‘Les Misérables’ International Trailer: Do You Hear the People Sing?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 10th, 2012 at 11:46 am,

Previous trailers for the Les Misérables musical – from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) – featured Anne Hathaway’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” but kept a lid on the rest of the cast’s singing performances (which were recorded live during filming).

The new international trailer for Les Miz also showcases the vocal capabilities of stars like Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, and Samantha Barks (covering songs such as “A Heart Full of Love,” “One Day More,” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?”). Moreover, we at last get footage of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (with a customary crazy hairdo) bringing the loathsome Thénardiers to life on the big screen.

For novices, the film (based on the award-winning Broadway musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel) tells the tale of unjustly-imprisoned Jean Valjean (Jackman), who seeks redemption once he is released. However, his decision to break parole incites the wrath of Inspector Javert (Crowe), an obsessive policeman determined to bring Valjean ‘to justice’ no matter what. Hathaway plays a struggling factory worker named Fantine, whose daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen as a child, Seyfried as an adult) eventually comes under the care of Valjean – having previously been forced to work as a servant by the Thénardiers, who were entrusted to care for her by Fantine and treat her like their own daughter Éponine (Barks).

les miserables international trailer Les Misérables International Trailer: Do You Hear the People Sing?

Isabelle Allen as Young Cosette

Les Misérables certainly looks strikingly different than most of the other Broadway musical-turned films released in recent years, thanks to some picturesque visuals and unusual camera angles conjured up by director of photography Danny Cohen (who received an Oscar nod for his similar work on King’s Speech). The singing is raw and unrefined, but that absence of pitch-perfection seems in keeping with the overall gritty design of the film – not just in terms of cinematography, but also the costume and production design by Paco Delgado (The Skin I Live In) and Eve Stewart (another King’s Speech alum), respectively.

However, Hooper’s approach might divide the Les Miz fan base between those who approve of his attempt to give the show real cinematic flavor – while preserving the emotional impact of the music – and those who would’ve preferred there to be more emphasis on making the songs percussive and booming (like an excellent recorded version of the stage show). Of course, we will have to wait for the actual film to see if that’s indeed the case.


Look for Les Misérables in theaters on Christmas Day.

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  1. Jesus this movie looks good.

  2. Can’t wait for this!! Looks epic and heart wrenching, Crowe, Jackman and Hathaway, sold!

  3. Yeah, absolutely going to be the movie to watch at Christmas, looks and sounds amazing.

  4. This looks like it will be fantastic. As a fan of both the novel and the musical, I cannot wait to see the film.

  5. I hear the people sing. I hear the distant drums.
    Somewhere beyond there is a world I long to see.
    For every dream that cannot be may tomorrow come.


    Do you hear the people sing
    lost in the valley of the night?
    It is the music of a people
    who are climbing to the light.

    For the wretched of the earth
    there is a flame that never dies.
    Even the darkest night will end
    and the sun will rise.

    They will live again in freedom
    in the garden of the Lord.
    They will walk behind the ploughshare;
    they will put away the sword.
    The chain will be broken
    and all men will have their reward.

    Will you join in our crusade?
    Who will be strong and stand with me?
    Somewhere beyond the barricade
    is there a world you long to see?

    Do you hear the people sing?
    Say, do you hear the distant drums?
    It is the future that they bring
    when tomorrow comes!

  6. I’m not torn. I loved the stage production’s music and I’m pretty sure I will love this. It pains me when I try to see the stage version plopped onto the screen. The screen gets depth you cannot get on the stage and vice versa.

    • That’s how I usually feel too, but I’ve heard back from enough musical fans who disagree that I figured it’s worth addressing.

      • For what it’s worth I’ve seen Les Misérables
        on stage four times and I endorse this
        approach for Les Misérables on film.

        A stage version cannot be put on film
        anymore than put a film version on stage.
        If tried the film is compromised of its strengths.

        You are right, of course Sandy, such critics abound
        and are at the ready to fire their muskets at the
        artistic choice made here upon the release.

        Since the choice is true to the art form it is the
        right choice and Les Misérables the film should be judged
        as a film with music rather than a filming of Les Mis the musical.

