Dreaming Dreams of Time Gone By With More ‘Les Misérables’ Footage

Recovering high school theatre geeks are aflutter once again with the release this week of a Regal Cinemas interview featuring more footage from Tom Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of Les Misérables. Hooper and the cast seem particularly excited about the fact that they’re doin’ it live—unlike traditional movie musicals, which rely on a prerecorded soundtrack and lip-synching, the actors sing with a piano piped into an earpiece, allowing for them to dictate the pace and delivery along with their acting and character development and what-have-you. Basically, it’ll be like a stage musical except with more familiar names and you have to sit through half an hour of advertisements before. 

We hear several of the cast members sing for the first time, including a swelling "On My Own" from West End veteran Samantha Barks as Éponine, a rather high-pitched but very enthusiastic Amanda Seyfried as Adult Cosette and some serious moments of serious ACTING! from leading man Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. There is, however, a serious lack of Russell Crowe as Javert, leaving us with some questions. Crowe can certainly act as the stone-faced lawman, but can he break from his 30 Odd Foot of Grunts past and give us one hell of a "Stars?" That’s gonna be the dealmaker/breaker of this movie. 

And, of course, the first voice we heard in the initial trailer released several months ago, Anne Hathaway, sounds off on some of her choices as Fantine, most notably choosing to sing "I Dreamed A Dream," normally a belter of a production number that sometimes wins regional talent competitions, in a manner that a desperate and defeated person slowly dying of tuberculosis actually probably would. 

"There seemed to be something selfish about trying to go for ‘the pretty version,’" Hathaway tells the viewers. "She’s devastated. She’s literally at the bottom of a hole, looking up and realizing she’s never going to climb out of this. So I just decided to apply the truth to the melody and see what would happen." 

And then her version of "I Dreamed A Dream" kicks in, with all its beautiful but brutal notes, and with it (for some of you) come your plans to abandon family Christmas dinner to go ugly-cry in a theater for four hours. Watch below — we’ll still be here when you’re done having a moment. 

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