To think they could've found a better singer than Hugh Jackman?

(84 Posts)
Eebahgum Thu 14-Feb-13 07:43:08

Went to see les mis last night with my dm. Loved it. Genius casting of Helena Bonham Carter & Sacha Baren Cohen as innkeeper and his wife. But surprised Hugh Jackman got the lead as his singing voice is not that brilliant. He is a fabulous actor though so maybe that swung it for him.

DowntonTrout Thu 14-Feb-13 07:58:47

I think he sings well enough. The are very few actors who could carry that role and portray it so brilliantly, that are also a big enough box office draw, and can sing.

HBC and Sacha BC absolutely stole the film though.

Not sure about Eddie Redmaynes singing, it sounded like he was closing his throat up at some points. Was pleasantly surprised by Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway was fabulous.

Eponine seemed to be a much smaller part than I remember. Was she the girl who was in one of those You could be Nancy shows?

I think you have to accept that a film has different requirements to a state production. On stage it is all about the singing. The film has the acting and visible emotion and the singing just needs to be good enough and full of emotion IYSWIM. On stage, often all you have to go on is the singing as you can't see the performers.

ithaka Thu 14-Feb-13 08:05:23

Interestingly, I thought Helena Bonham Carter & Sacha Baren Cohen were the weak links, hamming up what were quite unpleasant and sinister characters.

Just shows that it is all a matter of opinion.

SorrelForbes Thu 14-Feb-13 08:10:50

There are undoubtedly singers out there with voices more suited to the role of JVJ. However IMHO HJ has a great voice as can be heard on the DVD of the National Theatre's version of Oklahoma! and he takes his shirt off

mrsstewpot Thu 14-Feb-13 08:16:41

I won't hear a bad word against old Shuggie so YABU! grin

Eebahgum Thu 14-Feb-13 08:19:47

Ok, I'll accept I was BU. I guess I'm comparing it to a stage show where the requirements are much more focused on singing. I was amazed by the emotion he, Anne Hathaway & the Eponine girl (I don't know who she was) portrayed in their faces whilst singing. That can't be easy.

Higgledyhouse Thu 14-Feb-13 08:19:50

Saw it last night too, personally I thought Hugh Jackman was fab! Weak link for me was Sacha Baren Cohen. Samantha Barks was brilliant but I feel the film only required 50% of her singing potential. Great film though!

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 08:21:28


I suppose it's what you want out of it.

I also thought that Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were the weak links as the Thenardiers. Give me Alun Armstrong any day!

I thought HJ was brilliant in the role of JVJ. I've never really paid much attention to him before. I thought his vocalisation gave a reality to the role and a characterisation that would have been lacking if he'd turned up singing beautifully.

But then that's what I liked about Pierce Brosnan singing in Mamma Mia too. It just made the whole thing more, well, believable.

Unless people are hitting bum notes all the time, any weakness in the singing just lends vulnerability to the character. IMHO.

OTTMummA Thu 14-Feb-13 08:33:52

HJ had bought a raw realness to the role for me, including his voice. He had me in tears constantly.
It is such a deeply moving story that I think using non perfect singing actually adds to the film, however if a stage production had that level of singing I would of been disappointed.

laluna Thu 14-Feb-13 09:17:16

Don't know about Les Mis (going tomorrow eve) but I don't really care whether he can sing or not when he looks like that!

NopeStillNothing Thu 14-Feb-13 09:24:16

Yadbu, I thought he was perfect!
I thought Anne Hathaways voice was actually the weakest but she more then made up for it with her performance.
Mrs Lovett and Pirelli The Thenardiers were a bit overrated IMO. Did the job but very predictable.

God I love this film grin

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 09:48:44

laluna Oh you're in for a treat. wink

DowntonTrout Thu 14-Feb-13 10:08:14

As an aside, I thought the actor who played Enjolras, Marius friend, the ringleader of the revolutionaries, was brilliant.

His name is Aaron Tveit, don't know any more about him or what he's been in but a really good performance.

Flobbadobs Thu 14-Feb-13 10:11:01

Hugh Jackman is a professional singer and has won awards for musical theatre! Try and find a clip of him singing 'oh what a beautiful morning' from Oklahoma or 'people will say we're in love'. He's got a stunning voice (and is much better looking in Oklahoma) grin

Heavywheezing Thu 14-Feb-13 10:15:43

You moan about Hugh jackman?!

What about Russell Crowe? All the others have good voices, just found the blonde ones voice annoying because it's so high.

