Looks like the cast of LES MISERABLES won’t be going hungry. First screening earns standing ovation and “Best Picture” talk

Looks like Christmas is coming early for director Tom Hooper and the cast of his adaptation of the musical Les Misérables. The film is only seeing release on 25 December, but this weekend saw the first screening for press, and apparently quite a few of them ended up dreaming a dream about some Oscar gold.

The film screened at New York’s Lincoln Center, Alice Tulley Hall, and Hooper – who won the Oscar for Best Picture for The King’s Speech two years ago – was in attendance along with the principal cast to introduce the film. THR was on hand to record it all.

“You are the very first people to see the film. I’m grateful that I finished it [the film]… I’m grateful to the thousands of people who have been on this journey, particularly the wonderful cast… and I’m grateful to Victor Hugo [who wrote the novel upon which the Broadway play upon which the film is derived], who unfortunately can’t be with us.”

The lavish production – which saw Hooper eschew the tradition of post-recording singing vocals, but rather shooting the actors singing “live” on set, in single uninterrupted takes – was greeted with thundering applause after nearly each musical number during it’s two hour running time. And when the credits rolled and cast and director got up to take the stage, they were greeting by a raucous standing ovation.

While press are not allowed to post full reviews of the film yet, they are allowed to give brief thoughts, which a number of them did. And most of it was filled with talk of how Hooper’s film has quickly become the frontrunner in the Academy Awards Best Picture race. Collider was kind enough to do a round-up of their twitter comments:

Kristopher Tapley ‏@kristapley Hathaway wins. GOD. I wept. Film’s a triumph. They’re on their feet here. NYC crowd ate…it…up. #lesmiserables

Wilson Morales ‏@blackfilm Standing O for #LesMiserables! Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks are on stage now for Q & A.
For those who are theater purists, you will LOVE #LesMiserables! Hooper did it right. Having Barks play role again but on film was great!

DaveKarger ‏@davekarger First #LesMiserables screening went over extremely well. I’d call it a sure thing Picture nominee for Oscar and the probable Globe winner.
Hugh Jackman has a great shot to bump out Denzel or Joaquin in the Best Actor race. His singing is quite impressive. #LesMiserables
Anne Hathaway could easily win supporting actress. Her “I Dreamed a Dream” is the showstopper. #LesMiserables

Clayton Davis ‏@AwardsCircuit Poor Russell Crowe. With everyone singing spectacular, he stands out like a sore thumb. #LesMiserables

Steven Zeitchik ‏@ZeitchikLAT Hathaway is a stand-out, albeit in very few scenes; Jackman and Crowe singing is solid but doesn’t reach for as much. #LesMiserables

Julie Stone @Julie_Stone #LesMiserables screening audience burst into applause after songs and gave a long standing ovation during the credits.

Samantha Massell ‏@smassellsings Still reeling from the amazingness that was today. #lesmiserables#firstEVERscreening
In case I wasn’t clear, the #lesmiserables movie is absolutely UNREAL. Ten million points to #TomHooper for doing this musical movie RIGHT.

Jennifer Ravalli ‏@JennNYU Got to be one of the first people to see #lesmiserables today @SAGscreening! It was amazing! Totally love the brilliant #eddieredmayne

Jo Foster ‏@jo1foster Sobbed my eyes out. Les Miserables. WHAT AN EPIC MOVIE. #lesmiserables

Lucy Gibson ‏@LucyRGibson Can’t say too much about #lesmiserables until its release but I will say this: it grabs your heart and squeezes it till you cry like a baby
I’m going to call it early but #lesmiserables has Best Picture written all over it

And in case you need some reminding as to what all the fuss is about, here’s the synopsis and latest international trailer for the film.

“Les Misérables” is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Helmed by “The King’s Speech’s” Academy Award®-winning director, Tom Hooper, the Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, “Les Misérables” tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption–a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical brings its power to the big screen in Tom Hooper’s sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale. With international superstars and beloved songs–including “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “On My Own”–”Les Misérables,” the show of shows, is now reborn as the cinematic musical experience of a lifetime.

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