How excited are we that Les Misérables hits theaters in less than a week? Are you sick of anticipating a film that’s promising great emotional payoff and just the right about of tears for the holiday season? Are you like me and simply trying to get your musical fix in any way you can? Well, here’s some good news because I’ve gone through the cast of the upcoming adaptation and have picked movies of theirs that are must-sees before the big day.
Hugh Jackman – The Prestige (2006) Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Not only is this, in my humble opinion, Christopher Nolan’s best work to date (Batman be damned), it’s also Hugh Jackman’s most dynamic and intoxicating performance of his career. While he was a true embodiment of the character, Wolverine, in the X-MEN films, it’s in The Prestige where he’s truly allowed to showcase his range, playing a truly damaged and perverse character that spirals into a hole of competitive madness. We’re almost one hundred percent sure that Jackman is going to impress as Jean Valjean, but it was as an obsessive magician that gave audiences his first knockout.
Russell Crowe – Gladiator (2000) Directed By: Ridley Scott
“Are you not entertained?” Okay, slap my wrist; that was cheesy. But how different of a role for Crowe to perform as compared to the tightly laced Javert? The tight laced, singing Javert? When Crowe appeared in Ridley Scott’s epic, he was rebellious, commanding, and a warrior. In Tom Hoppers musical, not only is he shedding the anti-government spirit, but also his gritty appearance, allowing for a more conniving and bitter character to arise.
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married (2008) Directed By: Jonathan Demme
Before she decided to break audience’s hearts in a mere trailer alone as Fantine, Hathaway played Rachel, a recovering addict with a troubling past. It lead to her first nomination as well as solidifying herself as an actress to look out for. Vulnerable, unlikeable and brash as Rachel, she was nearly unrecognizable from her early work in sugary sweet roles such as The Princess Diaries. The difference this time is that not only will Hathaway get the Oscar nomination; she’s also being polled to win the little gold man as well.
Amanda Seyfried – Mamma Mia! (2008) Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd
I understand the blasphemy at not picking Mean Girls as the main must-watch, and I’ll let you in on an even guiltier little secret, I was very tempted to pick Jennifer’s Body. Pierce Bronson’s singing aside and the general atmosphere of second0hand embarrassment, this is Seyfried at her most endearing, and it’s a good precursor of what to expect with Les Mis. She’s wonderfully engaging, a talented singer, and has seemingly boundless energy. Watch for her charm and ignore the cornball effects.
Nope not Borat, never, ever, ever. However it was the Scorsese-helmed film about a lost boy in a train station that made me take note of Cohen. Initially he appears to simply be a one note villain, but as the movie progresses, the direction, writing and most importantly Cohen’s performance allows for a character with nuance and depth. Although he’ll be leaning towards the more vindictive side in Les Mis, it’s a good indicator that he’s not only good for portraying satirical stereotypes. This was also highlighted in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street. Speaking of…
Helena Bonham Carter – Sweeney Todd (2007) Directed By: Tim Burton
She does gothic well, she does evil well, she does creepy well, and she does downright creepy, evil gothic well. In the past ten years, she’s made a career out of playing bizarre, theatrical-like characters, and in Tim Burton’s interpretation of the musical, she’s at the best of her game in a genre she seems to gravitate toward.
Eddie Redmayne – Birdsong (2012) Directed By: Philip Martin
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat, since technically it was a two-part miniseries, not a movie. No matter, because this is possibly Redmayne’s best showcase of his acting prowess to date. He’s love struck, he’s affected by a loss of friends/comrades, and he grows throughout the entirety of the series. Does that sound like a certain character named Marius to you, too? Redmayne is currently a rising commodity in Hollywood with big execs noticing his talents, and Birdsong, as well as his portrayal of Marius, will undoubtedly cement him as one the best rising talents.
Samantha Barks – Les Mis 25th Anniversary Concert
The fact is that this will be Samantha’s first movie, and while I’m certain she’ll astound everyone, browsing YouTube for some pre-movie videos can’t hurt in furthering your excitement.
We’re mere days away from the movie release; hope to see you all in theaters, stuffed from the holidays and ready to be amongst others who understand when you weep openly in a crowded, dark theater.