  7. Wonderful book, and the movie looks gorgeous. Apart from the singing, of course.

    The singing just feels frankly both incongruous and ridiculous. There was no singing in the book, so why put singing in the movie just because there was a musical play?

    I just can’t take a singing Russell Crowe seriously, sorry.

    • Well, this is based directly on the stage musical (as opposed to the original novel), so I’m not sure what to tell you…

      • I know it’s based on the musical. My point is, why? I think it’s a waste of such a talented cast, and such apparently high production standards to make a movie in which everybody breaks into song every five minutes.

        I haven’t seen the musical (though I’ve heard and love ‘I dreamed a dream’)but in a stage musical, the plot is basically an excuse to string the songs together. A movie is very different. There really hasn’t been a good musical since the glory days of Rogers and Hammerstein, and I doubt this will be one of them.

        With this cast, they should have just based it on the book.

        • Etrigan, there have been a few non-musical versions of Les Miserables made already. Geoffrey Rush and Liam Neeson put one out in the 90′s…go watch that. For me, I’m going to see it but hearing Jackman sing so far is not blowing my skirt up. Valjean needs a powerful voice, but of course, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt since Cameron Mackintosh produced this…and it is his musical.

          If you watch the 25th Anniversary Concert, Alfie Boe (who is coming to Broadway to reprise his Valjean role next year) will bring tears to your face as his voice and delivery is incredible.

          • “hearing Jackman sing so far is not blowing my skirt up.”

            “Alfie Boe (who is coming to Broadway to reprise his Valjean role next year) will bring tears to your face as his voice and delivery is incredible.”

            That is exactly my point. If you go to Broadway, you’ll see professional singers who are trying to act. In this movie, you are seeing professional actors who are trying to sing. Leave the musicals on Broadway. They just don’t transfer well to screen.

            I’m not going to pay good cash money to watch Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe sing. I’d pay to watch them act, just as I’d pay to watch good singers sing. This will just be ridiculous.

            • But Etrigan, a lot of these actors have stage experience, so its not like they’re professional actors trying to sing.

              Jackman was an award winning stage actor in Australia before breaking out in America, and haven’t you heard Hathaway sing before? A lot of these actors have singing experiences too (Russel Crowe had his own band, Amanda Seyfried in Mama mia, Carter in Sweeney Todd, etc.)

              As for your other question, where you asked, why not make a film adaption of the book instead, its simple. Its because there’s been several film adaptions of the novel, but no one has adapted the musical into film before.

              Its a refreshing cinematic take on it, and I love stage and film musicals, so I’d kill to see this movie.

              Plus, if they decided to make a cinematic adaption of the musical, its simple, if they decided to do another film of the book, everyone would be up in arms about another remake.

              • Well said.

            • actually, what makes the movie different is the singing. you go and watch it, you may change your mind.

    • The have been numerous films based on the book.
      As Sandy said, this film is based on the musical.

      • Thank you, Captain Obvious :-)

        Yes, this is obviously based on the musical. My point is that it shouldn’t have been. Broadway musicals are different art form, and rarely transfer well to film. Books do much better.

        The book was grim, deep and engrossing. That’s the movie I’d rather see. And from the trailer, it looks grim, deep and engrossing- until someone starts singing, and then your reaction is WTF? The singing just breaks the mood and seems silly.

        • The whole point of this was to base this on the musical.
          To say this should be based on the book makes no sense.

          And thanks for the insult. Refrain from replying to my posts,

          • YOU replied to me first. So YOU refrain from replying my posts, especially if your comment is entirely pointing out the glaringly obvious.

            To say this MUST be based on the musical makes no sense. It could just have easily been based on the book. What part of that is hard for you to grasp?

            • Sandy made the same point I did but
              you did not call him Captain Obvious.

              Sandy and I had an identical impression
              of your post which is inherently nonsensical.

              You have insulted me on prior occasion for no reason as well.
              You were obviously afraid to insult Sandy since he writes here.

              • Sandy is a guy?! Gutted!! You have ruined my dreams lol

                • :D Well, at least all this clarified that point.

