For Les Miserables enthusiasts, the second trailer for Tom Hooper’s musical movie extravaganza can be summed up in three words: “One. Day. More.” We get a good look at that pivotal musical number — as well as several others — in the brand-new trailer, which also gives us sustained glimpses of the movie’s primary cast members doing their thing … and yes, that means Russell Crowe sings. So do Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, the girl who stole Eponine from Taylor Swift, and even little Cosettte, providing Vulture with the perfect opportunity to obsess over the live-singing we have read so much about. Here, then, is our early take on every single performance of note, based on a mere two and a half minutes of (admittedly world-shakingly important) footage.
Listen to the way Jackman whispers “destiny” — here is a man who respects the power of “One Day More,” who understands the hope implied in that twinkling intro. Hugh is the Broadway vet in this cast, obviously, and we had little doubt about his ability to power through the emotional moments like “Bring Him Home,” but he is pulling those chains with anger, which is equally important when playing a man imprisoned for stealing some goddamn bread. Respect to Hugh’s anger.
Russell Crowe! The biggest question mark in this cast, probably. And yet, while he’s not a powerhouse belter blessed with rich tone, he more than makes up for his sorta hoarse voice in sheer glowering. We think we can do this, Russell. Yes, the whole project reminds us that 30 Odd Foot of Grunts once existed, but we never heard a song from them, so you’re good! (Incidentally, Wikipedia tells us that Russy C’s follow-up band was named Russell Crowe & the Ordinary Fear of God, which sounds like a Newbery Medal runner-up, doesn’t it?)
Annie carried the last trailer on her horribly shorn head, so the pressure is off here — but it does seem like she’s relying pretty heavily on the Crumple Face (an eighteenth-century ancestor of the Claire Danes Cry Face). Who cares, though; she gets to sing “I had a dreaaaaam my liiiiife would beeeee.” She has this in the bag.
Redmayne’s exotically angular and freckled face is a true hot-or-not litmus test in real life, but it’s no wonder that he was cast as the romantic lead in Tom Hooper’s movie: Hooper’s fish-eye lenses and bobby-weavy camera make everyone kinda Redmayne-looking, thereby transforming Redmayne himself into a conventional matinee idol. But more singing, please!
Adult Cosette can be kind of a thankless role, lesbi-honest. Basically, she’s the pretty girl whom everyone likes and she gets the guy and she’s nice and she’s blah. But Seyfried is going full winsome here — like she turned the dial past “earnest” and found a secret new cuteness category named “Christmas figurine” — and we cannot wait to make this a double feature with that Linda Lovelace biopic she just shot.
We just look at her and think, Oh God, what if Taylor Swift were in there with a raggedy wig and red lipstick and that makeshift Grammys barricade?” There is nothing that Barks can do that will be worse than that (and we type that as Team Swift, forever, write it down).
Helena Bonham Carter
“She looks like she just wandered in from a Tim Burton movie,” says everybody. No, fools: She looks like fucking Helena Bonham Carter, squared. That is our gal, that is HB(i)C. She is bringing herself realness, and while we hope her voice is up to the live-singing standard set by some of these pros, we dreamed a dream of Helena Bonham Carter in this movie, and it looked just like what we’re getting.
Sacha Baron Cohen
Please know that a French revolution reenactment of Drake’s “HYFR” video (or at least the chair-raising shot) is always going to score big on Vulture. Looks great; keep doing what you’re doing.