Before Tom Hooper gave us Digital Fur Technology, he gave us extreme fisheye lens closeups of French folk. Les Misérables, the 2012 film adaptation of the international hit musical, is available to stream on Netflix in the U.S. beginning August 16.
Among the ensemble of actors singing the Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg score are Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Russell Crowe as Javert, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Samantha Barks as Éponine, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thénardiers.
The movie earned eight Oscar nominations in 2013 including Best Picture; it ended up with three wins, including one for Hathaway’s performance.
Director Hooper shot the feature with the actors singing their parts live (as opposed to lip syncing a pre-recorded track) in an effort to capture the performer’s spontaneity and authenticity. Actors wore ear pieces as a piano provided accompaniment off-stage, with full orchestrations added in post-production. Hooper implemented this same tactic a few years later with the movie adaptation of Cats.