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An Extended Look At The Musical Process Of LES MISÉRABLES!!

The Kidd here...

LES MISÉRABLES is one of the few Broadway classics I haven't managed to see on any level of stage performance (right up there with MISS SAIGON and CATS, which I swore I'd never see), so I don't have affinity for the source material. However, I am interested to see how Tom Hooper's adaptation does turn out in choosing to record all of the musical performances on set with live singing each take, as opposed to lip synching to playback on tracks recorded months in advance. 

This extended look from Universal Pictures gives you a real solid look at the results of this decision, and, while musicals may not be for some of you, I'm getting the feeling that there's no way this cast won't deliver a solid film here. 


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    So why have you sworn not to see Cats?

    by john

  • Morpheus just can't sing "I dreamed a dream" as well as Anne Hathaway

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Hear me Zion! I dreamed a dream!

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    This looks awesome!! It's going to be huge.

    by moonlightdrive

    And Cats is fantastic, well worth seeing on the stage with a decent cast.

  • Possibility of a movie version of "The Book of Mormon" in 2014. Worth staying alive for.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I have a feeling they should just hand everyone Oscars

    by iluvsyfy

    Of course wait until the picture is released, but has any film ever taken all four acting awards, if not, this might be the first. Academy loves firsts.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Best Christmas Present Ever!

    by Ookla_the_Mok

    Hearing Eddie voice what my whole family thought when we heard Anne/Fantine in the first trailor--I'm not sure I'll have enough tears by the time the movie is finished.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    But............I hear...........

    by iluvsyfy

    Lena Heady's performance in Dredd is up there with the great film villains of Hannibal, Heath, Stansfield, Annie, Verbal and Anton. So will Ma'ma be added to this distinguished gallery.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:10 p.m. CST

    So Javert will shoot 'Lincoln' in the back of the head?

    by Bill C.

    Necessary but bad pun, and I feel a little sorry for getting it out of the way...

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    But, seriously, this looks surprisingly good.

    by Bill C.

    I'm not remotely a musical fan (total exposure: the film adaptations of 'West Side Story' and 'Fiddler on the Roof'), but this seems to have a certain charm about it. And, yeah, it wouldn't surprise me at all if--barring some January dark horse--it does come down to this and 'Lincoln' for the big awards.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by Dr.007

    Seyfried and Hathaway sound awful. Thin woody voices with out of place vibratos. The whole point of the video is that the actors can sing and act at the same time - new for a movie maybe - but that's what happens every performance in the theater where the acting and the voices are both quality. Odd for Jackman to speak of the two together as such a revelation given all the theater he has done.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Man this looks awesome!

    by Paul

    Shold be interesting to see how well this does against The Hobbit since both come out on the same day.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    You are crazy if you think Hathaway can't sing. She has a incredible classic singing voice. It is very much like Julie Andrews.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I think this film look incredible

    by eric haislar

    I know nothing about this musical. I have heard about it since i was a child but have never seen it or had any interest in it till now and I have to say this is a must see for me.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    I cry everytime

    by vaterite

    I watch the trailer.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Samantha Barks!

    by jim

    nice to see her singing in the rain, not just standing in it. I don't recall seeing anything of the Thenardiers in all that. I was just thinking the other day shouldn't we be seeing a full-on trailer for this movie soon? The only thing that kinda bugs me is the size of the barricade. Jeepers, looks like half of Paris must be missing its doors, beds, tables, and chairs.

  • Maybe this will be different. OR MAYBE I'M JUST A CARROT!

