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I dreamed a dream of time gone byeeeeee…

Hathaway V Subo

Yes we have seen it and we can tell you it’s epic! Like ten sad movies rolled into one, it will be hankies at the ready. No not in that way…

Attending a special screening of the stage to screen musical we had the luxury of breathing the same air as cast members Anne Hathaway (Fantine) Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) Hugh Jackman (Valjean) Eddie Raymond (Marius) and silver screen newcomer Samantha Barks (Éponine).

Director Tom Hooper, who also directed The King’s Speech, introduced the musical extravaganza. He explained how the vocals in the movie are sung completely live which is pretty impressive as musical numbers are usually pre-recorded and mimed. Does this risky move pay off? Absolutely! Tom’s nervous at hearing the audience’s reaction but really had no need as from opening number “Look Down” through to the end scene we were glued for the nearly three hour long emotional roller coaster. Foot tapping and seat shimmying standard.

Les Misérables follows prisoner 24601 who post French prison, breaks his parole to re-start life as honest man Valjean. Consequently he escapes the physical and emotional chains of Inspector Javert, for now. Russell Crowe who surprisingly can hold a tune plays Javert. Originally we pictured some cringy Pierce Brosnan Mamma Mia gig but Crowe manages to show off his musical talents. With these two strong male leads it’s clear from the offset that the movie is going to be amazing. Even though we usually hate those sorts of musicals that sing ALL the way through.

Fresh from her cat suit and leading the female cast is a shorthaired Anne Hathaway. After the screening she was asked if she regretted chopping off her locks for the role but happily told the audience she would do it again in a heartbeat. Showing the sisterly love Amanda complimented her on the new doo. Anne plays Fantine a working class girl from Paris whose life is full of tragedy. Fantine works to support her illegitimate child Cosette and after losing a factory job (and some hair and teeth) she is forced into prostitution.

This leads to the peak of the movie, a peak too soon maybe. Our heart sank as Anne belted out I Dreamed a Dream, usually looking sweet and innocent she’s barely recognisable with yellow teeth and dirty clothes. Strikingly stealing the movie with a three-minute close up where you actually listen to the lyrics that we’ve heard so many times. Thanks Subo.

Throwing in a mix of emotions to keep the audience going we meet Cosette’s outrageous adopted parents. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter play the Thénardiers whose cheeky cockney antics bring laugh out loud humor to the sad story. Highlights include constantly forgetting Cosette’s name and a string of comical cons. Luckily Valjean takes her away and our favourite mean girl Amanda Seyfried, who described her role as “the coolest experience so far”, plays the adult version of Cosette.

Transferring her role of Éponine from the west end stage onto the screen Samantha Barks plays the daughter of the Thénardiers. It’s her first time on camera but she puts on an amazing performance, especially during “On My Own” where you really feel for her character who’s in love with moreish Marius who’s in love with Cosette. During the track we thought as if this is live!

This timeless story incorporates romance, crime, death, revolution and bad teeth. With a few cute boys thrown in too. We loved the link between the characters that consequently help one another. The movie is set to be a massive hit and embraced by the gays and theatre fans; the 25-year wait is over and worth it.

Nearly proving too gay to function we managed to catch Amanda Seyfried on the way out and told her she was “So Fetch”. No lie.

Les Misérables is released January 11th 2013

Take a look at the trailer here:

Reminisce Subo here:

Words: Benjamin Spence

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