Thursday, January 5, 2012

Les Mis-Where's Kanye When You Need Him

Well its time for me to rant about something very petty and unimportant. I thought my biggest problem I would have with the new Les Miserables movie that is coming out this year was that Anne Hathaway was going to be in it. I am not an Anne Hathaway fan as some of you may know, but I don't hate her. I've come to peace with her playing Fantine and have moved on. She might do a decent job. She does have a sort of pleasant voice in the right range. Fantine is an alto so she might be able to pull it off.
So just a recap here are the roles that have been cast.

Then this week. They announced that Amanda Seyfried will be playing Cosette. I actually like Amanda depending on the character she's playing. She has a pretty good voice. I thought she did well playing Sophie in Mama Mia. Cosette is a challenging soprano part.  Amanda might be able to pull it off if she works hard.
It was also announced that Taylor Swift will be cast as Eponine. What!?  The Post reported that Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele and Evan Rachel Wood were all auditioning for the role as the daughter of the Mr. and Mrs. Thernardier. And yet Taylor Swift won out and beat them all.  I am so excited about most of the cast but But TAYLOR SWIFT?!? I can't even. At no point during the musical does Eponine have to stand there with her mouth open pretending to be surprised. Except maybe when she is shot. I just cannot understand how they possibly chose her for the cast.

First of all, this show requires extremely gifted actors. It's a musical, but it's an emotion drama too, and director Tom Hopper certainly knows that by the pedigree of the rest of the cast he's picked out: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Sasha Baron Cohen, Anne hathaway, and just announed Amanda Seyfried, who will be playing the role of Cosette. Not all of these people are Oscar winners, but they're all fairly respected actors who have previously done impressive work in their field. Taylor Swift had a small cameo role in Valentine's Day. Now let me be clear. I am not a Taylor Swift hater.  I am actually quite a fan. But I just have to wonder if she really wowed the director and whoever else was at the audition, or if this is a ploy to make even more money. Swift doesn’t necessarily bring the proven acting chops to the table of, say, Crowe or Bonham Carter. What she does bring is a massive, highly committed fan base. But will it pay off?

Secondly, much of the singing will be filmed live on set. Yes, Swift is obviously a singer-one of the most successful singers the music industry has right now-but being able to sing country-pop songs you've written specifically for your voice is a lot different than being able to pull off beloved Broadway standards that require extreme belting. Taylor Swift is a very talented song writer and performer. But she has an okay voice with a limited range. Case in point-

Besides the vocal range and underdeveloped acting the other big problem is that the character just dones' fit her or anything close to the roles Taylor should be playing. Eponine's type is something a little bit closer to an ethnicity of some sort and she is a girl who has had serious issues that need to be dealt with in a very real, true, way. . She is NOT a blonde white happy-go-lucky country girl. just look at the women who have played her on Broadway.  It’s a type that Taylor, even though I am a Huge fan of hers, just does not fit.
I really hope she works hard and proves me wrong and just blows my mind. Who knows she might just have it in her to pull it off.
Now that you’ve listened to Taylor try to sing a Broadway song, I thought I’d post Lea Michele singing Tonight, the way it was supposed to sound, and On My Own from Les Miserables. I can’t believe they passed her over. If she is not cast in the movie version of Wicked I might just have to give up going to the movies.  Gasp!

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