Napoleon Hat

Many and perhaps most Americans who pay to see Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables (Univeral, 12.14) will call it Lay Mizzruhbulls. This is how the girl with the mall accent will pronounce it when you call for showtimes on Moviefone. Gradually everyone will call it Lay Mizz, the default term for the B’way musical that ran from March 1987 through May 2003 (i.e., 6680 performances).


Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert during filming of Les Miserables.

The all-singing, all-dancing Les Miserables — “Layh Meezehrabluh” — began filming earlier this month with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe (as Inspector Javert — the Lieutenant Gerard of his day), Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. Crowe tweets constantly about working out, and I must say he looks pretty good.

Les Miserables will basically be this year’s Sweeney Todd. It’s an all-but-guaranteed Best Picture contender along with Lincoln, The Master, The Great Gatsby, Gravity and Anna Karenina. Zero Dark Thirty and Hyde Park on Hudson are likely contenders also.

  • Blore

    Hey Jeff don’t predict shit until you see the film. Otherwise you end up like that fat puke Poland trying to teach people who don’t even read him that he is the way and the light. You should stick with the titties man. That’s what we come for.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Wells to Blore: Calling Les Miserables an all-but-guaranteed Best Picture contender is hardly sticking my neck out. Please.

  • Storm Serge

    Plenty of people in the heartland know exactly how to pronounce the title. Give it up. Goodness.

  • nemo

    When this thing was a Broadway hit back in the late 80s, a friend of mine swore he heard the following exchange in an Upper West Side bookstore:

    Shopper: Do you have the book “Less Miserable”?

    Clerk: Try the self-help section.

  • Kakihara

    Mall girls ain’t gonna see it. This is strictly an arthouse venture.

  • DiscoNap

    DZ GIVE IT UP. Also Crowe looks awesome, back to his fight weight/hat/facial hair.

  • Ray

    Saw the musical back in high school. Had to work the late shift, was there until 3 am on Sunday morning then to the show for a 10 am performance. I fell asleep, often, DURING A BLARING MUSICAL.

    I’ve fallen asleep during every Cirque show I’ve been dragged to in Vegas, too.

    Something about musicals in the dark (and only musicals, never plays or movies)– doesn’t matter how loud or how close I sit, zzzzz.

    I have this talent.

  • BobbyLupo

    That picture is a big red “Stay Away” to most audiences in this country. I think it’s twice as likely to be a big bomb as a Best Picture nominee. I remember when ‘Nine’ was an all-but guaranteed Best Picture nominee too.

  • Krillian

    I saw it in San Francisco in 1989. It was wonderful. Owned the soundtrack for years. I really hope they do it well. I used to like Phantom of the Opera until I saw the movie. I now never need to hear anything from it ever again.

    Nine the movie tried too hard to be the next Chicago.

  • Edward

    Why anyone would think Nine would be an Best Picture contender is beyond me. Awful book. It’s not even a pale imitation of Fellini’s masterpiece.

  • Circumvrent

    Mall girls ain’t gonna see it. This is strictly an arthouse venture.

    You really are a fucking idiot. This movie is being made FOR the Mall Girls (and their Grandmothers) who see it performed at the local High School once every five years.

  • Jesse Crall

    Is Les Mis the musical that has “Master of the house/keeper of the inn” which Seinfeld used for pure comic gold?

    Regardless, I think Hooper got a shitty rap after the Oscar win because he gets great work from his actors. I’m not gonna dump on the guy simply because Fincher’s movie was a little better…

  • Kakihara

    Circumvrent: You mean the same mall girls who skipped out on the South Park movie, even though it parodies Les Miserables?

  • http://www.incontention.com Guy Lodge

    Actually, “Layh Meezehrabluh” isn’t the correct French pronunciation either — the last syllable should be all but silent. Certainly not “bluh.”

    I wouldn’t be a stickler about this, but if you’re going to be so snobbishly condescending about other people’s pronunciation, you may as well get it absolutely correct yourself.

  • MickTravisMcGee

    I love it when Jeff complains about something before it even happens.

    I’m sure when it comes out we’ll be treated to another dubious-sounding transcript of a dim couple staring up at a box office schedule, mispronouncing the title.

    Sure, some people will fuck it up. But, believe it or not, even in small towns people have cable TV and the internet that helps us talk pretty.

  • DiscoNap

    Is it just me or is DZ’s non-sensical trolling worse again? Is his affliction something that can actually be treated by meds, which he’s not taking?

  • MickTravisMcGee

    You mean like in “Awakenings,” which made less money than “Good Will Hunting,” proving that Robin Williams movies only make money when he treats Matt Damon?

  • DiscoNap

    Yeah Nine is a terrible comparison. Despite its heritage, that musical is really not cinematic at all. Handled well, this could be quite different.

  • Krillian

    “Many and perhaps most Americans who pay to see Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables (Univeral, 12.14) will call it Lay Mizzruhbulls. This is how the girl with the mall accent will pronounce it when you call for showtimes on Moviefone.”

    Most Americans are not as dumb and beneath you as you portray.

    “Gradually everyone will call it Lay Mizz, the default term for the B’way musical that ran from March 1987 through May 2003 (i.e., 6680 performances).”

    Yep, most people call it Les Miz. I’m sure you call it “Layh Meezehrabluh” each time, but you could stop at “Meezehrab” and be right.

    “The all-singing, all-dancing Les Miserables — “Layh Meezehrabluh” — began filming earlier this month with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe (as Inspector Javert — the Lieutenant Gerard of his day), Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.

    Crowe tweets constantly about working out, and I must say he looks pretty good.”

    More people know who Inspector Javert is more than Lt. Gerard, but that’s a great cast. I’m nervous about SBC and HBC playing the Thenardiers. I can see them being too over-the-top. I’m thrilled they got the girl from Les Miserables in Concert to play Eponine.

    “Les Miserables will basically be this year’s Sweeney Todd.”

    They’re both musicals and have Bonham Carter, but other than that… huh?

    “It’s an all-but-guaranteed Best Picture contender along with Lincoln, The Master, The Great Gatsby, Gravity and Anna Karenina. Zero Dark Thirty and Hyde Park on Hudson are likely contenders also.”

    If they do it right, yes. I wouldn’t call Gatsby a favorite yet. Baz Luhrmann did do Australia, so I wouldn’t trust he hit this one out of the park yet. And you’d have to say Django Unchained is a dark horse too. And what about Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.

    At this point last year, I don’t think I’d heard of The Artist.

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