I can return to the thread now because I finally saw it today. I loved it! I agree that Russell Crowe isn't a singer, but I thought he did a good job in the acting department. Everyone else was stellar IMO. Anne Hathaway's Fantine absolutely broke my heart (in the best way possible). I don't think that she overacted at all.
I adore the stage version, the 10th Anniversary and (except for the awful JoBro) the 25th Anniversary. However, a stage production can't show the grit and grime of the story in the way a visual movie can. I think this raw storytelling brought so much to the story. I really enjoy both stage and movie now, with no comparisons between them.
At the end, being a huge Eponine fan, I was surprised she wasn't with Fantine here. I always thought that Eponine showed up at the end on stage as a representative of the one whose only love was Marius (as a counterpart to Fantine whose only love was Cosette). However, the more I think of it, I think this movie ending is better. It makes so much more sense. And, given that this story is about redemption (as much as other themes), having the Bishop there was a perfect completion of the redemption angle for me.
And crying? Oh boy, did I cry!! As in, gut-wrenching, teeth-baring, tears sliding down into my cleavage crying! I even started crying all over again during the credits. I love it when a movie does that for me.
Give me one more quiet night, before this loud morning gets it right, and does me in.
Lady Gaga to play Louise.
Back to Les Miserables, Oscar nominations are due this week, and IMDb has an interesting look at the projected favorites: http://www.imdb.com/list/--Aj0TA7c14/.
As for other musicals in the pipe, Rob Marshall, the director of "Chicago" and "Nine" has a version of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" reportedly in the works. Remakes of both "Gypsy" and "Damn Yankees" have been in development hell for ages, and this summer there was a rumor that George C. Wolff was going to direct a movie version of "In the Heights" which won the Tony for Best Musical several years ago, however that seems in limbo as well since Universal put the picture in turn-around.
I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.
Todd skated to it in a show called "Skaters' Tribute to Broadway" in October 1998. I *think*the show was aired on A&E. I seem to recall that Viktor Petrenko skated to it as well in COI (?), and maybe in a pro or pro/am comp?
Haven't seen the movie version of "Les Mis" yet, but hope to get to see it within a few days.
I've been listening to the soundtrack, and it basically confirms what I already knew from the trailers: Russell Crowe absolutely cannot sing, and it is unacceptable for him to have been cast as Javert.
Eddie Redmayne doesn't have the powerhouse voice of Michael Ball, but he has a nice tone and is worlds better than Nick Jonas. One valid interpretation of Marius, when he sings Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, is a young man still shell-shocked and fragile. Redmayne's version expresses that very well.
I prefer the great stage versions of I Dreamed a Dream when Fantine is despondent but not yet on her death bed--she still has some fight in her. But in the movie, they moved the song so that Fantine is inches from death. So Hathaway's version makes sense. (Side note: Hathaway's technique is generally fine, but her running scale in IDAD is a textbook example of poor technique. I'm shocked her vocal teachers didn't correct that before filming.)
But I can see no justification for Russell Crowe's "singing". His tone and diction are awful, and he sounds uncomfortable, unsure, and lacking command. It is everything Javert isn't.
Hugh Jackman reminds me of Garry Morris who played Valjean on Broadway, I believe after Colm Wilkinson. He is also on the Symphonic Recording.
Not saying they sound exactly alike-but that is who I thought of.
Michael Maguire, a high bass who over the yeas has become a mid-bass) to the 25th (Ramin Karimloo, a tenor), and both sounded terrific and looked totally comfortable. But imagine if Maguire had to sing higher and Karimloo had to sing lower. What a disaster that would have been!
So why didn't Jackman demand that they do that? Singing higher than one's natural range for an extended period of time is bad for the vocal cords too.
This is my favorite Jackman performance. I love the low notes he hits at 2:10 and 2:40. Also notice that his final note in the song is at the border of his falsetto, and that's around the lowest note in Bring Him Home when sung by a mid to high tenor.
I really think there may be something to the "conspiracy theory" that they made him sing worse than his potential to compensate for Russell Crowe's ineptitude.
Right, because directors of big-budget prestige projects are known for deliberately coaxing substandard performances out of their big-name stars.
(I'm not counting George Lucas.)
Last edited by Wyliefan; 01-04-2013 at 06:59 PM.
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
Mmm, nice!This is my favorite Jackman performance. I love the low notes he hits at 2:10 and 2:40. Also notice that his final note in the song is at the border of his falsetto, and that's around the lowest note in Bring Him Home when sung by a mid to high tenor.
Another possibility, not mutually exclusive of the "conspiracy theory": Certain conditions aren't conducive to the voice. Air temperature, air humidity, time of day, tiredness level, etc. all affect singers. Doing take after take, as is common in films, is terrible for the voice. Doing that day after day takes a serious toll.
I don't know what order the scenes were shot in, but it's more than plausible that Jackman's voice was wiped out by the end of shooting or by the umpteenth consecutive take, especially considering that he's singing above his natural range. I noticed Samantha Barks' voice also wasn't as resonant as I know she's capable of.
If Tom Hooper didn't take measures to help the singers (air quality, filming schedule, rest periods, etc.), then that was reckless.