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Cats is dated, but worthwhile

    by Teko

    It's kind of bizarre to watch it now and remember how massively popular it was, given that it's just this rather silly musical about people in cat costumes singing about being cats with not much actual plot whatsoever... but the songs and production are well done. The video version is fun and worth watching, absolutely.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    You tube blocked at my job

    by thepoohguy

    However I will say... At the time the character Fantine sings I Dreamed a Dream, her voice should sound frail. She's a very defeated person. Overall, Les Miz is my favorite stage musical. Story is 100 times better than any Andrew Lloyd Weber piece. This will probably be the 2nd best musical of all time as it would be hard to beat the best American Score ever written, My Fair Lady. That movie and music are basically perfect and timeless, even with the lip synching. I used to say Les Miz breaks your heart, and Miss Saigon rips it out and stomps on it, but I don't know if it would still hold up. The problem is that living in a "tour" town, we don't get to see a lot of 1st rate productions as other cities get. Trust me, seeing a tour cast of Wicked over the more permanent cast that I saw in Chicago was incomparable. Therefore, last production of Miss Saigon and Cats that I saw felt more like High School productions than professional theater. Still looking forward to this though.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by theswillmerchant

    This looks suprisingly good. The actors sound better singing live than I thought they would but I'm still a bit nervous we haven't heard any of Russel Crowe singing. That is a really important role and needs a pretty powerful voice.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by mara69

    The new release date for Les Miserables is 25 Dec and it will be released against Django. I guess they were afraid of The Hobbit.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Dr.007 the other difference is...

    by Happyfat73

    ... that in the theatre, actors always need to project so they can reach the cheap seats. Film is much more up close and intimate - allowing actors to be more naturalistic with their performance.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Good luck conducting the orchestra

    by Nem_Wan

    How's that going to work? The tempo is going to be whatever the actor and pianist did.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    that looks cool as shit

    by murray_hamilton

    I'd see it

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST

    dr.007 was going to chime in, but i think the others have done well

    by LabattsBleu

    to explain the differences... With films, this approach isn't taken... now, that's not to say they won't clean up the recordings post production, but it is an interesting approach that is true to live theater, but foreign to film

  • The results were mixed, the critics panned it (I kinda liked it), and its never been released on any physical home video format. But then again, what do you expect when you cast Burt Reynolds in a singing role?

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    I don't like musicals, but I am obsessed with Les Miserables

    by SifoDyasJr

    I think the story, particularly the tension between Grace (Valjean) and Law (Javert), is incredibly layered and the songs are amazing. If that first trailer and extended look video is an indication of what's coming on Christmas Day, they've not only nailed it, but may have even made a film that's BETTER than the stage version.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST

    In regards to recording orchestra in post...

    by midd1ea

    I don't envy the music editors' job in putting all the pieces together. Yikes...

  • ought to be fired. There's been almost ZERO promotion for this film, and the age-demographic target looks to be identical, based on the friends, board-buddies & even co-workers I've mentioned this to. As of 2 wks ago - ONE person other than my parents who saw the trailer w/ me for Hope Springs, even KNEW there was a Les Mis film coming out, much less who's in it!! Les Mis is going to get slaughtered - and from all appearances, doesn't deserve that fate. Looking at the schedule, the studio could have released it Dec 7 or Dec 19/21. I don't see much in mainstream release that's fighting for the same wide-spread age demographic. Nightfall's the biggest film, and either one's a Bond fan or you aren't.

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Yup confirmed on muliple sources - Xmas Day now

    by VAwitch

    Biggest competitor is "Django Unchained"... probably safe to say less potential shared viewers w/ that bloody-but-hopefully satisfying film than "Hobbit". I know my f&f will be seeing Hobbit at least twice, and Les Mis... none seeing Django until it hits DVD.

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Jackman will have to cut his nuts off to sing "Bring Him Home."

    by WerePlatypus

    I know he can sing, but does he really have the chops for Jean Valjean?

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    I have seen this show twice

    by emeraldboy

    one day more is one of the greatest musical endings that I ever experienced. and they cant pull that off via a movie screen. they just cant. sorry. this is from the 25th anniversary

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 4:50 a.m. CST

    speaking of movie musicals

    by emeraldboy

    I could barley tolerate more than about 20mins of Mamma mia. oh dear jesus. and I like abba.

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by KDog629

    I've seen this show seventeen times over twenty three years, and Bring Him Home sounds pretty high, but can be done by any tenor in a falsetto. With his experience in musical theater, I feel confident Jackman has a solid falsetto in his bag of tricks.