Yes, Anne Hathaway's Fantine Is Really as Good as Everybody Says It Is


You're the film critic now? Lol. i'll look forward to your upcoming ballet and opera reviews as well.
@1 We all get to review a film from time to time. I'm particularly proud of my review of The Lorax.
I used to think Hathaway was overrated, but I've changed my mind in the last 12 months. Anyway, here's her in a bit with Samuel L. Jackson.…
Nope, you're wrong. I saw it too....and the way Fantine was introduced and suddenly ON was WAY too abrupt...It made no sense...she sure was overwrought (and over acting) but it made no sense -- it was just this odd bit thrust at you...I don't think I've ever been so bored at the opening of movie... SOMETIMES characters have to be introduced so the audience has a clue as to what they are up to.... I hadn't seen Les Miz before and was just lost...and Russel Crowe's wierd singing voice didn't help!
One of my darkest secrets is that I know every word to every song in Les Miz. I can't see it in the theatre due to the chance I will start blubbering like a moron and reveal my secret shame to the world.
Holy shit, thanks for linking to that review of your show! Having merited a review by the late Mel Gussow is an awesome accomplishment, no matter what.
@5 Now, that is a fan!
I give this review Three Mudedes, on a scale of zero-to-five Mudedes.
@5 Well, if you have an HD TV and a decent sound system, then wait for the DVD and rent that. Three quarters of the movie is closeups of giant heads singing, so it should play well on a home theater setup.
@6, Well, no disrespect to Gussow, but Frank Rich was the NY Times' main theater reviewer at the time, and I've always regretted that if I was going to get a bad review, that it wasn't from the master.

That said, we did get a nasty review from Clive Barnes, who by that time was writing for the Post (or the Daily News... I can't remember.)

Was the Vicki Lewis in your show the same Vicki Lewis who was later on NewsRadio and in that discombobulating Kurt Vonnegut adaptation?
@11 Yeah, same Vicki Lewis. Very funny actress and a very funny person. Also, has a great singing voice.
@10, I don't think by '91 Rich was bothering with off- or off-off-Broadway much. And Gussow had the sharpest eye around for new talent, so if it's any comfort you did get the benefit of the best major reviewer available.
@13 Yeah, Gussow was who we thought we'd draw. Rich was mostly just Broadway by then. But if you're going to be savaged, it would have been nice to have been savaged by one of the best.

That said, I don't think Gussow's review was unfair. Ours was a show that was much better in workshops than it was when it opened. It simply got overworked.
Wow, @12. New York Theatre is a strange parallel universe.

I've long wondered: how did you ever wind up in Seattle, anyway?
I'm intrigued.
@15 Love. That's how I ended up in Seattle. I met my future ex-wife in NYC, and she was a Seattle native. When we were ready to get married and leave NYC, she dragged me out to Seattle.
I really don't know Les Mis so I thought "Anne Hathaway's Fantine" referred to a zine about Hathaway put out by fans. Hence I was completely confused through this whole review. So does Fantine have a Fanzine? Also, should I have another glass of wine?
So is someone paying for your tickets? You saw a show twice on Broadway and once IN LONDON that you "don't love?"

or was it something, "Well, Skippy and Muzzie wanted to go and everyone else was bored with the Hamptons, so we thought we'd take a flyer..."
I thought "Fantine" was some sort of dirty slang. I mean, I like her Fantine too, if you know what I mean. (I know you know what I mean)
@19 I don't remember the particulars, but I doubt I personally paid full price for any of the tickets. When in London I always picked up discounted tickets at the half-price booth, or at the box office just before show time. In NY, it was either half-price or a family visiting from out of town or both.

I probably saw the London show of my own accord, and then saw it in NYC with family.
Hey Goldy - just want to say I really appreciate the unbridled, unironic appreciation of a popular artist in a big populist undertaking. It is way easier to tear such a performance down than promote it, and I admire the willingness to admire the art, even if it is popular. So non-hipster of you. Very old school Seattle, even for a transplant. Made me interested in the movie - cheers.
I thought that too, @18.
Yes, she was extraordinary. The way she was filmed was relentless - a tight closeup of her filthy, bloody face - and still she held the audience captive for the full length of the song. The grief in her voice and her eyes was heartbreaking as she sang a difficult song utterly believably. There was no divide at all between the technique and the emotion. That performance was high art - and something that could only be done on film.
Singing in a musical is different from acting. It's as different as silent-movie acting is from talkie acting, in that an exaggeration of emotion and gesture is not only accepted, it's required.

Anne Hathaway's overacting is legendary. Her White Queen in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" is a slow-motion car wreck of exaggerated gestures, facial expressions, and inflection. I'd hate for her to be rewarded with an Oscar for the very flaw that should keep her 10,000 light years away from one.

It's like when Jerry Lewis was nominated for King of Comedy for portraying a narcissistic asshole. Yeah, that was a stretch. Whoever cast him is the one who should have been nominated.
Ah, yes, Goldy @17.

That sounds familiar to this Jew from Massachusetts. How many times over the years have you told everyone you know here that you're giving up and going back?

Unfortunate tangent: Wikipedia-ing Vicki Lewis in search of her theatrical resume taught me that she was married to Nick Nolte for a decade. Not sure I needed to know that.

And Alice Dreger @18:

This thread is thriving on corollaries and digressions. So please, drink to your heart's content!
Fuck all the cynics and poseurs. I'm a middle aged bald techno nerd who isn't in to musicals, and Les Miz blew me away. Never read the book or saw the play, never heard any of this cast sing before. And I thought the performances were fucking fearless and comitted and amazing.
@25: The problem with Hathaway is that she has a limited range. But when she is in her range, she can be amazing. Her best performance was in Rachel Getting Married for which she played a drug addict and completely nailed it. I can't think of anyone who could have done it better. I'll have to see Les Miz. to see if she is as good as everyone is saying, but honestly, I wouldn't be surprised.
27, to paraphrase Pauline Kael's review of West Side Story, my heart always sinks when someone says, "I don't usually like musicals but...." It's not the ringing endorsement you folks seem to think it is.