Song of the Day: Stars from Les Miserables (Alain Boubil & Claude-Michel Schönberg)


Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the stage musical Les Misérables is now out in the theaters and people seem to really be enjoying the production. Even site co-founder Lisa Marie wrote a review of the film which she really enjoyed despite it’s flaws. Even those who love the film version will have to admit that some of the actors cast in the film were not up to the task vocally once it was time for them to sing their signature songs. One such person who seem to have gotten the brunt of this would be Russell Crowe in the role of Inspector Javert. To say his rendition of Javert’s first major song as being somewhat lacking would be an understatement. This is why I chose what I think is the best rendition of the song “Stars” as the latest Song of the Day.

This version was from the Original Broadway Cast production and had singer and actor Terrence Mann in the role of the dogged and zealous inspector. This was the very first version I ever heard and was fortunate enough to see live and continues to be my favorite version. Mann’s baritone voice is not so deep and overwhelming that we lose much of the emotions in the song as they’re sung. There’s still a strong sense of duty and zealous tone in Mann’s voice but also a hint of the character’s religious conviction by way of awe for having been given the opportunity to chase down one who has sinned.

While some prefer Phillip Quast from the London production of the musical I will always believe that Mann’s version of “Stars” is the best version out there.

 

Stars

There, out in the darkness
A fugitive running
Fallen from Grace
Fallen from grace
God be my witness
I never shall yield
Till we come face to face
Till we come face to face

He knows his way in the dark
But mine is the way of the Lord
And those who follow the path of the righteous
Shall have their reward
And if they fall
As Lucifer fell
The flame
The sword!

Stars
In your multitudes
Scarce to be counted
Filling the darkness
With order and light
You are the sentinels
Silent and sure
Keeping watch in the night
Keeping watch in the night

You know your place in the sky
You hold your course and your aim
And each in your season
Returns and returns
And is always the same
And if you fall as Lucifer fell
You fall in vain!

And so it must be
And so it is written
On the doorway to paradise
That those who falter and those who fall
Must pay the price!

Lord let me find him
That I may see him
Safe behind bars
I will never rest
Till then, this I swear
This I swear by the stars!

I Got Your Golden Globes Right Here…


We’re halfway through Oscar season and that means that it’s time for the Golden Globes to weigh in.  To be honest, I think the Golden Globes are somewhat overrated as an Oscar precursor.  For the most part, the Golden Globes usually honors the films that are on everyone’s radar and then they come up with one or two nominations that nobody was expecting.  However, those surprise nominations rarely seem to translate into anything once it comes to time to announce the Oscar nominations.

So, while Salmon Fishing In The Yemen did receive a few surprise nominations (and those nominations were deserved, by the way), I doubt that we’ll see the movie mentioned on January 10th when the Oscar nominations are announced.

From the reaction that I’ve seen on the usual awards sites,  a lot of the usual suspects are upset that Beasts of the Southern Wild was completely snubbed.  Actually, they’re not just upset.  They’re about as outraged about this as they were when The Social Network lost best picture to King’s Speech.  The way they’re carrying on, you would think that someone had just informed them that David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a thoroughly unneccessary rehash of an already brilliant film.  Seriously, the facade of Stone has fallen and tears are being shed.

Myself, I’m more annoyed that neither The Cabin In The Woods nor Anna Karenina are getting the love that they deserve.

Anyway, with all that in mind, here are the Golden Globe nominations!

BEST DRAMA
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL PICTURE
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Les Miserables”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook,”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Ewan McGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Judi Dench, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs”

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”

BEST DIRECTOR
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Lincoln”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“Anna Karenina”
“Life of Pi”
“Argo”
“Lincoln”
“Cloud Atlas”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“For You” from “Act of Valor”
Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban

“Not Running Anymore” from “Stand Up Guys”
Music by: Jon Bon Jovi Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi

“Safe and Sound” from “The Hunger Games”
Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett

“Skyfall” form “Skyfall”
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth

“Suddenly” from “Les Miserables”
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg

BEST ANIMATED FILM 
“Brave”
“Frankenweenie”
“Wreck-it Ralph”
“Rise of the Guardians”
“Hotel Transylvania”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“The Intouchables”
“Amour”
“A Royal Affair”
“Rust and Bone”
“Kon-Tiki”

Trailer: Les Misérables (International)


With all my attention on horror-theme last October I had forgotten that the latest trailer for this holiday season’ upcoming feature-length film adaptation of the musical Les Misérables has already come out.

The film will be directed by Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper (fresh off his win for The King’s Speech) he leads a star-studded ensemble cast in putting on the big screen the much-beloved musical that dominated the 80’s and most of the 90’s. I don’t know any kid growing up during that decade who didn’t get dragged to see the musical in the big cities it entrenched itself in. Instead of hating the experience most kids ended up loving the musical. I know that I was one such highschooler who ended up loving it and musicals in general.

This international trailer shows more of the story compared to the teaser which arrived 5 months earlier. We get to see snippets of Crowe singing as Javert and Seyfried as Cosette. Whilethe West End and Broadway productions have come to an end or at the very least not as popular as they used to be) hopefully this film adaptation will introduce this classic to a new generation of kids. Show them that there’s more to music than the pop hits that dominates the radio waves and internet radio sites.

