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The First ‘Les Misérables’ Teaser Washes All My Fears Away

I cannot being to tell you how much I love Les Misérables. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best novel ever written, and it also inspired the greatest musical I’ve ever seen and listened to. When I heard Tom Hooper, the director of The King’s Speech, was going to be adapting the musical to the screen I had some serious concerns. The casting only furthered my concerns. Was Hooper going to go for celebrity and prestige over actual quality?

Since then I’ve come around a bit. The casting of Samantha Barks as Eponine went a long way, as did learning that Hooper was planning on recording as much of the singing as possible live on set. That’s a tricky thing to do, but if done right it can bring so much more depth and emotion to the performances even when the singing isn’t 100% note perfect.

Judging from this first trailer, that is exactly what Hooper has been able to accomplish. Anne Hathaway is a pretty great singer, but she’s no Lea Salonga or anything. But Hooper, by recording live and valuing the acting over the actual voice has coaxed true beauty out of his Fantine. Between the crushingly emotional rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, and the stunning, bleak visuals, I no longer have any serious reservations. Of course, it could end up not working, but in terms of my anticipation, all my worries are gone. Move over, Dark Knight Rises, I’ve got a new most anticipated movie of 2012: Les Misérables.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Are you turned off by the more “actor-ly” singing style? Are you as excited as I am? Let me know in the comments.



So fucking badass.

I was never a big fan of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. The first film was a decent comic book movie. The second took a cheesy style and tried to make it serious. I wasn’t buying it. And, of course, the less said about the third film the better. What always bothered me with the Raimi films was their lack of interest in the world of Spider-Man. They are visually bland films whose tone fluctuated wildly between comic book silliness and operatic melodrama.

When I heard Marc Webb was helming a reboot of the franchise I perked up. (500) Days of Summer is one of my favourite films of the last few years, and I saw in Webb a guy who would be able to find tonal consistency in an inherently silly property. By the looks of this new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, Webb has succeeded. It looks genuinely funny and playful, but also realistically moody and dramatic. I like the looks of Andrew Garfield. I love Emma Stone for reasons. Even Lizard looks pretty cool. All in all, colour me excited. Watch the trailer below:

Oh my god, you guys! I fucking love Wes Anderson. I don’t give a shit about the fact that he’s super quirky, or that his style hardly changes for any of his films. I love Wes Anderson and I love his movies. Yes, all of them. Including The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited. They are all great films, and I watch them constantly. My favourite film of his is Rushmore, maybe followed by Bottle Rocket.

His last film, the stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox is as swell a movie as you’re likely to ever see. So brimming with colour and warmth and humour, it’s beautiful. But that was all the way back in 2009. Thankfully, 2012 has some new Wes Anderson for all us diehards to savour. From the looks of it, savour, we shall.

Anderson has always found as many ways as possible to reference the French New Wave, but Moonrise Kingdom appears to have taken that penchant to new heights. Have the actors speak French and I swear you could sell this as some sort of long lost Truffaut/Godard collaboration. It’s great. Reminds me of last year’s British film, Submarine, which in turn got compared to Wes Anderson’s work quite a lot.

The trailer for the film, released today, looks awesome. It appears to be the story of a quirky boy and a quirky girl who meet at a quirky summer camp populated by other quirky people. They fall in love and run off together, leaving the rest of the members of the camp to go off in search of them. At least, that’s what I gather from the trailer. It’s got lots of great actors, like Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Bruce “Fists With Your Toes” Willis.

Go watch the trailer. Seriously. Now. Go. Apple has got it and it looks fantastic.

Did I mention I’m over-the-moon excited about this movie? Fuckin’ hell, 2012 is gonna be a good year!

This year, I got to participate in a critics group list. Well, not technically a real critics group, but it’s fun to look at it that way. CAST stands for Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto. Basically, it’s a collection of bloggers and film lovers from around Toronto, organized by James McNally of Toronto Screen Shots, and called upon to deliver a ranked list of 2011 films. The results of the bollot process went online yesterday, and it’s a pretty interesting list. Come with me as I take a look at some of my favourite rankings.

First off, here’s the list:

1. Drive
2. The Artist
3. The Tree of Life
4. Attack the Block
5. Take Shelter
6. Midnight in Paris
7. Melancholia
8. Shame
9. Beginners
10. Martha Marcy May Marlene
11. Hanna
12. Café de Flore
13. The Raid
14. Blue Valentine
15. Bridesmaids
16. The Muppets
17. The Illusionist
18. The Descendents
19. Super 8
20. Contagion
21. The Interrupters
22. Tabloid
23. Hugo
24. The Trip
25. Meek’s Cutoff

Click to read my thoughts