            • @ Etrigan

              I know you’ve been here long enough to know better than to respond to Rob the way you have (which comes off as more rude than playful). Next time, please just consider how your comment/response could be interpreted before you post it.


            • I’ll jump in on this. You haven’t seen the stage musical, therefor you can’t know that it is a great deal more than “songs strung together”. This musical regularly leaves half the audience sobbing and the other half cheering. There is a reason it has sold more than 60 million tickets and that many people have seen it multiple times. As one of those people I have to say that I am so looking forward to this motion picture. As wonderful as the show is, only a motion picture can bring the images from the book and lyrics into a true visual medium as only a motion picture can.

              As to the talent of the cast, I believe they are holding back on the general public hearing Jackman. There is a reason he has starred in multiple Australian, London and Broadway productions winning several awards including two Tonys while breaking all time attendance records. The reports from the set have been universal praise for his performance.

              Do yourself a very big favor and go see Les Miserables – Stage first if you can manage but definitely the movie.

        • I know I’m totally and utterly late on this, but the singing is what makes it so grim, deep, and engrossing. It also makes it enjoyable, heart wrenching, and amazing to watch. If you watch the Broadway musical of it, it’s gorgeous. Even if you don’t watch the musical and listen to the music…the music is so well composed that it gives the story across. And since you don’t know…the Broadway musical is all sung out. This makes the music much more powerful than what regular dialogue would give. And personally, I doubt that lots of Les Miz fans themselves would actually want to see another novel adaption.

          • that’s right. reply to those who say the singing is bad/ anna hathay was awesome while acting

        • You are way too defensive. When you post your opinion you should be prepared and open to differing viewpoints. Relax … No need to attack others or belittle others.

    • THE MOVIES IS BEING BASED ON THE BROADWAY SHOW!!! Arguably the best show to ever hit Broadway. If you want a normal movie version then watch the one with Liam Neeson as Jean val Jean. It has been done. Musicals are a dying breed in the music industry and I for one am happy that someone is bringing it back. People don’t respect the genre much anymore. I will admit that some of the voices (looking at you Anne Hathaway) are poor choices for singing, but the casting is wonderful and I am stoked. Don’t crap on the singing. It is what makes it different from the other movie.

  8. Ill be there ofcourse :D

  9. How did I know Helena Bonham Carter was going to look like that… :???:

  10. Thank you Sandy for a clever interpretation of this films trailer, and, more inportantly, thank you for name checking Delgado and Stewart. A very fine piece. Congratulations!

  11. I agree with those above that Russel Crowe is the only one I don’t like singing.

  12. why are people saying Broadway did it not start in the west end

  13. Yes I would kill to see this also haven’t checked out the musical will check this out though

  14. I read the book, unabridged, which is a feat. I thought the musical did a great job of condensing the story and a movie version will visualize details that a stage version cannot. I can see little Garoche’s elephant in the trailer so it looks like they took many details from the book as well as the musical. In the book Eponine had two sisters, I wonder if they would be in the film or were edited out so people more familiar with the play would not be confused.

    I am sure they did an excellent job but I am not buying Anne Hathaway or Russell Crow, they are to Hollywood. I can’t wait to see this!!

  15. For me, I was very excited about this movie until I realized they were going to take famous actors, who cannot sing to save their lives, and have them sing songs from a musical. The music from Les Miserable is such that it should never be sung by amateurs. Seeing this movie and having to subject my ears to the terrible singing will hurt too much. I will not be seeing this movie just as I refused to see the movie Phantom of the Opera for the same reason.

    • KCSureShot, I hope you will give the movie a chance, though I totally respect your thoughts. I saw the play last year and thought it was Amazing!! I was a bit ambivalent about seeing the movie, with Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway singing, though I knew that Hugh Jackman could belt it out! Well, what a job they ALL did! Each sang and acted beautifully, and I was moved to tears all over again!

  16. Seen the play, saw movie of the play (actually pro singers), saw the movie. While one is better than the other, they are all great in their own way. Lighten up guys

  17. Ann Hathoway was superbe in the the movie Les Miserables. Reaching those high note is amazing. I have seen the movie six times since it was release and I already have the CD and am now waiting for the movie in a CD. Give my complements to Ms. Hathoway.