First Looks: Les Misérables

It looks like we will be in for a musical treat this festive season with Les Misérables. The film is based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer, which is in turn based on Les Misérables, the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.

The film is directed by Tom Hooper, scripted by William Nicholson, and stars an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Tveit also star in supporting roles. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector.

Development of Les Misérables began in the late 1980s. After the musical’s 25th Anniversary concert in October 2010, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced that the film resumed development. Hooper and Nicholson were approached in March 2011 and the main characters were cast in 2011. Principal photography of the film commenced in March 2012, and took place in various locations in Winchester and Portsmouth in Hampshire, England, as well as Paris in France.

I must say that after seeing the trailer several times, I’m really happy with the casting and the promise of a very powerful performance. Of course with a movie it is always going to have a slightly different effect compared to a musical.

Les Misérables opens in cinemas Dec 2012

Images courtesy of United International Pictures Singapore

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