NicknameTaken Thu 14-Feb-13 10:19:11

I thought HJ did a great job as well. Vocally I thought "Bring him home" was a bit too high for him and was a bit strained, but generally he was great.

I thought Eddy Redmayne was lovely to listen to, and Anne Hathaway was really compelling.

Didn't like Helena Bonham Carter so much - she's got to the stage where she seems to be the same character in everything and she was a bit underwhelming in "Master of the House". I'd like to have heard it done with a bit more gusto.

HormonalHousewife Thu 14-Feb-13 10:25:16

I didnt really like the film blush but I have seen the stage show 3 times and have the CD so maybe I was expecting a bit too much.

I would have preferred 'proper' singers such as Epione. I think she has been in a west end musical before (not one of AL-W TV show choices though)

I think the story is strong enough not to have needed Hollywood names.

HJ is very handsome in real life though...

mrsjay Thu 14-Feb-13 10:35:17

ponine seemed to be a much smaller part than I remember. Was she the girl who was in one of those You could be Nancy shows?

yes she came 3rd and she has been in the stage show I thought she was fantastic.

I love hugh so wont hear a bad word against him grin

SorrelForbes Thu 14-Feb-13 10:38:47

Yes, Sam Barks (Eponine) was on the I'd Do Anything TV show.

Flobbadobs Thu 14-Feb-13 10:40:46
NopeStillNothing Thu 14-Feb-13 10:42:15

Downtowntrout Can't really comment on how good he was, I was far to blinded by how fricken beautiful he was blush

DowntonTrout Thu 14-Feb-13 10:42:44

I saw her in the west end stage show of Les Mis.

She didn't win I'd do Anything did she?. I thought she'd done really well to get play Eponine in the stage show, never mind the film. Good for her.

SorrelForbes Thu 14-Feb-13 10:42:53


I do am-dram blush and our next show is Oklahoma! our leading man won't look like HJ though

HormonalHousewife Thu 14-Feb-13 10:45:21

i stand corrected. I watched the making of the film a couple of weeks ago on TV and no mention of her being on a TV competition. She was fantastic and beautiful to boot.

WilsonFrickett Thu 14-Feb-13 10:46:22

Huge was awesome. Russell Crowe was terrible though.

Did Hugh Jackman SING?? oh my, shall have to see it again as I was in a stupor with er...... admiration

NicknameTaken Thu 14-Feb-13 10:50:15

Didn't Eponine have a weirdly small waist, though? Her belt was so tightly cinched I wondered how she got the breath to sing.

DowntonTrout Thu 14-Feb-13 10:55:14

I expect she wants to put her time on a talent show behind her Hormonal

The fact she didn't win just goes along with all the usual x- factor things whereit isn't often those that win that are the most talented or successful.

cortneyfigel95 Thu 14-Feb-13 11:00:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Heavywheezing Thu 14-Feb-13 11:02:46

Her waist was freakishly thin though, I wondered that too.

NicknameTaken Thu 14-Feb-13 11:16:39

Don't get me wrong, I think she is beautiful and has a lovely figure - it just looked really uncomfortable to me.

Clawdy Thu 14-Feb-13 11:17:49

HJ was a wonderful singer in "Oklahoma",his first real starring role.

NopeStillNothing Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:47

I wasn't blown away by Eponine. Not sure if they somehow managed to give her less Spotlight but even though her voice was fantastic, I barely remember her performance.
I think someone upthread had it right when they said about stage productions and television productions being completely different and needing different types of acting to 'excel'

Punkatheart Thu 14-Feb-13 11:34:17

She wore a corset.

Found Sacha and Helena quite tiresome. Crowe had one note.

But Mr Hugh...oh Mr Hugh. In another life, when I am no longer in my own version of Les Mis with my bloody awful life, he can sing to me, smile at me, take me in his wolfish arms.

I am more than a little in love with the divine Mr Jackman.

(He always seems down to earth, funny, sexy and friendly when interviewed.)

He can sing like a foghorn and I wouldn't care.

But I so wanted Crowe to jump.

WilsonFrickett Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:23

<arf> at Punk, yep, I was (silently) going 'Jump then FGS! Just jump!'

NicknameTaken Thu 14-Feb-13 11:45:29

Agree about Russell Crowe being one note, both in song and performance.

And you've a fight on your hands for sweet Hugh, Punk.

Megatron Thu 14-Feb-13 11:46:10

Jackman can do no wrong for me so YABU! smile

greenandcabbagelooking Thu 14-Feb-13 11:56:06

Aaron Tveitt has been in lots on things on Broadway, including Rent and a brilliant show to Next to Normal.

