Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My PO. . .on The Trailer.

Well, I'm back. ;) I remember when I used to blog, oh, only every month or so? Now if I miss a couple of days it feels like years! But anyway. Here is moi. Oh yes, and thank you to all who've sent emails, left comments, etc. I {obviously} haven't gotten a chance to answer all of them--but hang tight! I love getting emails, they all mean so much to me. . .it just takes time to answer them all. :)

O-k. So, in case you were wondering--that new header--yeah, the thrown together one you see on THIS blog? Well, it's only temporary. {and very ugly. Go ahead, admit it.} I'm working on a new look now. . .eventually I'll pay for a complete makeover. . .but with so many trips this year, *ahem* it will have to wait. Again. ;) New name and everything. Surprise, surprise! Promise, this time it's going to stay awhile.

Down to business. 
BeholdMy PO.

I'm sure the tomatoes will start flying--any minute. Because I think I'm the only one out there who didn't cry through The Trailer. . .because I am MAJORLY opposed to the cast. Yep, you read that right. The Trailer is beautiful. However--NO I was not impressed by the "oh, the whole story is about Fantine," theme. (Really, was I the only one who noticed that? So much more to the plot/s, ppls!) And YES, I am still one of the worlds biggest fans.

Lets start somewhere closer to the beginning.

Les Miz entered my life one day about two years ago. It was a heart-stopping, breathtaking, I-think-I'm-going-to-DIE sort of day. (Immature? Absolutely not! B) ) You see, we'd just seen Broadways Fiddler on the Roof {oh so close to my heart,} and were more then ready for another play. "Hm. . .Les Miserables. . .heard of that. Wonder what it's about?" {just don't ask how we pronounced it.}  :watched {play} trailer: "WHOA this is AMAZING!" To make a long story short, a good friend filled us in on the details--{because Les Miz is the sort of thing that must be shared.} And an obsession was born. If you are reading this post and aren't familiar with the story--go, right now. Rent, buy, haunt Youtube, whatever is necessary to watch the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in Concert. It will change your life. {and note, the actual play is very different then the concerts. A lot of folks can't understand the thrill of watching people standing in front of mics, singing their brains out. Trust me. The play is all that (aka, magnificent singing/acting,) plus.}

{pics via facebook--Les Miserables on Tour (the cast I saw). L-Justin Scott Brown, (!!)  Maruis; Jenny Latimer, Cosette. Middle-Betsy Morgan, Fantine.  R-Andrew Varela, Javert.}

We bought tickets. Not the best in the world--but hey, we could see everything. . .and that counts for something. Over the next several months my sister Anna and I learned every cast since 1985 by heart, watched and re-watched our favorite scenes, talked about Les Miz all day. . .and lo and behold, the hype carried over to a themed birthday party--surprise birthday party. For me. o.O

{via facebook. L-Ramin Karimloo as Valjean. May just be the second best Valjean in the world (next to Colm Wilkinson--ONLY.) R-Les Miz on Tour.}

The play is something that can't be described. To hear all those voices--rising toward the ceiling in one, swelling, heart-thumping unison (that's Broadway, after all.) Seeing the characters come to life--really, truly understand their struggles, their triumphs--yes, at last I "get" Epoinine. Trust me, it's totally different then Samantha Barks yelling (emotionlessly) into a mic. The play is graphic, but it clearly shows the stark contrast between good (ie, Valjean, Marius and Cosette,) and evil (ie, Madame and Monsieur  Thénardier.  {I will not stoop to putting Javert in that category. } ) It was an experience that greatly rivals seeing Andrea Bocelli in concert--how can I pick between them?

{Les Miz on Tour}

I am an unabashed loyalist, aficionado, lover, breather of the musical. (note that one does NOT need to read the book to be a fan of the story. Period.) Which is why I was--and still am--very skeptical when I heard about the movie. Because Hollywood can't understand Broadway. Because Russell Crowe . . .isn't Javert. Because. . .I don't like the casting. There. I dared to say it again. ;)

*ahem* Throw tomatoes if you like. That is how I feel. This is religion, people. Not to be tampered with. Back off, Hollywood. ;) Ok, fine. There are a few Broadway/West End stars thrown in here and there. . .Colm (the original Jean Valjean,) you are being recognized at last! The Bishop is such a small role. . .but you are in the movie! Bravo. I would have had to write the producers if otherwise. Scary stuff. :P

Down to the trailer.


