|So many versions, but the new movie is magnificent.|
There have been a dozen movies made from Hugo's story; three of them were silent, beginning in 1909. Les Mis has been a radio play, a television miniseries, and there is even a Japanese anime adaption. The movie that opened Christmas Day is the culmination of everything that preceded it.
TPC saw most of the film online in bits and pieces and on December 25th was there at Bow-Tie's BTX sold-out auditorium that is almost IMAX, complete with Dolby that boomed decibels so loud that the projectionist's brother-in-law stuffed in ear plugs after the first ten minutes.
|She lost twenty-five, thirty, forty pounds. Who's counting?|
About Tom Hooper, the British director of THE KING'S SPEECH: He was not the first choice to helm the epic film. Alan Parker, who did both EVITA and PINK FLOYD, THE WALL had the inside track for a long time. Hooper has put a British slant on the movie with most of the production shot in various locales in England. Remember the scene where Russell Crowe kills himself by jumping from a bridge into the river? That was filmed in Jane Austen's Bath, Somerset. Of course, that's a stuntman diving into the abyss and not Mr. Crowe.
But yes, Russell Crowe (Javert) and everyone in the movie sang lyrics whether they were singers or not. Crowe for example, had to audition in a bare rehearsal hall in Manhattan. He asked the "judges" if he could go into a spare room to warm up. They let him and since he hadn't sung in years he went in the room and began warming up with OLD MAN RIVER. After a few verses, he left the room and came back into the hall to applause. The decision-makers had been listening at the keyhole.
Oh, and the way they recorded the actors' voices was to have them sing with just a piano. The full orchestra was mixed in later. They acquitted themselves well, don't you think?
One more story. The freckle-faced Eddie Redmayne who steals the movie as Marius got his part via 21st Century communications. He was shooting a movie about meth labs in North Carolina when he heard that the part was available. The 20-year-old Londoner whipped out his iPhone and sang a song from the musical while both recording and taping himself. He then e-mailed it to his agent who gave it to the producers. Redmayne got the role but then, you know that.
Tomorrow: Why Taylor Swift didn't get the part of Eponine.
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The answer to yesterday's trivia question is Kristin Scott Thomas. Today: Anne Hathaway has made twenty-nine movies. Which one earned her a best actress nomination at the Academy Awards in 2009?