Samantha Barks played Eponine in London and at the 25th Anniversary.

Anne Hathaway was excellent IMO, a new take on the role.

Russell Crowe was rubbish. He killed Javert's Suicide. No pun intended!

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 13:06:57

Punk you will have to fight me for him, too. And I'm small so I fight dirty... wink

I've never really paid any attention to him before but I'm in proper teenage love with him. God I need a life! grin

Thingiebob Thu 14-Feb-13 13:11:33

I thought Hugh Jackman was one of the few actors in the cast who has sang on stage.

I thought he was very good but definitely too much vibrato in his voice and Amanda Seyfried sounded like she was out of her natural range.

Punkatheart Thu 14-Feb-13 13:28:28

Here's wishing you all a lovely Valentine's day. The doorbell rang and I rushed to it - expecting him, hoping that he was here.

A large man with sweat stains, dirty t-shirt and a snotty nose said:

'Oover for you, love.'

Now I have a vacuum in my life.

Punkatheart Thu 14-Feb-13 13:28:49
TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 13:42:52

er the 'naked hugh jackman' in the search box. Was that you...!!


TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 13:44:01

There are some very tasty pictures on there blush


TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 13:44:27

oh didn't get the picture I wanted. Ignore me.

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 13:45:52

I think I deserve to meet a man who looks like that the next time round, anyway.

Eebahgum Thu 14-Feb-13 13:54:57

Oh my god punkatheart - I think you've just converted me!

Katnisscupcake Thu 14-Feb-13 13:55:18

The girl that played Eponine in the film is now playing Nancy in Oliver in Bristol. I know because my sister saw her in it last weekend and brought the programme home as proof - LOL.

I can't remember whether she was in the TV programme to find Nancy, but if she wasn't, she's certainly doing the role now - hopefully she charges a lot more now she's a Movie Star aswell! smile

WakeUpRosemary Thu 14-Feb-13 13:59:23

I had to see Les Mis with my DM and I have to say I thought Russell Crowe was great in it. It could have been the best film of all time if only Javert and JVJ realised that they were actually in love with each other and ditched the rest of the cast.

Punkatheart Thu 14-Feb-13 14:02:46

Homo-erotic subtext. Love it. Well it is a story about an obsession.

If you ever get the chance to read the's amazing.

Me? Searching 'naked Hugh Jackman' - how very dare you!

Zalen Thu 14-Feb-13 14:43:00

WakeUpRosemary - I'm sure a quick search on google will find you an appropriate fanfic for that wink

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 15:30:18

Oh yes, definitely a homo-erotic subtext!

Javert would have given up a long time ago otherwise. It was only a display of grunting strength and masculinity that alerted Javert to the mayor's true identity anyway.

I think I need to lie down in a darkened room...

showtunesgirl Thu 14-Feb-13 15:35:39

Nooooooooooo, not another Les Mis thread.

<tries to leave but can't>

mrsjay Thu 14-Feb-13 15:44:47

you know you can't showtunes

FinallyMrsFC Thu 14-Feb-13 16:00:37

Samantha Berks played Eponine, she came 3rd in I'd Do Anything.

In your face Jodie Pregner!

LadyEdith Thu 14-Feb-13 16:20:34

YANBU. The producers have clearly gone for big names to pull in the crowds, and b*gger their ability to sing. Just like the Mamma Mia film but that was more forgiveable because it is a lighthearted show and poppy Abba music. I thought all the main characters (except Samantha Barks as Eponine) in the Les Mis film were disappointing, such a shame when there is so much talent out there, but greed rules... at the end of the day...grin Russell Crowe was the worst.

Clawdy Thu 14-Feb-13 16:36:46

But Hugh J. started out as a singer,and a good one too,so that argument doesn't hold water.

Gingerdodger Thu 14-Feb-13 16:42:06

I thought HJ was really good, can't say I had ever noticed him before but certainly will from now on! Thought they were all good but Russell Crowe lacked the power in his voice to truly carry off Javert.

Loved Eponine though, such expressive eyes.

I am reading the book now and enjoying discovering some of the missing links.

LIZS Thu 14-Feb-13 16:46:17

But they don't need to be fabulous singers , isn't that the whole point confused Most of the cast were ex West End production or had musical theatre experience including HJ and RC

BOF Thu 14-Feb-13 16:53:42

I won't have a word said against him grin. I agree that the acting takes precedence for the big screen, and I thought they were all pretty much faultless. I loved Enjolras too- I may look him up in Rent, which I've never seen.

