Another round of living legends vs. young ingeues
Anne Hathaway, 'Les Miserables'
Pro: A lot of pundits have declared Hathaway the frontrunner on the basis of the trailer alone, which is entirely soundtracked to her emotive rendition of the hit musical's signature song, “I Dreamed a Dream” – and shows the Oscar-nominated actress weeping, suffering, and shedding her locks in a decidedly baity fashion. The role of Fantine, a consumption-afflicted prostitute, was first played on the West End by stage legend Patti LuPone, and has a notable legacy despite its brevity; if Jennifer Hudson could win an Oscar on the basis of one iconic number, so can Hathaway – who alo has her prominent role in “The Dark Knight Rises” to keep her on voters' minds.
Con: Save for a reappearance in the finale, Fantine exits the scene at the end of the first act. So Hathaway's performance will really have to knock voters sideways so as not to get overshadowed by later developments, including the arrival of Eponine, a larger and no less drama-laden role that should allow newcomer Samantha Barks a real chance to shine. Will there be room for both, or will the “Les Mis” ladies (including Amanda Seyfried) cut into each other's vote?
- Guy Lodge