Do you hear the Heather judge? Judging the songs of faux-French men?


Uuuuuuugh the stupid Flash player won’t let me embed it on this blog so CLICK HERE like some kind of 20th Century sap and watch.

Done yet? ‘Cause I am. Aaaaaaand here’s where I’m at:

(Have you seen that video of Kristen Bell freaking out over a sloth on Ellen? It’s kind of the best.)

Anyway. Let’s dish, yes? Yes.

  • First of all, looks like Hugh Jackman is really giving his all for Movember. Why does he need somewhere to sleep for the night when he could just curl up inside his enormous beard and be super warm and comfy?
  • …heh, Hugh Jackman has an enormous beard.
  • Oh god oh god those strains of “Look Down” I already have goosebumps.
  • This…this appears to be a movie about Russell Crowe in silly hats.
  • Okay, you know what, everybody? Yes to Anne Hathaway. Yes. She is acting the ever-loving shit out of that song. And I don’t know what’s changed from the first couple of trailers and clips, but I feel like this is a different take, because she’s giving me some chest. Way more chest than I think we heard before. Is it some crazy pure glorious Broadway belt? Nope. But I think she sounds great, and anguished, and real, and all those things are right for this film. Team Anne. (And let’s be clear how difficult that is for me to say, as she sits close to the very top of my Jealousy Hate list.)
  • Wassup, Thendardiers! You are lookin’ wacky as ever! I wish they’d let us hear them sing a bit. Sacha Baron Cohen is legitimately awesome, and I’m hoping Helena Bonham Carter’s Madame is basically the Mrs. Lovett she should have given us; a kooky, over-the-top, lovable sociopath…not a doped-up kewpie doll. Does she even remember how to work with someone who isn’t Tim Burton at this point? I worry.
  • Oops, sometimes a waif hides behind a coat and suddenly turns into Amanda Seyfried.
  • Aaaaaaaand we have our first abuse of autotune. Congrats, Amanda! Look, I like her a lot, but just being a girl with a reasonably high voice doesn’t mean you can sing stuff written for legitimate sopranos. There is a difference between “I can hit that note” and “I should hit that note.” Ah, well. She’s got dem big ol’ doe-eyes down, so…that’s something, I guess.
  • SAMANTHA BARKS WHERE IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU KEEP YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS? You have room to carry, like, an additional waif under each arm without even raising your shoulders even a tiny bit. Mon dieu. Eat a baguette.
  • I don’t understand how, having loved Eddie Redmayne for a solid couple of years now, I never knew he could sing. And not just sing, but saaaaaaaaang. I mean, listen to this frickin’ ginger go when he was just eighteen (his solo starts around 1:06). This is not mere steps up from that Jonas kid; it is an entire skyscraper up.
  • I feel like such a hypocrite when I’m all, “Amanda Seyfried is wrong for the role, because she’s not a singer,” and then I’m all, “Samantha Barks is also wrong for the role, because she’s the wrong kind of singer.” But…yeah. Not here for the super-nasal pop-belt. I’m just not. I maintain that Celia Kennan-Bolger is the only Eponine I’ve ever seen whom I did not want to punch in the stupid, emo face, because instead of playing her as a super-hot demi-ingenue (“ALAS, I AM JUST AS BEAUTIFUL AND SMART AND INTERESTING AS THAT OTHER CHICK BUT MY FACE IS SMUDGED AND HERS IS NOT SO MARIUS WILL NEVER LOVE ME WOE WOE WOE”), she played her as a hugely-uneducated, kind of gross, ever-so-slightly mentally-unsound guttersnipe, which is exactly what Eponine should be. There’s never a chance that Marius could ever feel anything but a sort of pitying affection for her, like how one would feel about a mangy, stray dog. When Celia Kennan-Bolger sang “On My Own” it broke your heart because this filthy, homely, cretinous little thing had so much love to give, and would never have anywhere to put it. Buuuuut instead of that interesting and challenging portrayal, the movie has gone the route of so many stage casts before it and made Eponine and Cosette a French Betty and Veronica; same girl, different hair.
  • Oh no. Oh no. Are they gonna let Russell sing? They are gonna let Russell sing. Here go hell come.
  • He…sounds a whole lot like Gerard Butler. Which is not surprising, as they have similar “singer” backgrounds; namely that they were both in rock bands and yelled while lights flashed and guitars wailed, none of which prepared them for nor made them qualified to touch songs designed for musical theatre performers. You guys, there are a lot of different types of vocalists, and a lot of different musical styles, and being able to sound good doing one does not automatically translate to sounding good doing ALL OF THEM. I’m pretty sure Billie Joe Armstrong’s “Vesti la giubba” would suck. I’m pretty sure Renee Fleming’s “Call Me Maybe” would be terrible. Does that make either of them bad singers? Of course not. But the point is, while there are of course some people who can excel at a mess o’ different styles, there are also people who are only good at one particular thing. So. While I’m not going to say Russell Crowe can’t sing, I am going to say Russell Crowe can’t sing this. Or, more specifically, THIS.
  • SUPER-FAST MONTAGE SO MUCH IS HAPPENING I SEE YOU AARON TVEIT DON’T THINK I DON’T. Man, again, I sound like a nitpicking bitch, especially since there are absolutely no clips of him singing a damn thing in this, but Aaron Tveit is from that pop-belt Broadway school of song, and so I’m the teeeeeensiest bit sad, because to me, Enjolras will always be the rich, smooth, manly baritone of Anthony Warlow. I mean, my God. Listen to that. That’s a voice that can start a revolution…IN MY PANTS.
  • Okay, I can’t say anything else because I’m too busy weeping over “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and all these stellar sets and costumes. The King’s Speech was an absolute treasure of a movie, so I’ve ultimately got a lot of faith in Tom Hooper, and this musical is the first one on which I was raised (I have literally known every single lyric since I was five years old), and lord knows that even with all my casting/singing quibbles I am going to be in the theatre for a midnight showing, bawling my eyes out and pounding down popcorn like a feelings-eating champ.


Edit: OMG HOW DID I NOT NOTICE COLM WILKINSON IN THE TRAILER AS THE BISHOP OF DIGNE? Bless. That dude has the weirdest vocal inflections in the history of musical theatre. It’s like if Sean Connery had a baby with all of Aerosmith.

NaBloPoMo 2012

One thought on “Do you hear the Heather judge? Judging the songs of faux-French men?

  1. i love your live blog of the trailer. i like, read this while watching and then read and then watched again.

    totally TOTALLY agreed about anthony warlow. that dude could start a revolution in MY pants and i don’t even like that kind of thing. (ew)

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