{via facebook--production photos from the 2012 movie. Top--Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. Bottom L-Anne Hathaway, Fantine. R-random street scene. (some of the students?) }
  • It has the right mix of dark, dramatic, desperate, beautiful. Everything France in the 1830's should be. I approve of the historical accuracy, the tiniest details. VERY nice. 

  • 'I Dreamed a Dream'--good choice, since it is such a famous piece. (I would have gone with 'One Day More', but you can't have everything.) Anne Hathaway doesn't give the strongest performance, but she shows a lot of emotion--you really grasp her feelings.

  • Costumes. Excellent. Perfect. Everything and all good. Except for the pics I've seen of Enjo. Yeah, in the book he has blonde hair--but his vest!? Where's the vest? This is sacrilege. 

  • Overall very emotional (though like I said, it didn't make me cry.) Remove Russell Crowe and I might even tolerate Samantha Barks. (and oooh I would have done anything to see Ramin Karimloo somewhere in there!) 

  • Hugh Jackman. Not my personal favorite, but I'm actually O-K and even excited about his Valjean. (remember, these actors are representing Les Miz to the world. From now on the musical is forgotten. That's why the movie casting is so important. . .and rather disappointing in some ways.)

{via facebook}   

  • The "Fantine theme"--one of the first things I noticed. Yes, we all love and feel sorry for Fantine, but there is SO MUCH MORE to the story. So many more characters. If I didn't know better I'd think it was her show.

  • Weak cast. I very highly disliked Samantha Barks Eponine in the 25th Ann. concert. She isn't a very good actress, belts, and portrays a sassy, rebellious girl. I've heard clips of each {movie} actor singing--*ahem* the pop voices won't do. Either Russell Crowe has done some serious, altering work on his voice, or Javert is going to be a whiney, weak-sounding man. (for all you Russell lovers out there--I am not critiquing his acting! Les Miz is about THE VOICE. Especially Javert. He is the "villain." The antagonist. The deep, guttural, powerful, hopeless, determined man in the man-hunt. Maybe he'll surprise us, but I don't have much hope for Russell.

  • Marius. . .is dashing, sensitive, very passionate (possibly a bit babyish--but I won't admit that.) Extremely important to the story. The immortal love-trangle; the swoon-able hero. Shallow, yes, but when I picture Marius I don't see Eddie Redmayne. :sigh: I have yet to find my perfect Marius. The closest I've come was the genius Justin Scott Brown, from the touring production. {and no, I'm not biased.}

Hm, not quite as many cons as I thought there'd be. Really my biggest problem is the casting. Can't reiterate that enough. Anyhow--

Coming from your Les Miz snob--my official PO.
{quickly thrown together. Hope you can decipher it. o.O}

And watch it with those tomatoes. 

{please know, if you are researching Les Miserables for the first time, do so with caution. If possible, watch with a filter. }


  1. LOVING this post! Muchly!
    Okay, so this is coming from a fellow Les-Miz-snob, and I want to say first off that I agree with a LOT of what you said.

    The story isn't all about Fantine, so why should the trailer focus almost solely on her? That seems a little weird--but we DO need to remember that this is only the very first sneak peek. A traditional "official trailer" is 2 minutes and 20-some seconds long, and this sneak peek was only a minute and a half. So hopefully more teasers will be released over the summer.

    (Your pics are awesome, btw!)

    About the pros and cons-- does Enjo really have blonde hair in the book???? *gasp, faint* I had no idea-- I must have missed that part (of course, I did read a slightly condensed version, so maybe my copy skipped that). Ack. I always imagined him as being dark. Sigh. Bubble burst there.

    I'm totally LOVING how they're capturing the whole feeling of Paris in the 1830's, too. The stage musical can be a bit too squeaky-clean at times (although of course I've only seen the concerts, so I really can't judge).

    Frankly, I think Eddie Redmayne looks like a monkey. BUT. I heard a recording of him singing classical stuff when he was in college, and it's bee-yoo-tee-ful. Makes me very eager to hear how he handles "Empty Chairs." I think he'll do a pretty good job (but hey, anything's better than Nick Jonas, right?).

