An official teaser trailer has been released for Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of producer Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables stage musical. The film chronicles the struggles of lower-class citizens in early 19th century France – as seen through the eyes of characters like the ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) and struggling single mother Fantine (Anne Hathaway).
Yesterday’s batch of official images from Les Misérables (colloquially known as Les Miz) teased the design of the film’s period setting, along with the look of its cast “in character.” The first theatrical promo offers even more of that, along with an excerpt from Hathaway’s rendition of the famous Les Miz tune “I Dreamed a Dream.”
Speaking of the film’s scenery: Les Miz has the appearance of an authentic period piece, as is nicely illustrated by the teaser trailer (in combination with previously-released set photos). Beyond attention to little details – such as the cast’s gaunt appearances – the squalid state of the city architecture and sets in the movie are quite impressive. That also goes for the different styles of camerawork on display in early footage, varying from swooping shots of rebellious French peasants, to rough handheld shots of Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) riding his horse through the rain. Credit for all that belongs to the triumvirate that is director Tom Hooper, cinematographer Danny Cohen, and production designer Eve Stewart, who all previously worked together on The King’s Speech.
Overall, Hooper’s take on Les Miz comes off as a hybrid of prestigious period fare and musical melodrama – and thus, probably not something that will win over moviegoers who generally do not care for either sub-genre. However, for fans of the Les Miz stage musical, there’s good reason to be happy about Hollywood’s treatment of the show (going off what’s been shown so far).
Les Misérables opens in theaters around the U.S. on December 14th, 2012.