Thursday, December 27, 2012
Zamboni Break: Anne Hathaway as Fantine
If you were one of the 18 million broadway bumpkins who went to see Les Miserables on Christmas, the most talked about performance (besides Russell Crowe's rather mushy vocal cords) is Anne Hathaway's exposed version of "I Dreamed a Dream" (thank our heavens Susan Boyle wasn't hired for the movie).
So friends, what do you say? Fess up if you cried. It's alright -- just tell us if you are the type that sobs during Kwan's East of Eden and we will put you in a respective category. Tears or not, there has been some criticism as to the direction Tom Hooper went with much of the film. Most notably on IDAD, he shoves a close-up on Hathaway's face and entirely tones down the dramatics of the vocal power ballad by instead creating a horrific picture of a prostitute at her very wits end.
While the mainstream media is typecasting Hathaway's performance as a sure Oscar bet, many theater aficionados chocked during her gritty interpretation. There is no doubt that she pulled all of herself into the role of Fantine -- performing the song in one take, she had lost 25 pounds prior to the filming. Making a beautiful woman look ugly was quite the task as she appears almost unrecognizable with the hardened and cracked lines on her face.
For those of us who know and love the broadway musical we are used to Fantine belting the gut-wrenching song out of her chest like an air compressor. Catwoman is not that kind of belter. While her singing is not extraordinary, one must consider her level of acting in the midst of her vocals. There is no denying her dramatic portrayal of Fantine as a cinematic spectacle.
So children -- what did you all think? Oscar worthy or a mis-directed approach to a famous song? Either way we will have to endure Susan Boyle singing the song over and over again.