I have to admit when they announced that Anne Hathaway had been cast as Fantine in Les Miserables, I was a bit leery. I didn't doubt her ability to carry the vocal duties of one of the movie's most pivotal songs, but rather her ability to pull off a 19th Century French prostitute who reaches the end of her rope as it were.
Well, I'm still not convinced that she even comes close to being mistaken for a true period call girl, but after watching the teaser trailer, I'm more than convinced that she will pull off the role. And let's face it, I don't feel too bad for any guy who has to "settle" for a romp in the hay with Ms. Hathaway.
The teaser and the images below, all released today, give us our first official glances of Marius, Cosette (both young and old), Eponine and the three leads played Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. The look and feel of the trailer seems to nail it and Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" is haunting and not terribly overproduced.
In this age of auto-tune, it's refreshing to see that (at least for the teaser) Tom Hooper is going for a more realistic sound than the overproduced songs that seem to be standard operation procedure for today's musicals. Naturally, I'm biased though as Les Mis is my all-time favorite musical, but after numerous failed incarnations, this is looking like it might finally be the definitive big screen adaptation.
We can only hope. Les Miserables opens in theaters on December 14, but the teaser teases (appropriately) that "the dream lives this Christmas." It could simply mean the Christmas season which would include its current release date, or it could hint that perhaps the musical will join the already overcrowded Christmas release date.
December 25 already includes the Leonardo DiCaprio double feature debuts of The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained as well as The Guilt Trip and Playing the Field. I foreshadow some movement this Christmas.
These are all great, but I'm still waiting for our first look at Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. The perennial show-stealers are perfectly cast in my opinion.