Les Miserables – Anne Hathaway – I Dreamed A Dream

When I first saw her sitting in that dank, dark place with her hair shorn, in the shadow of the guillotine, with those notes and words surging up from a bottomless pit of fear, terror, lost hope, it hit my heart with the impact of a physical blow.

I’ve watched the trailer over and over of the newest adaptation of Les Miserables, to be released this December. If the movie lives up to the promise of the trailer, I can’t wait. I cannot get enough of seeing and hearing Anne Hathaway singing “I Dreamed A Dream”. I had to check out some sites to find out if she actually sang the song.

I’m a big Anne Hathaway fan because she’s played in so many of my favorite movies, but I’m not one of those diehards who is obsessed with knowing everything about an actor. My online research turned up, not only the fact that she sang the song, but that she sang it live, not lip-synced. All the songs were filmed live.

But what to my surprise, among the clutter that crops up in such searches, I found that fans of the classic musical of “Les Miserables” Twitter-blasted her, calling her singing, (and I quote), “weak”, “unsettling”, “scary”. (MSN). And what to my further surprise — I agreed with the adjectives. But for entirely different reasons.

Weak — she is abused, starved, terrorized – the singing reflects it. She is not only singing, she is channeling the character and her situation.

Unsettling — to say the least. Anyone who isn’t unsettled hasn’t lived in life’s trenches.

Scary — absolutely. Every fear known to man is wrapped up in it — fear of the dark, fear of the darkness, fear of the known and the unknown, fear of death, fear for those left behind. Scary? You think?

Continuing the research, we (Mike and I), checked out some of the classical singers. Beautiful? — Check. Perfect?– Check. The impact? — No.

I’ll give you another example. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Phantom of the Opera” and Gerard Butler. He took a lot of criticism because he wasn’t a life-long trained classical singer. I like him better — his voice rough rather than smooth — singing his pain, singing the darkness of his thoughts and soul; grabbing hold, like a drowning man, of the only light in the dungeon of his life, dragging her down. The voice brings it all to me. Chills me.

Les Miserables 2012, with its theme “I Dreamed A Dream” set in The Terror that was France, needed a voice to take us there. We got it.

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6 thoughts on “Les Miserables – Anne Hathaway – I Dreamed A Dream

  1. I completely agree with you about the trailer. Chilling. Ann actually has a beautiful voice. I’ve heard her sing in other films and in performance at the Academy Awards. This movie has a great cast, all actors I like a lot, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    I’ve saved tons of Les Mis on-set photos that were posted in the Eddie Redmayne Live Journal community. I’ve been a huge fan since seeing him in “The Pillars of the Earth.”

    I also agree with you about Gerard Butler’s “Phantom of the Opera.” I have the DVD and have watched it many times.

    • Thank you for your comment. I read “Pillars of the Earth”, which was one of the best and one of the worst books I’ve ever read, both at the same time. (See “Life and Art – Sometimes They Both Stink”). I haven’t seen the movie. Will check it out.

      Funny you should mention photos. Mike and I are plowing through trying to find stills to use for my movie reviews. There’s a conglomeration of sites out there and trying to muddle through them is vexing. At least Mike knows how to “share?” from other sites. I know how to do layout and design, but since my blog site is rather limited (or my brain is), I’m struggling. But, hey, it’s free.

      I also have the DVD of “Phantom of the Opera” and watched it so many times it has to be imprinted on the backs of my eyelids. It’s one of my granddaughter Montana’s favorite movies. She used to dance and swirl and pose during the beautiful opera scene with Christine in the white gown. That was when she still thought the title was “Fammy Dopper”. She was eleven this week and her pronunciations are spot on. Sigh.

    • Thanks for your comment, Pastor. It’s always good to get input from someone who not only has more knowledge of the Bible than anyone I’ve ever known, but also more movie trivia than anyone I’ve ever known. And movie trivia to those of us who are movie buffs is not trivial.

  2. How can ANYONE not agree with this review? I would add HAUNTING to the list of adjectives the author used. I’ve listened to this a dozen times and, even with my eyes closed, I hear and feel the pain, the fear, the loneliness, the hopelessness, and total despair that Ms. Hathaway projects with her voice alone. If she doesn’t end up with an Oscar for this, well, I’ll be one majorly disappointed fan.

    • Haunting. Yes. The perfect adjective for Anne Hathaway’s wonderful rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream”. Thank you for your comment, and I agree with the hope for an Oscar for her just from watching the trailer. It is so powerful.

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