Mind you, she’s too demur to admit to such thoughts. But the minute that you hear the Dark Knight Rises actress singing the Broadway classic “I Dreamed a Dream” in Tom Hooper’s screen adaptation of Les Miserables, you know that you’ve just witnessed the performance that instantly catapults Hathaway into the annual Oscar race … and likely locks up the Best Supporting Actress category.
So move over, Susan Boyle. With Les Miserables set to open in theaters on Christmas Day, we’re dedicating the weekly One Big Scene column to the movie’s jaw-droppingly gut-wrenching rendition of Fantine’s “I Dreamed a Dream.”
What the critics are saying:
“This is an unforgettable movie going experience, sure to garner multiple Oscar nominations.”
“A productive experiment, an epic-scaled weepie, an exercise in sincere kitsch, and, perhaps too easily dismissed, a rare modern movie about the wretched poor, a traditional subject of interest at this time of year.”
The term “show-stopper” might as well have been created for Hathaway’s performance of this Broadway staple.
Fantine’s lament captures how much has gone wrong with her pathetic existence in such a short amount of time. While once she had a menial job, that was taken from her, and she has turned to all sorts of questionable avenues to try and provide for Cosette, her absent daughter.
Hooper has a tendency to film in close-up, and the technique works to Hathaway’s advantage as she allows a myriad of emotions to dance across her face – few of them light and uplifting. “I Dreamed a Dream” is a confessional tune of wishing life was “so different from this hell I’m living.” And Hathaway nails not just every note, but every emotion behind every lyric. This truly is the high point of the entire movie adaptation of Les Miserables, and needs to be seen on the big screen.
One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section below.