Les Misérables is set for a December 25, 2012 release date.

Image Source: JWoodhams Deviantart

Trailer: Les Misérables (Teaser)


The moment I saw the news feed that one of my most anticipated films of 2012 finally has an official teaser trailer out I knew that my expectations would only grow with each viewing.

Tom Hooper doesn’t go for small in following up his Academy Award-winning directing work in The King’s Speech by adapting the hugely popular and beloved stage musical Les Misérables which in itself was adapted from the classic Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The cast stars Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in the roles of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert. Anne Hathaway comes away with the role of the tragic Fantine with Amanda Seyfried taking on the role of Fantine’s grown-up daughter Cosette. In what could be a star-making turn, Samantha Barks gets the coveted role of Eponine which was the same role she played as part of the musical’s 25th Anniversary Concert.

Details about this film musical has been scarce, but it’s already been reported that every actor in the cast does their own singing and done so live in front of the camera. This stylistic choice may keep some of the songs from reaching epic levels, but should do well in better conveying the emotional impact for some of the more personal character songs in the musical. In fact, the song that Anne Hathaway sings in the trailer, “I Dreamed A Dream”, is one of those character songs that seem to sound much better with it being less is more style.

Les Misérables is set for a December 14, 2012 release date.

Song of the Day: One Day More (by Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil)


This coming December 2012 will see another stage musical make it onto the big screen. It was in 2004 that Joel Schumacher first brought The Phantom of the Opera to the big-screen as a musical. For 2012, it will be Academy Award-winner Tom Hooper who will be bringing the musical Les Misérables to the big-screen with a star-studded cast that includes Hugh Jackman in the role of Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his arch-nemesis Inspector Javert. It’s also from this musical that I chose the latest “Song of the Day” with the ensemble piece that ends Act 1: “One Day More”.

It was Les Misérables the musical that first introduced me to the world of musicals. Prior to having seen the touring production which stopped over in San Francisco during the late 80’s and early 90’s I always thought of musicals as just not my thing even though I never truly witnessed one. All that changed when I saw Les Misérables and I have been hooked since.

One of my favorite songs from the musical was the ensemble piece that ends Act 1 and brings together all the players introduced in the first act. It wasn’t just the whole cast singing but how they sang as each character were given voice and as the song reaches an epic crescendo to curtains closing everyone joins in a rousing chorus with overlapping lyrics from different main players that at first sounded confusing to follow, but was still understandable.

Most musical nowadays rarely go for such grand closing before intermissions. Listening to “One Day More” shows me that its a lost art but when done well it comes off as amazing.

One Day More

VALJEAN
One day more!
Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending road to Calvary;
These men who seem to know my crime
Will surely come a second time.
One day more!

MARIUS
I did not live until today.
How can I live when we are parted?

VALJEAN
One day more.

MARIUS & COSETTE
Tomorrow you’ll be worlds away
And yet with you, my world has started!

EPONINE
One more day all on my own.

MARIUS & COSETTE
Will we ever meet again?

EPONINE
One more day with him not caring.

MARIUS & COSETTE
I was born to be with you.

EPONINE
What a life I might have known.

MARIUS & COSETTE
And I swear I will be true!

EPONINE
But he never saw me there!

ENJOLRAS
One more day before the storm!

MARIUS
Do I follow where she goes?

ENJOLRAS
At the barricades of freedom.

MARIUS
Shall I join my brothers there?

ENJOLRAS
When our ranks begin to form

MARIUS
Do I stay; and do I dare?

ENJOLRAS
Will you take your place with me?

ALL
The time is now, the day is here!

VALJEAN
One day more!

JAVERT
One more day to revolution,
We will nip it in the bud!
We’ll be ready for these schoolboys
They will wet themselves with blood!

VALJEAN
One day more!

M. & MME. THENARDIER
Watch ’em run amuck,
Catch ’em as they fall,
Never know your luck
When there’s a free for all,
Here a little `dip’
There a little `touch’
Most of them are goners
So they won’t miss much!

Students (2 Groups)
1: One day to a new beginning

2: Raise the flag of freedom high!

1: Every man will be a king

2: Every man will be a king

1: There’s a new world for the winning

2: There’s a new world to be won

ALL
Do you hear the people sing?

MARIUS
My place is here, I fight with you!

VALJEAN
One day more!

MARIUS & COSETTE
I did not live until today.

EPONINE
One more day all on my own!

MARIUS & COSETTE
How can I live when we are parted?

JAVERT(overlapping)
I will join these people’s heros
I will follow where they go
I will learn their little Secrets,
I will know the things they know.

VALJEAN
One day more!

MARIUS & COSETTE
Tomorrow you’ll be worlds away

EPONINE
What a life I might have known!

MARIUS & COSETTE
And yet with you my world has started

JAVERT (overlapping)
One more day to revolution
We will nip it in the bud
We’ll be ready for these

Schoolboys

THENARDIERS (overlapping)
Watch ’em run amok
Catch ’em as they fall
Never know your luck
When there’s a free-for-all!

VALJEAN
Tomorrow we’ll be far away,
Tomorrow is the judgement day

ALL
Tomorrow we’ll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!