Appearing for the first time on Broadway over 25 years ago, Les Miserable was one of the most popular movies of the holiday season. It has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. Personally, I think Les Miserable is a serious contender for the Best Picture Award. The story line consists of action and rebellion as well as romance and friendship. I think the producers did a fantastic job understanding that the movie was not going to be on the same level as the Broadway production in terms of the singing. While many of the ensemble members are from the musical, the lead roles are well known actors and actresses. Thus, the potential for superb acting in the movie was much higher than the in the musical, which the director, Tom Hooper, definitely used to his advantage. Les Miserable did win the Golden Globe for best Comedy/Musical Picture; however, many people doubt that it will win the Oscar because Tom Hooper did not get the nomination for Best Director. It is not impossible, but in the past, few pictures have won Best Picture without a Best Director Nomination.
The lead role in the musical was actually written for Colm Wilkinson, who played Jean Valjean in the original Broadway production. Thus, going into the movie, the expectations for Hugh Jackman were very high. Unfortunately, few people can sing as well as Colm Wilkinson, and many critics of the movie have focused on the areas where Hugh Jackman’s signing is not up to par. But where Jackman falls short vocally, he definitely makes up for with his acting. Jackman did win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, but I don’t know if his acting alone will be enough to win the Oscar.
The highlight of the movie was Anne Hathaway. To make up for the lack of a lead female role, Victor Hugo, the author of the original novel, created three very strong supporting female roles. Going into the movie, I had no idea that Hathaway could sing, and was thus very skeptical about her part in the movie. She completely stole the show. While Hathaway does not have the classic Broadway voice, her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” is equally as moving. After receiving the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy/Musical, Hathaway is still the favorite to win Best Supporting Actress and I think she completely deserves it.
While the movie stays pretty true to the Broadway production, one new song was created for the film. Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, who composed for the musical, created the new song, “Suddenly,” which has been nominated for Best Music (Original Song). However, “Skyfall,” which won the Golden Globe, is most likely to win.
Les Mis Nominations:
- Best Picture
- Best Actor (Hugh Jackman)
- Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway)
- Best Costume Design
- Best Makeup and Hairstyling
- Best Original Song (Suddenly)
- Best Production Design
- Best Sound Mixing