It seems that December 26, 2012 is the day of blockbuster films based on what many consider are the greatest books of their generation. Great Gatsby. The Hobbit: Part One. And Les Miserables.
First published as a novel, by Victor Hugo, in 1862, Les Mis is considered to be one of the greatest musicals of all time, and has been adapted many times over for the stage..but yet, never, until now, for the silver screen. Originally, way back in 1988 Alan Parker was considered as a director, but then in 1991 it was passed onto Bruce Beresford.
THEN, it ended up in ‘development hell’, and wasn’t considered at all until 2005. Why the heck it took them another seven years to make the film is beyond me, but hey, that’s Hollywood for you. But despite 24 years of stuffing everyone around, it may be worth it, since it’s being directed by Tom Hooper, aka the guy who did The King’s Speech. So you know, he’s very English and proper and excellent at winning awards and what not.
The film stars Hugh Jackman, as Jean Valjean, after he is released from the Toulon prison after being stuck there for 19 years…for stealing bread (believe or not, this type of thing actually happened) and Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, a police officer who is hellbent on getting Valjean back in prison (because we can’t have people stealing bread). Anne Hathaway plays the famous Fantine, a struggling factory worker whose life basically turns to shit as she tries to bring up her illegitimate daughter Cosette, whose played by Amanda Seyfried.
The supporting cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen, both of whom I’m surprised to see on the cast list since it’s neither a Tim Burton film, or a film that involved pissing off millions of people.
Personally, I haven’t read the book (which I realise is pretty sacrilegious, but come on, it’s really, really long), or seen the musical, but I know the songs. And while Susan Boyle will unfortunately always be connected to I Dream A Dream, there is no doubt that the musical score and songs of Les Mis are what carries it. Despite the pretty depressing storyline (the title does literally translate to The Miserables), people are continually inspired by it.
So really, the biggest question is…can the cast sing? In the trailer below we hear Anne Hathaway sing I Dream A Dream and, well…it could be worse, but let’s be honest, it could also be a lot better. And can Russell Crowe sing? Anybody know? Worst comes to worse, we can ride on Australian pride whenever Hugh Jackman takes the screen.
Are you excited for Les Mis? Do you think it will do justice to the book, and the musicals? Do you think it will be better than The Great Gatsby or The Hobbit? Let me know!