    Now about Samantha Barks... I agree, there were times when she seemed to belt stuff out a little too much, and Little Fall stank. (But that was Nick Jonas' fault.) But the emotion on her face, especially during "In My Life" and "Heart Full of Love" and even "One Day More"... gahhhh, she was amazing. Lea Salonga still rules though. :D

    I have to admit, I've been hoping against hope that Russell Crowe's going to be good because he just LOOKS so much like the Javert I pictured when I read the book. But if he can't handle "Stars"... well, forget it. Sigh.

    Enjoyed this breakdown MUCHLY!

    1. Well. . .I'm glad you (mostly ;)) approve, Amy! See, the problem with taking down a post then re-posting a little while later is that most people won't come back and comment. Such is blogging. But! Two Les Miz people can handle this alone. Right? B)

      Yes--hopefully the longer trailers will be more detailed. I'm just worried about ppls who aren't familiar at all with the story. Really, if I didn't know I'd think it was about "the girl with the short hair." For some reason that really bothered me. But yeah, looking forward to more trailers.

      haha. . .the pictures are credit to my sister; letting me hack her facebook account. ^_^ Had to stick Ramin somewhere in there, right?

      YES Enjo really does have blonde hair in the book--totally agree that he should be dark haired. A lot of the recent actors have opted for blonde hair--to be more "authentic." In the book he's described as angelic--blonde haired and blue eyed. Almost super-human. Really he's almost completely emotionless, even bypassing natures beauty. Not a big fan of the book-Enjo. Now the PLAY version. . .very different. :)

      The play--it is NOT squeaky clean. :) Romanticized?--in some ways. (Enjo's death, ie.) But the street scenes--'At The End of the Day', 'Look Down', 'Fantine's Arrest', etc, are very dramatic, dark, rough. Sure, they aren't movie sets, but the actors, props, background, etc, convey a very perverted era in history. That's why I finally understood Eponine--she wasn't just a bratty girl singing into a microphone anymore. . .she was a desperate, abused soul, longing for a normal life. Marius was a safe-haven, a Savior figure to her. That is one thing the concerts do not portray well (especially since there are some songs not included in either concert.)

      Ok, I totally understand casting someone for their voice (like Eddie,) but Russell Crowe? He's supposed to be an excellent actor (I've never seen his movies,) but he certainly wasn't picked for his voice. Who knows, he might surprise us. (and wouldn't that be a surprise?) I'll admit that he makes a very debonair Javert--he LOOKS the part.

      Anyway--thanks for the PO. :)

    2. Oh, so you DID take this down and repost it-- heehee, I thought it was just my computer acting up when it told me earlier that the page couldn't be displayed. :P

      I know! I'm afraid the trailer might scare some people off and make them think there's not much of a plot. But then... I'm not sure I would want New Fans to acquire their fanship from the movie, would you? I'd recommend to anybody to read the book, see the 10th concert, listen to the 1988 Symphonic Recording and THEN see the movie. :D Nice, well-rounded experience there, you know?

      Hahaha, I remembered Enjo being described as angelic in the book, but somehow I skipped over the blonde part. ("And a single tear rolled down Enjolras' marble cheek." BAHAHAHAHAHA.) I wasn't much of a fan of the book-Enjo either, but his death broke me up--it's MUCH better in the musical. More fitting, kind of, to have him shot down from the barricades, than to be tied up against a wall and executed in cold blood. Sigh.

      And of course Ramin Karimloo makes Enjolras awesome no matter what. :D

      Okay, you're right-- squeaky clean wasn't the best phrase to use. Man, now I REALLY want to see the play. :) All the clips I've seen from various productions are totally opening up a new perspective on it. Although I do have to point out that the 10th Anniversary Concert (ahem, bit of a rabid fan here) did a fantabulous job of portraying the entire story without the help of props, scenery, la-di-da or even good lighting, for crying out loud! Like you said, "the thrill of people standing in front of mics singing their brains out." Yep. :D

      Heehee, I'm not sure I WANT a debonair Javert... (sink me. I'm a bit of a poet) because after all, "he is from the gutter, too." :P
      Anyways, thanks for replying to my comment! Heh, I could gabble on about Les Miz all day long...