Ellenohara Thu 14-Feb-13 17:41:54

I saw Hugh Jackman on Broadway when he was in 'Boy from Oz'. He completely carried a mediocre musical and made it brilliant. His voice and stage presence were fantastic (although he lost a lot of weight doing it so wasn't quite up to his usual standards looks wise). With some good timing and a lot of patience I also managed to speak to him after a later performance (hanging around the stage door like a complete groupie!). I can confirm that he is as lovely as he comes across on interviews - he was charming and friendly and made a real effort to speak to as many people as he could as well as signing loads of autographs.

He also touched my arm…

BOF Thu 14-Feb-13 20:55:44


chibi Thu 14-Feb-13 21:01:16

i have not read this thread but may i just say

how very dare you nothing compares to his uvula all a quiver when he is in full can belto mode - i shrank back in my seat in terrified delight whenever he unleashed the beast, as it were

a proper singer could not possibly have done that overboiled melodrama justice

TeamJavert Thu 14-Feb-13 21:19:44

I wasn't a HJ fan or RC fan when I went to see the film for the first time. I was very skeptical,and not very happy about the casting,but having seen it four times now I'm a complete convert,and think it really worked.

I love Philip Quast and Colm Wilkinson,yes I know he was in the film,but if singers of their calibre were cast in the main roles,they'd really have to tone things down because film is a much more intimate medium than stage.

When I heard some of the songs before seeing the film I wasn't at all impressed,HJ's excessive vibrato particuarly annoyed me,but four viewings in and my opinion has really changed. I loved him in the role,loved the emotion and conviction he brought to the role,and now I'm able to actively enjoy his singing.It wouldn't work on stage imho,though I know he's starred in musicals,but it really does work for the film.

The same applies to Russell Crowe and the rest of the cast. I loved Russell Crowe as Javert. I don't agree that his acting was poor.I love his expressions and body language in the film,which were perfect for his Javert.I loved him even more than HJ.

I loved almost all of the cast. The only blips for me were the Thenardiers.I'm still not convinced by them,though they had their moments,and I loathed MOTH. Also Eddie Redmayne annoyed me as Marius.He sings like a muppet,he really does,and he has some incredibly goofy expressions,much of the time when he's trying to look sad,with the exception of Empty Chairs,he looks half crazed.
Marius was a complete and utter goof in the book though so I guess it was appropriate casting.

TeamJavert Thu 14-Feb-13 21:22:36

The only minor thing about casting RC,and I'm being terribly picky here,is that Russell Crowe is shorter than Hugh Jackman,and Javert is supposed to be taller in the book,but then it is based on the musical and not the book.I still loved him though.

DowntonTrout Fri 15-Feb-13 09:55:07

I have to disagree with most on here. I loved HBCs characterisation, less so SBC, he actually made me feel uncomfortable, although maybe that was the point. I thought their almost pantomime characterisation added a comedy element in what is otherwise a dark and heart wrenching story. The juxtaposition of these two things only served to make them more sinister for me. Just my take on it.

I agree with everything else you have said TeamJavert particularly the Eddie R comments. You heard what I heard in his voice. It almost spoiled the film for me. Almost. There were a couple of moments when I suspected that he had had to re- record parts of the song and have it dubbed in after as the sound didn't quite match what his mouth was doing- but maybe that was his goofy expressions!

Hugh who?

NicknameTaken Fri 15-Feb-13 10:14:56

i shrank back in my seat in terrified delight whenever he unleashed the beast, as it were

Ah, chibi, I'm getting a very vivid mental picture of that....

AudrinaAdare Fri 15-Feb-13 10:19:32

Eddie Redmayne does have a Kermit-like quality to his voice.

I do like his little stutter in, "A Heart Full of Love" though, when the line, "I'm doing everything all wrong" is gibbered spoken rather than sung. Much better than Michael Ball. I can't imagine him being flustered by a beautiful woman.

BaresarkBunny Fri 15-Feb-13 11:14:54

I didn't like hbc or sbc at all. I don't understand why sbc sang Master of the House in a mixture of a dodgy french accent and cockney.

