the coloratura intro to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in that movie. All those trilly "No, no, nos." That's Marni. Once the verse starts to the song, it's Marilyn. And again, Marni does a seamless job of bridging a dubbed section with the star's actual voice.

And by the way, Audrey Hepburn did sing some of "Just You Wait, Henry Higgins," before Marni stepped in and took over in My Fair Lady. I love when people think that it was all Marni, because it shows how much the mind can convince you of something that isn't true, just because you know about some "inside information."

That is reason enough to keep the art of dubbing an illusion. Can you imagine learning how to do the magic trick with cards before you see the trick itself? It spoils the magic completely. Why would you ever want to do that?

Life is "real" enough. It's nice to see some convincing magic once in awhile.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
lovinlovett
Stand-by
joined:7/18/05
-





Updated On: 1/23/13 at 10:02 PM
lovinlovett
Stand-by
joined:7/18/05
"Well, she was dubbed by Marni Nixon on the coloratura intro to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in that movie. All those trilly "No, no, nos." That's Marni. Once the verse starts to the song, it's Marilyn. And again, Marni does a seamless job of bridging a dubbed section with the star's actual voice."

No, I didn't know that and it is interesting. I will say that I've always hated that part of the song. Those trilly "no, no's" that seems to go on forever. I always wondered why they put those into an otherwise charming song. Now it makes sense.

But, you're missing my point. I'm saying that "superior singing" is not always what's most important in film musicals. There's a lot more to it than that.

I do definitely agree with you about "movie magic". I certainly don't want all movies to get too realistic, there is enough of that already. May movies always be magical :)







Updated On: 1/23/13 at 10:02 PM
vf
Stand-by
joined:11/10/10
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
"Life is "real" enough. It's nice to see some convincing magic once in awhile."

Beautifully said.

This also reminds me of the Disney classics, for example Aladdin, where they had 2 people voicing Aladdin and 2 people voicing Jasmine, and the general audience doesn't even know and love the characters to pieces because they are perfect.

Updated On: 1/24/13 at 06:21 AM
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
"I'm saying that "superior singing" is not always what's most important in film musicals"

I'd say superior singing is the most important thing in movie musicals. Because this medium is about telling stories through song. Singing is acting.

Sure, scenes with less good singers can be charming, acceptable, but will never be great or amazing. I think you can only get away with this if the songs are funny or seductive, like in the old movies. Not in the serious scenes like "A whole new world" in Aladdin or in films like Les Miserables. Even in those films, usually the funny sidekicks are the ones that cannot sing but the serious characters can.



StageManager2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/21/05
Les Misérables is a terrible film with terrible singing, terrible direction, terrible camerawork, and so-so acting.
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra
Salve, Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Eva
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
O clemens O pia
theminutepast
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/06
SporkGoddess: Where did you hear that Russell Crowe improvised the pinning of the medal on Gavroche's body? I looked back through the last five pages of the thread and didn't see any other mention of it. It's a really interesting fun fact.