Les Misérables Trailer Leak Reveals Anne Hathaway Singing

Anne Hathaway Les Miserables trailerA trailer for Tom Hooper's upcoming Les Misérables film leaked onto the interwebs today, revealing looks at Hugh Jackman in action in the musical adaptation. But nevermind the handsome, jaunty period stylings of 19th century France in turmoil as envisioned by Hooper; get an earful of Anne Hathaway's warbly voice singing a tearful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream"... and sound off on her Fantine. Are you excited or worried, theater nerds?

To be completely fair, this is the worst-quality video you could imagine for a trailer, which appears to have been filmed off of a computer. Even so, the footage looks great to me — sweeping shots, dynamic camera moves, Jackman's Jean Valjean disappearing into the shadows. What's most concerning is also the most important element of the film: The singing.

According to reports from CinemaCon (where similar footage from the film was screened, including portions of Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" number), Hooper's plan was to film most of the musical numbers with his cast singing live, which might explain why Hathaway's voice sounds a bit unpolished. Or maybe that was intentional. Or maybe it's just me.

[UPDATE 5/30/12: After the trailer leak was removed at the studio's request, the official version was made available today.]

Perez Hilton first posted the video today, along with fawning words for Hathaway's performance: "If we had any doubts about this, they are GONE now!!!" Over at The Atlantic Wire, Richard Lawson called it "unsettling," a reaction more in line with my own.

My theater nerd pal (and Popular Mechanics editor) Erin McCarthy immediately sent over this video of stage goddess Lea Salonga singing the same number with a much stronger, yet still deeply emotional voice, but perhaps the comparison — or any comparisons, as the entire film's cast is bound to suffer scrutiny — is unfair. Hathaway is a strong singer in her own right (see: The Oscars) but she's probably deep in character as the desperate Fantine and her vocal interpretation may reflect that. Was it wise to film the largely sung-through story with live singing? That's the biggest question so far as we await better looks at Hooper's Les Mis, due in theaters December 14.

[Perez Hilton, Atlantic Wire]


  • Really jerky film work. No really, like jerky from 7-11. Do you think that's Anne Hathaway
    singing, or the ghost of Marni Nixon? At least for "I Dreamed a Dream" it's not Susan Boyle, who's twice as big a star as Hathaway. Would this production make Hugh Jackman angry enough to have the blades pop out of his hands? Les Wolverine--Jen, I'd pay to see that

  • Natalie says:

    Why is anyone commenting on her voice off of a 30 second camera phone taped off a COMPUTER SCREEN video? Whether or not they sung it live for filming obviously they're going to record it in the studio, perhaps he wanted the full emotion and them not to look like they're faking a la lip synching.

    People should wait for the real trailer, or get this the actually MOVIE before judging.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Sounds like she's doing lots of emoting, which doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't have the vocal chops, but it does beg the question: why use this song for the first trailer? Why use this part of that song? Say what you want about Susan Boyle but Fantine isn't the lead, and Hathaway isn't the biggest name star in the cast. The score has one of the most rousing, pump-your-blood-even-if-you're-dead songs in "One Day More." Why not use that? Odd choice I think.

  • Hathaway can do no wrong. Psyched and listening to the Broadway soundtrack right now. When does this come out?

  • Release Date: 14 December 2012 (USA)

    • Jen Yamato says:

      You answered your own question!

      • Morgan says:

        Yeah I'm going to wait for the actual trailer to make a judgement call on the singing, but as a long time fan of the musical/movie/book/etc...I am impressed with the acting, shots, even cast. it looks like its all coming together and I can't wait till Dec!

  • Kay says:

    This isn't a true trailer, it's a series of clips put together for the CinemaCon conference of theater owners a few weeks ago. It was never meant to be shown to the general public. This also isn't the entire piece, there's about half a minute of footage missing showing Valjean as a convict, Cosette walking through the woods to the well, Fantine being fired, etc.

    One Day More hasn't been completely filmed yet which is one reason they didn't use it. That might be used for a real trailer, I'm guessing.

  • Alex says:

    I think she has a strong voice, but the fact is that the director is making them sing live on set to make everything seem more real. But that means that there is no score they are singing to whilst recording, and therefor of course she is going to sing softer and quieter. There isn't a whole sweeping string section she needs to tower over. So what would an actor do when her character is broken down and feeling hopeless? She isn't going to be singing directly to an audience, she has to be singing to herself. Singing quietly just makes sense for the story! Any other way just seems over the top, bombastic, and ridiculous. Remember, they are telling a story first, and performing songs second.

    • sweetbiscuit says:

      There's no way the director is making them sing live without any guide track. And even if he is, are you saying the other, more rousing songs will also be sung more softly and quietly, because there is no string section to sing over?