Eebahgum Fri 15-Feb-13 11:28:08

I was more baffled by the cockey accent of the boy playing gavroche, baresarkbunny. I thought he played the role fantastically, but his accent seemed very Oliver Twist to me. Can't remember whether he was played with a cockney accent in the stage show. Think maybe I need to watch it 3 more times then teamjavert - just to fully appreciate his vocal abilities.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Fri 15-Feb-13 11:37:44

Ah yabu! Don't diss Huge Ackman! shock He is so very beautiful and I thought he played it well. I definitely think his background from musical theatre served him well. I just watched that clip from Oklahoma! And my unborn DC starting kicking like mad smile

I did feel like some of the casting was more about names than singing ability. Amanda Seyfried was great in Mamma Mia but was really quite reedy at times. The Thenardiers weren't as good as they could have been, I especially agree with the comment about HBC in Master of the house. Needed more punch.

I thought it was quite apparent who were the performers with musical theatre background (e.g. Ponine - she did the 25th anniversary concert with Alfie Bo yes?) and those who were Hollywood names to pull in the audience.

But Russell was the weakest link! He's not a terrible singer but Javert is such a huge part and vocally challenging that I almost felt sorry for him (RC, not Javert!) because he just strained through the big songs. I too wanted to push him confused I did not think the crunch as he landed was necessary!

Overall, I enjoyed it. I will probably buy the DVD but if I'm listening to the soundtrack I'll stick to the 10th anniversary concert performance because to me, that's the ultimate cast smile

DowntonTrout Fri 15-Feb-13 11:41:08

YY to Gavroche being like something out of Oliver Twist. Exactly my thought.

Flobbadobs Fri 15-Feb-13 12:24:54

I've not seen the film and have only heard a little bit of Russel Crowe singing in One Day More. He released a single a few years ago with his band I think, his voice isn't that bad is it? Very gravelly and rather sexy if I remember rightly but a little quiet, can't really imagine being up to Phillip Quast standards in Stars...

HormonalHousewife Fri 15-Feb-13 12:29:37

Now those pictures have frightened me a bit Punkatheart

Is he... you know ???

I met him in early December when he was in London, we were in the same hotel and he was ever so nice, posed for photos and signatures as did amanda s. Was it the premiere then ? I think it was.

I think the Gavroche(s) I"ve seen on stage have been cockney for some reason confused I thing the one on the CD was too.

TeamJavert Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:01

I think cockney Gavroche is pretty common.It's not exclusive to him though.Les Mis only really works in French or British accents for me now,if it's the English language version. I've heard clips of casts with American accents and I found it odd.It just didn't seem right to me,not that an American accent is any less,or more legitimate in Les Mis than a British one,but that's probably just me.

TeamJavert Fri 15-Feb-13 16:38:10

That should say that I've heard the Thenardiers with cockney accents too on occasion.

I do agree that the Thenardiers were very sinister,Downton Trout.I just worry that some will think they're comic relief in the book too.They're even more evil there.They have grown on me a little since the first film,but .MOTH just makes me feel ill.

Flobba, Russell Crowe's stars definitely isn't on a par with PQ's but it's done in a very different style,much more quiet and prayer like. He's certainly not as vocally talented as PQ,but then who is?,but his version worked for the film in a way that it would never work on stage.

As much as I love PQ I keep picturing him in the film belting out Stars on the rooftops at midnight, and someone throwing a shoe at him.He'd definitely have to tone it down for the film if he'd been cast.

I've seen it in Sydney and New York - I don't recall the accents being a problem but can't remember if Gavroche was cockney in those performances!

DumSpiroSpero Fri 15-Feb-13 16:55:42

I loved Hugh Jackman, but I have done since seeing him in Oklahoma.

I thought singing-wise Russell Crowe was definitely the weakest link, and pretty one-dimensional with it. I haven't seen the stage show but you could do so much more with the character.

Wasn't hugely keen on Eddie Redmayne or Amanda Seyfried, but I think that wa because the characters they play are pretty drippy anyway.

Thought the Thernardiers were ok but again, no comparison.

Loved Sam Barks as Eponine and Aaron Tveit as Enroljas - though both performances were outstanding.

AudrinaAdare Fri 15-Feb-13 20:10:49

grin at a someone throwing a shoe at Javert.

And knocking him off the bridge.

lesmisfan Fri 15-Feb-13 22:55:35

I thought Sacha and Helena was quite poor, they really ruined it for me, a real shame.

cardibach Fri 15-Feb-13 23:26:46

I've seen the stage show in London and Manchester, and Gavroche had a regional accent to suit (ie Cockney in Londin, Mancunian in Manchester). The Thenardiers are usually cockney - I think it is to show the class difference between them and the richer characters. Just convention.

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