  2. this is my take on the trailer:

    i think that since they only had so much space to work with right at front, they picked a crowd-compelling teaser bit with Fantine's song and Fantine's focus right up front to get the crowd who is not familiar with Les Mis teased into an interest.

    for those of us who are huge fans, that WAS annoying to me. but i'm holding out to see a) more trailers, and b) the actual film, because i honestly think they were just using marketing to pull in a broader audience who is less obsessed with this show than you or me (which is, shocking, a MASSIVE amount of people!!)

    just my thoughts on the whole thing. i'm the most taken with Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe in their respective roles. i'm SO looking forward to seeing what happens with this....ohhh, my Les Mis obsessive heart is freaking out excited...especially since my own dear husband has NEVER seen/read/attended anything Les Mis at ALL! this will be my chance with him to expose him to my favourite musical of possibly all time.

    and that was a novel. so forgive me. =p

  3. Hmm. Write a novel or just say that I agree? Well, first, I (mostly) agree. I'm pretty happy with the casting, but that's due to the fact that I tend to think the best about movies based on the trailers.

    Yes yes yes, Justin Scott Brown is the best Marius who has ever lived. I saw/heard him on the tour, and it was phenomenal. I may have developed a crush as well...*ahem*.

    I was a bit worried about the apparent focus on Fantine, until I realized that "I Dreamed a Dream" is the most well-known song, and it makes sense to use it in the trailer. I have no worries about whether they'll devote too much plot space to Fantine. Also, since obviously they don't actually cut Fantine's hair in the musical, I loved her transformation.

    Why oh why isn't Ramin Karimloo in the movie, seriously? My fangirl heart has not yet recovered from this tragedy. I know Enjolras is supposed to be blonde, but now, seeing Ramin portray him so perfectly, I can't imagine him like that. So that's a disappointment.

    Russell Crowe looks just as I pictured Javert, but I have to wait to hear his voice. The scenery is so perfect, and, somewhat surprisingly, I got chills when they showed the barricades from above, just as I do in the musical. I guess I'm a student revolutionary at heart. :)

    I was a little saddened by the choice of Samantha Barks as Eponine, seeing as her lovely voice doesn't match her subpar acting, but considering that for a while Taylor Swift was an option for the part, I am not complaining.

    So, coming from a massive fan of the musicals (especially the tour) and the book, I'm quite pleased. To be honest, any half-decent reinvention of my beloved Les Mis would thrill me, just to see it on the big screen.


  4. Because Fantine is the most awesomest character in Les Miz, that's why. And IDAD is the most awesomest song. And she gets like, twenty minutes in a two-plus hour musical. She deserves the spotlight. You won't hear me complaining about it.


    So I'll save my big-long PO for our phone chat, but just saying...loving what I'm seeing. :-P Except I'm still going back and forth about Russell. And mourning my awesome one's lack of being-cast-as-Enjo. You shall regret this, CamMac. You shall.

    Speaking of Eddie (not in reference to awesomeness, just talking about the cast) - I saw him in a movie with Mighty Davey!!!!!!! Well, clips. Haven't seen the whole thing yet. But I'll save that for my Mighty Mouse gushing chat. Hehehehe.

    So this finally showed up on my computer. Sigh, blogger is a pain sometimes.

    Love ya and hope your weekend went ok. Praying for you...hope we can talk! :)

  5. Oh, yes, and I was just going to add (but Amy beat me to it!) that there is still hope...this IS only a sneak-peek. :) So for those of you not as obsessed over Fantine as I am...there's still a chance for a more "rounded" trailer. :-P And One Day More. :)

  6. I really think that by casting Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, they were looking for a character actor who is able to portray Javert as a human (we know that he comes around in the end, and has an existential crisis). In other words, the villain won't be evil, someone to hate. He will simply be driven by duty (illogical, but still duty). The big question is whether the criticism of the State as its own end is going to come out or not. It seems to be fashionable these days, so there is hope.

    As for Samantha Barks, it really comes down to the directing. A poor director can turn a stellar actor into a someone you are sure is unable to act. And with the right direction, a mediocre actor can have a brilliant performance. Just wait and see.


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