‘Les Miz’ Proves There Are Two Kinds Of People In This World: Cosettes And Éponines

I caught an early screening on Les Misérables last night, and while I’m forbidden from publicly expressing my opinions about the film until December 11, it did remind me of something I’ve known for a long time. In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, there are only two kinds of people: those who want to be Cosette, and those who want to be Éponine. And it should be obvious which team I’m on.

Look, Cosette is the worrrrrst. I mean, she’s pretty and all, and she sings like a beautiful bird or WHATEVER, and Marius falls in love with her instantly, blah blah blah. But she’s also cooped up with her weirdo surrogate father, and her mother was a consumptive French prostitute. She doesn’t even get a song all to herself! Well, I guess she does technically, but "Castle on a Cloud" sucks and it doesn’t really count because it’s Young Cosette who sings it, and nobody wants to be the girl who’s stuck sweeping up after the owners of a French inn and stumbling through the dark woods to fetch water from the well. Yeah, she’s the adorable face of the musical, but I am willing to bet a lot of money that she also has an adorable tapeworm, too. Adult Cosette, who just kinda stands around wearing ruffles and doilies, only gets to sing with other people, and one of them is in a trio with Marius and Éponine, who is our true hero. 

Éponine, Éponine, Éponine. Is there anyone more tragic in musical theater or literature? Nope! Probably not! First of all, she has that unfortunate name: Éponine Thénardier. Woof, you guys. She really had the cards stacked up against her from the beginning, being the daughter of the terrible French innkeepers. Always the victim of irony, Éponine was pampered as a child, but then she grows up and becomes just some poor little street rat while her father digs through the Parisian sewers, prying gold teeth out of dead people. And in the eyes of Marius, that doof, she’s just a friend, because he’s too infatuated with Cosette, the boring blonde who can’t even leave her house. (The one silver lining: that jaunty cap!)

What does Cosette do besides look pretty? She certainly doesn’t get herself shot in order to protect the man she loves unconditionally and unrequitedly. And she definitely doesn’t get to sing the one song that every musical theater nerd secretly sings alone while crying alone in his or her bed, desperately hoping for high school to be over already. Those kids know about love and loss, and so does Éponine.

Basically what I’m saying is this: screw your Team Edwards and your Team Jacobs, because when it comes right down to it you’re either a Cosette or an Éponine, and if you choose the former, I can’t trust you. Not even you, Amanda Seyfried. 

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What’s That? You Want More ‘Les Misérables’ Footage?

The long-awaited, hotly-anticipated, perhaps a bit over-exaggerated Tom Hooper adaptation of Les Misérables hits theatres in just over three weeks, leading to much reblogging and GIFing and expressions of all the feels all over the Internet. The folks at Vulture even have a Les Miz advent calendar with a new post every day leading up to Christmas Day and the film’s release. Over in this corner of the Internet, we’ve gotten super excited at new footage (albeit with some reservations about Russell Crowe as Javert) and asked for the film’s stars and publicity machine to cool it with all the talk about Anne Hathaway’s Fantine crash diet.

And now, another cog in the ol’ hype machine, as five more short but still quite enticing clips from the film have been released. Samantha Barks finally gets some preview screen time, and in an excerpt from a rain-soaked "On My Own," shows indication that she was definitely better suited to this role than the five billion other actresses and singers that were tied to the role. Another surprising highlight is Hugh Jackman’s "Who Am I?" where he shows off the frenzied talk-singing style he explained in earlier interviews, and it does feel a bit more natural than more traditional performances of the song. Elsewhere, there’s more from Anne Hathaway in the crux of "At the End of the Day," Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried singing "A Heart Full of Love" and the all-important Prologue introduction of Jean Valjean to Russell Crowe’s Javert.

These clips are all well and good and should give the fans plenty more feels to feel about, but we’re still waiting for more from Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the villainous Thénardiers in these preview clips—for highly recognizable actors who are getting fairly high billing for this film, we haven’t seen a whole lot of them yet. Anyway, watch. 

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.