Friday, 9 September 2011

At the End of the Day....

I tend to keep mum generally on casting news. Sometimes it seems pointless, and oftentimes it seems like the ready access to information makes producers heady deciding to throw everything at us...which isn't always necessary. By now you've probably heard that Tom Hooper is set to bring Les Misérables, the musical, to the big screen. Hugh Jackman's name has been attached for the longest while and we've had rumblings about Geoffrey Rush, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. I heard murmurs of Helena's potential involvement yesterday, when I thought it was for Fantine. Although her voice isn't as profound enough for "I Dreamed A Dream" I'd have bought her melancholy for the role. Apparently she's in talk for the bit-part of Madame Thenardier, the terrible woman who takes in Fantine's daughter - the de facto lead Cosette - when she dies. It's a tiny role, with tiny singing parts but she does have the hilarious number
Fast-forward to 3:40 to see the role she might play. The point of this post isn't just to talk up Helena, though, I'm increasingly doubtful about transferring this musical to the big-screen. I love musicals, but Les Misérables has always struck me as the type of musical that filmmakers should steer clear of. It's not just because it's sung through, the plethora of characters, the heightened melodrama and the episodic nature makes it such an obvious mini-series event (of course, mini-series musicals are a virtual impossibility). Despite me not completely falling for The King's Speech it did make my top 7 last year and I have faith in Hooper from Elizabeth I and John Adams - his small screen work, but I am incredibly wary of him pulling this off. I'm wary of anyone pulling this off. The balance between random comedic bits unrelated to the very tense main storyline doesn't seem like the sort of thing that would work on-stage. And the most beautiful of the numbers are essentially monologues that I'm sure would present more than a small quandary to direct. Ultimately, I'm probably getting ahead of myself - maybe this movie won't even come off. Until then, I suppose there's nothing to do but wait.
*The title of the post is a song Les Misérables in case it strikes you as odd.

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