Tag Archives: Tom Hooper

‘Les Misérables’ Director and Cast Talk Snot, Tattoos & Singing Live

Les-MiserablesApparently, constantly being asked, “You do understand that a movie musical is something you could really fall flat on your face doing?,” was all the motivation director Tom Hooper needed, because he pulled it off; he made a film version of the much-beloved Les Misérables and it’ll likely go on to earn a number of award nods, if not wins.

While participating in press conferences in New York City, Hooper admits, “They were right about the risks.” He explains, “When I made The King’s Speech, no one had heard of The King’s Speech.” Hooper was able to make that film in total privacy and, clearly, that wasn’t the case when adapting a piece people all across the globe hold so near and dear. “I felt very aware of the fact that so many millions of people hold this close to their heart and will probably sit in the cinema in complete fear that we would f*** it up.”

However, Eric Fellner of Working Title, is quick to point out, “If we only appeal to the fans, then, with a budget like this, the film wouldn’t work, so it was really critical that we made a film that had the DNA of the show and worked absolutely for the fans – but also had the potential to break out and create a whole new audience for Les Misérables.”

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Review: Les Misérables

Les-Miserables-PosterI never cared much for “Les Misérables” back when every other girl in my class had to sing “Castle on a Cloud” at the school talent show and, it turns out, I don’t care all that much for it in movie form either, even when it’s an immensely impressive production.

In case you’re like me and never bothered to see the musical or read the book, “Les Misérables” focuses on Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), a man enslaved for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving nephew. After finally being released, Valjean violates his parole to start anew. Even though he really does turn over a new leaf, running an honest business and doing good whenever he can, the über by-the-book policeman, Javert (Russell Crowe), is determined to make Valjean pay.

Still, nothing stops Valjean from being a good man. As Fantine’s (Anne Hathaway) life spins out of control, Valjean comes to her aid, agreeing to care for her young daughter, Cosette. Valjean rescues Cosette from her unloving and eccentric caretakers, Thénardier and Madame Thénardier (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter), and raises her as his own until she catches the eye of the young Revolutionary, Marius (Eddie Redmayne).

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Oscars 2011: Forget Who Should Win, This Is Who I Want To Win

With just a day left to go until the big show, I’d like to bet you’ve had enough Oscar predictions – especially considering quite a handful of the biggest honors are considered locks. Well, I offer you something a little different; not who I think will win, but who I think should win.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Every Best Picture nominee achieves some degree of filmmaking prowess, otherwise, they wouldn’t be nominated in the first place. Rather than pick apart the elements and compare the contenders by the writing, directing acting, etc., this category comes down to something far simpler, yet something tougher to achieve – poignancy. Which of these films moved me most? Toy Story 3 left me in tears, 127 Hours with a knot in my stomach and Inception with my head spinning, but it was The King’s Speech that was overwhelmingly rousing. This is such a special film for so many reasons and those reasons will likely be rewarded in the other categories, but in terms of the Best Picture Oscar alone, my fingers are crossed for The King Speech based on its incredible ability to connect my heartstrings to those of the characters in the film and tug on them all the way through.

I’ll Be Pissed If This Wins: Inception
Inception may be endlessly interesting and responsible for countless summertime debates, but an Oscar for Best Picture? Come on. On top of that, even after all the discussions, who can say they really understand the movie through and through? It was fun while it lasted, but Inception’s infinite twists and turns aren’t enough for the film to stand the test of time as well as its contenders.

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Review: The King’s Speech

When considering the basics of The King’s Speech, there’s really nothing particularly alluring about it. It’s a period piece about a Duke with a stutter. Yes, that’s basically true, but there’s more to this film than can ever be conveyed in even the most detailed synopsis. The combination of spectacular performances and masterful direction turns this story into an all-consuming emotional experience.

Based on a true story, Colin Firth stars as Albert, the Duke of York. As the son of King George the V (Michael Gambon), Bertie (the nickname used by his family) is required to speak publicly quite frequently. The problem is, Bertie has a speech impediment; he stammers. He’s seen a number of speech therapists, but nobody’s been able to fix the issue or get a handle on the Duke’s poor attitude. The only one able to quell is frustration is his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), who refuses to let him succumb to his stammer.

She finds an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), whose treatment involves rather unusual methods and decides to put the Duke in his care. The men bump heads right from the start with their first meeting coming to an abrupt end when Bertie blows up and storms out of the room. However, Bertie slowly begins to open up to Lionel and just in time too, for his older brother’s (Guy Pearce) antics will have the Duke in the royal spotlight much more and far sooner than he ever expected.

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