Heading into Easter Weekend, the Oscar-winning film Les Miserables is available on Blu-ray and DVD, the perfect musical to get you in the mood for this upcoming Holiday. We recently caught up with one of the producers on the film Cameron Mackintosh, and the man who perfected Jean Valjean on stage before taking the role of the Bishop on screen, Colm Wilkinson. Both have a long and storied history with the production, from its stage roots to its place as one of cinema's great musicals. Here's our exclusive conversation.
Actor Colm Wilkinson
Les Mis was originally supposed to be turned into a film musical nearly twenty-five years ago. It didn't happen. Were you involved with the first incarnations of this project's life as a movie?
Colm Wilkinson: No. We never talked. It never got that far,
In 19th century France, an ex-prisoner named Valjean (Hugh Jackman) finds his purpose in life when he agrees to care for the daughter of a factory worker (Anne Hathaway). Also stars Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. Based on the Victor Hugo novel and the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.
Directed by Tom Hooper
This phenomenal adaptation of the beloved musical manages to surpass expectations on every level. From the incredible set design, to the outstanding performances, to the stirring renditions of the songs fans have come to love, Les Miserables is everything you could ask for in a movie musical.
I do not consider myself a fan of musicals in general; I find most are unable to deliver both acting and musical performances worth noting. I do admit to
Similar to, say, the mixed public opinion surrounding present Les Mis star, Anne Hathaway, writers and reviewers landed on both sides of the fence after Trevor Nunn and John Caird showcased their adapted musical, first in the UK and later in New York City. While one reviewer deemed the work "a wonderful human pageant," another had far less nice things to say, describing the musical as "witless and synthetic entertainment."
Scroll through the slideshow below to get a taste of the reviews accompanying the production's 1980s debut,
"One-man medleys" — the phenomenon in which talented YouTubers record, edit, and sync their own voices singing in harmony — are innumerable on YouTube. But recently, one viral video and one perennially popular 15-year-old musical have combined to produce an irresistible combination.
That's right. It's a YouTube theatre crowded with one-person renditions of "Les Misérables," and we flock to it like students to a barricade.
Oh, YouTube, you know what we like.
Popular ever since its 1986 premiere in the West End, "Les Mis's" giant cast and string of powerhouse ballads and eminently singable ensemble numbers have proved a lethal combination for audiences ever since. Now, with the advent of the film, YouTube is rediscovering its love for revolution and counterpoint.
At 1.5 million views, the champion "Les Mis" medley-maker is undoubtedly Nick Pitera, whose song stylings have made him a YouTube sensation with over 300,000 subscribers.
Though his "Les Mis" medley,
The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Winners and Nominations
Theatrical Motion Pictures
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis / Abraham Lincoln - Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures)
Bradley Cooper / Pat - Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
John Hawkes / Mark - The Sessions (Fox Searchlight)
Hugh Jackman / Jean Valjean - Les Miserables (Universal Pictures)
Denzel Washington / Whip Whitaker - Flight (Paramount Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jennifer Lawrence / Tiffany - Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Jessica Chastain / Maya - Zero Dark Thirty
As predicted, Daniel Day-Lewis won the Lead Actor award for "Lincoln" while Jennifer Lawrence won the Lead Actress award for "Silver Linings Playbook."
Tommy Lee Jones won the Best Supporting Actor award for "Lincoln," and my fave, the lovely Anne Hathaway won the Best Supporting Actress award for "Les Miserables."
In the television category, "Downton Abbey" won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and "Modern Family" took home the Comedy Series award.
Here's the complete 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Winners (bolded and highlighted); for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:
Sad stories sell like hot cakes and "Les Miserables" tugs at your heart strings. An adaptation from Victor Hugo's eponymous book, it is not a historical story, but a classic tale of humanity, love and loss set against the backdrop of a political uprising in France, the French Revolution.
Directed by Tom Hooper, who had earlier done "The King's Speech", "Les Miserables" is a spectacular blockbuster. From the first to the last frame, the film enthralls you like a magnum opus.
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Isabelle Allen, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, Eddie Redmayne, Colm Wilkinson | Written by Victor Hugo, William Nicholson | Directed by Tom Hooper
Victor Hugo’s epic novel Les Miserables is no stranger to big screen adaptations, with close to fifty different versions in various languages, but Tom Hooper’s version, (Oscar winning director of The King’s Speech) the first to adapt the stage musical, is possibly the grandest and most ambitious to date. The tale of Jean Valjean provides the plot for the longest running musical in the West End, and it took 27 years for someone to bring give it the cinematic treatment it so clearly deserves.
The story begins as Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole after 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread, and trying to escape. However he breaks parole, in attempt to make a better life for himself,
Like a diabolically potent combination of Lionel Bart and Leni Riefenstahl, the movie version of Les Misérables has arrived, based on the hit stage show adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel set among the deserving poor in 19th-century France, which climaxes with the anti-monarchist Paris uprising of 1832. Even as a non-believer in this kind of "sung-through" musical, I was battered into submission by this mesmeric and sometimes compelling film, featuring a performance of dignity and intelligence from Hugh Jackman, and an unexpectedly vulnerable singing turn from that great, big, grumpy old bear, Russell Crowe. With the final rousing chorus of "Do you hear the people sing?", the revolutionary-patriotic fervour is so bizarrely stirring, you'll feel like marching out of the cinema, wrapped in the tricolour, and travelling to Russia to
Continue reading: Film Review: Les Miserables (2012): Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman
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