Why Hugh Jackman's proud of his singing in Les Miserables…
23:09 GMT, 22 November 2012
Hugh Jackman said the film of Les Miserables would revolutionise the way people viewed movie musicals.
The actor plays Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s stirring film version of the award-winning musical by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer.
When I spoke to him, during filming at Pinewood Studios, he explained why. ‘We sing as we act, rather than lay down songs weeks in advance,’ he said. ‘It makes it much more realistic — particularly with a gritty story like this.’
'Revolutionary': Hugh Jackman, who plays Jean Valjean in the film adaptation of Les Miserables pictured rigth, has revealed how he sang his songs while filming to make the scenes more realistic
Co-stars: Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne star alongside Jackman in the new film
People lucky enough to be invited to private screenings of Les Miserables this week told me that having the actors sing live, as it were, added a grippingly emotional intensity to the picture (which is already pretty emotional!).
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One showing yesterday in central London left the audience moved to tears.
Viewers I spoke to praised the film’s ‘breathtaking’ appearance, and the performance of stars, including Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
They revealed that Russell Crowe, as Inspector Javert, had a scene-stealing moment halfway through which allowed cinema-goers to have a quiet sob.
People who caught yesterday’s screening seemed equally impressed by the younger actors, mentioning Eddie Redmayne’s knockout Marius, Samantha Barks’ moving Eponine, Amanda Seyfried’s touching Cosette, and Aaron Tveit’s enjoyable Enjolras.
And Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter bring the house down as the Thenardiers, unsurprisingly.
I have seen Les Miserables, too, but I’m not allowed to write about it yet, alas.
The fact it’s even ready this far ahead of its January 11 UK opening date (its world premiere is in London on December 5) is a tribute to director Hooper’s tenacity (and that of producers Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Cameron Mackintosh and Debra Hayward).
Les Miserables will be a major Oscar and Bafta contender.
A contender: Les Miserables, starring Jackman and Anne Hathaway pictured above, will likely be nominated for Oscar and Bafta Awards
It's impossible not to cry, says Jolie
Angelina Jolie said she was in tears — and so was Brad Pitt — when they watched The Impossible, a powerful new movie about the Boxing Day tsunami.
Stephen Daldry is another gold-standard supporter of the film, based on the real-life ordeal of a family caught up in the tragedy that tore through the Indian Ocean eight years ago.
Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play the parents of three boys, one of whom is portrayed by Tom Holland. Holland, 16, spent a season playing the title role in Daldry’s magnificent Billy Elliot musical at the Victoria Palace.
Jolie and Daldry hosted screenings of
The Impossible — on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively — attracting
well-deserved attention for the film in what has become a very busy
Famous friends: Angelina Jolie and Tom Holland, 16, star together in The Impossible about the Boxing Day tsunami
Director Juan Antonio Bayona’s feature is one of the best disaster-survival movies made in years.
And as I noted after seeing it at the Toronto International Film Festival, its most brilliant special effects are the heartbreaking performances by McGregor, Watts and Holland. I wasn’t surprised when Angelina admitted she and Brad cried while watching it.
It’s hard not to. McGregor told me that by following one family through the nightmare ‘you get a very strong sense of what happened there’.
He recently completed work on the film of Tracy Letts’s dysfunctional family drama August: Osage County with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
There are so many delicious family dynamics at play in Osage County that the cast referred to the home used in the film as the ‘house of pain’, though McGregor added: ‘It was great fun for the actors.’
Why Spielberg's never shot to thrill
Steven Spielberg told me how he desperately wanted to shoot a James Bond picture in the late Seventies.
‘I went to Cubby Broccoli and I asked if I could do one and he said: “No’’,’ Spielberg told me, with a chuckle, as he recalled being dissed comprehensively by the late powerhouse of the 007 film franchise.
Spielberg picked himself up, dusted himself off and looked for something else to do.
‘I’ve never asked again,’ he said. ‘Instead, I made the Indiana Jones series.’ He’s remained a Bond fan, though, lavishing praise on Sam Mendes’s Skyfall (just a few million to go before it overtakes Avatar as the UK’s biggest box office hit).
‘I’ve seen it once and I’ll see it a second time,’ he said.
Spielberg has a hit of his own at the moment: his masterpiece Lincoln, an edge-of-your-seat political thriller about how Abraham Lincoln (a landmark performance by Daniel-Day Lewis as the 16th U.S. president) enacted legislation to end slavery.
Watch out for…
Anna Madeley, who will play the governess, and Gemma Jones, who has been cast as the housekeeper, in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s stage adaptation of Henry James’s late 19th-century ghost story The Turn Of The Screw.
The gothic spine-chiller is about a governess hired to care for two orphans at an isolated Essex estate. Is her imagination working overtime — or are eerie things really going on in the creaky old pile
Dashing: Actor Matthias Schoenaerts may play the leading man in Suite Francaise
The play, directed by Lindsay Posner, will be previewing at the Almeida Theatre in North London from January 18. Isabella Blake, Emilia Jones and Lucy Morton will share the role of Flora, the younger of the siblings.
Laurence Belcher will play her brother Miles. Interestingly, I recently watched Laurence portraying a young Prince William for a scene being shot for the film Diana, which Oliver Hirschbiegel has been directing with Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge and Harry Holland.
Matthias Schoenaerts, the dashing Belgian actor who stars with Marion Cotillard in the gritty love story at the heart of the celebrated Jacques Audiard film Rust And Bone.
Schoenaerts is in the final stages of negotiations to play leading man opposite Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in a film version of Irene Nemirovsky’s best-selling novel Suite Francaise.
Saul Dibb, who made The Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, has adapted and will direct the film, which covers a section of Nemirovsky’s book set in German-occupied France, about a German officer billeted at the home of a young woman (Williams) and her mother-in-law (Scott Thomas).
It’s a hot piece of casting for Schoenaerts, who is well on the way to becoming a major international star. The movie will shoot in Hungary next year.
Watch the trailer for Les Miserables
Watch the trailer for The Impossible