Ohhh, Look…Extended First Look At Les Misérables

I know many of us were prepared to accept that Lincoln would dominate come awards time, but we made an oversight: we didn’t let Tom Hooper speak his piece. And now he has. Today, Universal Pictures has released a four minute clip of behind the scenes footage from Hooper’s upcoming adaptation of legendary musical Les Misérables (via Regal Cinemas’ Youtube channel). Put simply, the production looks and sounds spectacular, but watch the clip below yourself and see what you think:

The foremost element of the clip is the heavy focus on the live singing, which makes sense. Eschewing prerecorded tracks in favor of letting the cast belt out their own numbers take after take is a pretty bold move, but every performer featured here– Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and more– seems to be pretty enthusiastic about it. If nothing else, the logic behind the approach is sound; having the actors and actresses sing live gives them the gifts of spontaneity and freedom, and in turn makes their performances feel more natural. I’m curious to see if it works as well in practice as it sounds in theory, especially since the kind of singing needed for a movie greatly differs from the kind of singing required for a stage show.

But aside from the emphasis placed on live singing, the clip also prominently shows off the film’s production design and overall aesthetics. We’ve seen some of the imagery here in the trailer released back in May, but this new clip does a much better job displaying the breadth of the film’s scope and scale. Les Misérables looks massive, sprawling, heartbreaking, sweeping, and epic; in other words, it’s everything that an adaptation of Les Misérables should be, but we’ll have to wait until December 25th to see if Hooper and his cast have nailed it.