(I'm assuming you've read or seen some version of LES MISERABLES. If you haven't, skip this article 'cuz I'm-a spoil the shit out this bitch.)
Eponine. It's the role every ingenue in Hollywood who can at least carry a tune covets. In Claude Michel Shonberg's musical rendition of Victor Hugo's LES MISERABLES, she's the unhappy soul who confesses her unrequited love for Marius via the heartbreaking showstopper "On My Own". It's like Effie in DREAMGIRLS: nail the song, and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar is yours.
When it was announced earlier this year that KING'S SPEECH director Tom Hooper would be bringing the beloved musical to the big screen, I figured Anne Hathaway was the obvious choice. Instead, she landed the part of Fantine, which gives her the show's first big tearjerker ("I Dreamed a Dream"), a pretty good death scene (though not as good as Eponine's), and little else.
With Hathaway out of the running, I figured it was only a matter of time before GLEE's Lea Michele started gunning for Eponine (she warbled "On My Own" during the show's first season) - and, according to the New York Post, she's definitely in the running. But she's got serious, big-name competition: Scarlett Johansson, Evan Rachel Wood and Taylor Swift.
Honestly, out of these four... I really want Hathaway to drop Fantine and win her first Oscar. Barring that, I think I prefer Taylor Swift. Though she's yet to impress me as an actress (yes, I sat through VALENTINE'S DAY one truly pathetic night), she's got
a great an above-average voice, genuine screen presence and an innate sweetness that could really bring the house down when she belts out her big song. I can't stand her music, but Swift is just downright likable. As for the others, I love Johansson, but she's got a smoky voice that's all wrong for Eponine; Wood's a fine actress, but her singing in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE left a lot to be desired (very thin tone); and Michele, the best singer of this group, is simply too grating for my taste.
Unless there's a dark horse we don't know about, I'm going to meekly throw my support behind Taylor Swift. I can't see her winning an Oscar right now, but I certainly didn't think Jennifer Hudson was an instant frontrunner when she was cast in DREAMGIRLS. And yet I have a feeling Hooper will go with Johansson.