Just yesterday a batch of photos from the upcoming film Les Miserables appeared online, giving us a good look at some of the costumes and production design and certainly revving up the anticipation. Today the studio has released the first official trailer for the film via Bing, giving us an even better look at the design and performances and increasing the anticipation even more.
Based on the classic stage musical written by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil, Les Miserables tells the story of several individuals during the French revolution, focusing on the ex-con Jean Valjean and his path to redemption during war time. Hugh Jackman stars as Valjean with a supporting cast made up of Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Banks, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter.
My biggest concern whenever they produce a film adaptation of a Broadway musical is that they will cast actors who have high status in Hollywood, but are not great singers. This was the reason that Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd didn’t work for me. In the Les Miserables trailer, the only singer we hear is Anne Hathaway performing the iconic “I Dreamed a Dream.” We only get a minute and a half of the song, and Hathaway is mildly impressive, but it sounds like she is holding back. There is no full-voiced belt like the song certainly requires.
Throughout the trailer we also see close-ups of every major actor, many of which are curiously shot with a fish-eye camera lens. The fish-eye draws our attention to the scenery behind the characters which is a good thing in this case, because the production design is quite handsome. I’m particularly excited for the scenes which will take place at an encampment for revolution fighters. The tattered French flags and the muddy appearance creates a tone that seems perfectly fitting.
Check out the trailer below and try not to have “I Dreamed a Dream” stuck in your head all day today. Also, please share your thoughts in the comments!
Les Miserables will be released in the United States on December 7, 2012.