Who knew the Les Misérables Broadway banner image of Cosette could look so satanic with a McDonald’s logo in the middle of her forehead? Ben Frost, apparently. Website Who Killed Bambi? introduced us to the artist who paints pop culture characters on different kinds of packaging. Junk food, cereal boxes, tiny pharmaceutical containers, and more are covered in Frost’s cheeky redesigns. The artist imagined Linda Blair from The Exorcist as the “hostess with the mostess” on a cheery Twinkies package and painted a depressed Mickey Mouse pondering his failures on a box of Xanax. See more icons Frost painted for pop culture posterity in our gallery. … Read More
You might not think that Bob Fosse’s Cabaret and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables would have much in common. They hardly seem comparable aesthetically, narratively, or musically. Yet during a recent viewing of Fosse’s classic film (out on Blu-ray today), I was struck by a not-so-distant kinship between these stage-to-screen musicals. Les Mis and Cabaret don’t just present a movie to their viewers. They welcome us in directly, intimately immersing us in the action.
Cabaret literally (actually literally) invites us in. The film begins with The Kit Kat Klub’s Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey) looking directly at us before launching into a song welcoming us and the club’s audience. Cabaret knows we’re there and doesn’t want us to linger at the threshold. It symbolically sits us down in the Kit Kat Klub. Throughout “Willkommen” (and almost every subsequent musical number) the camera becomes us — an audience member constantly roaming around to get the best view. Cabaret goes on to extend that sense of our presence to the entire movie. The audience is made to be an omnipresent voyeur, living inside the film, while fostering an intimate and immersive connection with the characters and story. … Read More
Les Miserables managed to beat out Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained at the Christmas Day box office, bringing in an estimated $17.5 million and setting records for both the highest opening day for a musical and the top weekday Christmas opening of all time. Several of the performances in the film — particularly Anne Hathaway’s gut-wrenching portrayal of poor, fallen Fantine and Hugh Jackman as the redeemed criminal, Jean Valjean — have been getting some serious Oscar buzz. Yet, Tom Hooper’s epic adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical currently has a 63% fresh rating among top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. So what gives? … Read More
The big-screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables opens in theaters tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more excited. Considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, the five-volume, 365-chapter tale is as much a meditation on the complex moral and social struggles of humanity as it is a historical study of France and the architecture and urban design of Paris. The tome was first published in 1862, just before the beginning of the beguiling Belle Époque, or beautiful era, France’s golden age of affluence and artistic creativity that occurred before the turmoil of the First World War. From the architectural wonders built for the same World’s Fair that gave us the Eiffel Tower to the most famous, elaborate Art Nouveau restaurant, click through to be reminded of the design epoch that gave us one of the world’s most whimsical and romantic cities. … Read More
As the inevitable “Year’s Best Films” lists pour forth (and ours will join them soon enough) — that while a great movie is an accumulation of first-rate writing, directing, and performance, plenty of films that didn’t make that final cut did offer us the pleasure of a perfect scene. Here, we present our carefully cultivated picks for ten of the best moments from this year’s… Read More
Are you as tired of lazy generalizations about musical theater as I am? With Broadway’s move onto both the cinema and television screen, these generalizations have only gotten sloppier. For starters, we could at least separate the films from the television series. Critics speak as if Glee, Pitch Perfect, and Smash were all the same thing – and that thing they condense them into is deemed, ultimately, pretty awful. With the heavy anticipation for Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Les Miserables, I’ve only been reminded of how very boring the Broadway backlash can be. Over at Grantland’s 2012 Oscar Roundtable, we were told that, “Gloriously, there doesn’t even seem to be anything ridiculous in the running for a nomination at this point, unless the Les Mis hype is coming from the same unfortunate place that leads people to watch Smash.” I mean, I guess Les Mis and Smash are the same thing, and I guess their viewers can’t tell a star-driven remake of a famous rock opera apart from a television series about an unknown musical performed by unknown stars. … Read More
Most movie audiences will be choosing between two big releases for the upcoming holiday weekend: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables. If you don’t mind secretly sobbing in a dark theater, and your mom is tagging along (moms really love Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman), you’ll probably find yourself transported to 19th-century France for the adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel. The trailer for Les Mis reveals footage of Anne Hathaway as the ill-fated prostitute Fantine performing a weepy, whispery rendition of the beloved “I Dreamed a Dream.” Whether you appreciate movie musicals or not, the song instantly turns on the waterworks for a lot of people. It’s a heartbreaking lament. This got us thinking about other tunes that call for Kleenex and a shoulder to cry on. For a song to tap into such emotion is an incredibly intimate thing, and not all of the reasons are sad ones. Sometimes the sheer magnificence of a piece of music elicits a few tears. We selected a group of tracks that tend to make people sob. What songs really bring out your cry face? … Read More
1. Musical theater geeks, drop everything: A new international trailer for Les Misérables has landed online, and unlike the previous teaser, it includes juicy snippets of “One Day More” and “Do You Hear The People Sing?” Are we the only ones getting chills?
2. A benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy called… Read More
Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. It’s a bit of a light batch after last week’s Cannes-fueled riches, but we’ve got new titles from Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Russell Crowe, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, and Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as a Cannes winner and one of our favorite docs of the year. Check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
1. Donald Trump has revealed the lineup for the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice, and the rather depressing roster of “celebrities” includes Arsenio Hall, Clay Aiken, Dee Snider, Debbie Gibson, and Real Housewives star Teresa Giudice. [via Deadline]
2. Les Miserables director Tom Hooper has offered the choice roles of Eponine and Cosette… Read More