      • Alex says:

        Of course I'm not saying other songs will be sung softer too, but there is a chance for them to be interpreted that way. And when it comes to how Tom Hooper is making them sing, have you seen the footage shot of them shooting the final "do you hear the people sing"? Because it seems they have a 4-count click track to count them in... then they're on their own.

  • Jamie says:

    Her singing sounds fantastic. It's raw and real to the part. I am a big Musical Theatre fan and an avid Les Mis lover, but I'd much prefer to hear Fantine sing "I Dreamed a Dream" this way than sing it beautifully with no emotion. This has so much pain and desperation in it. Absolutely fantastic.

  • Christian says:

    I think the change of approach to this song comes from the fact that the song is positioned slightly different here in the film. Usually Fantine sings this just after being fired, the song now transitions through to her selling her hair (which usually happens in the following scene). So instead of "angry Fantine" we are getting "broken Fantine". The original French production had her sing it post-haircut too and I think it works better.

  • Anne hathaway says:

    Anne hathawayyyyyyyyyy

  • Myra says:

    She's crying you boob! They are singing live so that the real emotions of the scene can be played as it happens! THIS IS NOT A TRAILER PEOPLE!!! Grow up and get a grip. Anyone who uses this poor quality snippet to base their opinion of a movie is too ignorant to appreciate quality work.

  • Luke says:

    I love it. It's so intimate and emotional. It's actually a film instead of a lipsynch extravaganza like all the other cheesy musicals.

  • mememe says:

    Les Mis is the most overrated play and this movie is going to suck big time! If you think Hathaway is awful, wait till you hear Crowe.

  • Nikki L says:

    I think doing the singing live is FANTASTIC!!...but my only dread is Anne Hathaway being cast as Fantine, I think the rest can pull it off just fine. I did not think she had strong or good vocals when she sang at the Oscars. Also, being so familiar, myself, with the musical and knowing how much Lea Salonga kicks a** at it, I real wish they had made a better choice casting Fantine.
    Buuut, maybe I am just extra critical because I have a vocal performance degree and have done musicals my whole life, I'm sure the majority of the population won't even know that there are far better people out there.

    *note: I like Anne Hathaway in a lot of movies and have absolutely nothing against her, I just don't think she is the right fit (vocally..and in general) for this character.
    If they wanted someone who could act AND sing and couldn't find the right person in Hollywood for the part, maybe they should have looked to the musical theatre/stage world for someone for the role.

    • Myra says:

      Just another opinion but I think Lea was much better as Eponine than as Fantine. Ruthie Henshall was very good as Fantine. As for Anne getting the part, performers from all over the world auditioned for these parts. I'm sure the director, producers and others who saw these auditions knew what they were looking for. I think they were looking for people who could give incredible dramatic performances while singing live, not someone who could belt out a tune to the balcony. If you watch the official trailer that came out today you will see that Anne accomplished that in a big way.

    • Niki says:

      I am also a vocal performance major, and I think she's doing a phenomenal job. Please don't use the degree as credibility, because it gives you none, and don't be a snob. Comments like, "I'm sure the majority of the population won't even know that there are far better people out there," just make the entire theatre community look bad.

  • Niki says:

    I'm actually really happy with Anne's performance. While not technically perfect, it's definitely three dimensional and emotive, and she's made an interesting character choice with her portrayal. She's definitely taking a risk, and I think it'll pay off, when we see the whole film. I'm super psyched!

  • Lisa Thom says:

    Love it and can't wait. I have never heard more musical emotion than that of Les Mis. Heard Colm Wilkinson and Alfie Boe live but think it will b very absorbing to feel part of it all as a movie. All those who doubted prepare to b blown away. Trailer is perfect.

  • Colleen says:

    I've seen the play 3 times and loved it! I've seen this trailer twice now and both times I was brought to tears! Is Anne Hathaway's singing warbly? Yes, but the song is a very emotional song and she's acting at the same time---parlaying that emotion! I think recording the songs live was a great idea---you hear them live in the theatre, why not on film? I'm looking forward to seeing this movie---I think it has great potential to be an epic!

  • Sara says:

    I was excited about this movie until I saw the trailer. This song is supposed to be big and strong, annes performance is none of them and isn't even good. It's over acted and barely sung. My opinion they got a big name cast to sell the movie, but the cost of that was medioker singing. I believe Samantha barks and Carter are the two best people for their roles yet I find everyone else got it because of their big names. That and I hate how the movie (or at least the trailer makes it look this way) makes fantine look like such an enormous part. So I think I may go see it, but I don't expect too much. Overall my idea of Hathaway as fantine, not going to be good

  • Emcee says:

    I'm so excited when I learned they're doing this as a movie musical. I guess Anne's as Fantine was a good choice. Fantine's was so devastated with the life she went through and Anne was able to show (even in the trailer only) this on screen while singing the saddest song ever. This is the best Broadway Play I watched. So stoked about this..can't wait for Dec. to come.

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