The new film version of the stage phenomenon Les Miserables, which opened to excellent box office on Christmas Day, fared well today on the awards level when the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Les Miserables nabbed a total of eight Oscar nominations, including the most coveted award, Best Picture.
The nominations that Les Miserables received were mostly as expected. The greatest amount of buzz has surrounded Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean) and Anne Hathaway (as Fantine), and they earned the movie musical’s only two acting nods, for Best Performance By a Leading Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
As a period piece, it’s not surprising that Les Miserables took nominations for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Given that it’s a musical, and one that notably used the unusual technique of live singing, it also is no surprise that it got a Best Sound Mixing nod.
Perhaps the biggest shoo-in for a nomination was composer/lyricist team Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Herbert Kretzmer for Best Original Song. As has become tradition for film musicals, the team especially wrote a number, “Suddenly” (sung by Hugh Jackman), for the movie, in the hopes of getting the Oscar nomination for original song — and they did.
The Les Miserables film is not the only Les Miz-related item topping charts this week. Due to all the hoopla surrounding the new movie, its accompanying soundtrack (Les Miserables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack) is also selling well, placing #1 on Billboard’s Soundtracks chart and #33 on the Billboard 200. Since its December 21 release, the Les Miserables movie soundtrack has sold more than 43,000 copies. The album’s most popular track is one of the musical’s best-known songs, “I Dreamed a Dream” (sung by Anne Hathaway), which has sold over 20,000 copies.
Although the “Highlights” soundtrack does not feature all of the music heard in the 2 hour 40 minute long movie, the 20-track recording does include all of the major songs and musical sequences from the movie musical, among them “Master of the House,” “Stars,” “On My Own,” “One Day More,” “Bring Him Home,” and a new song written specifically for the movie called “Suddenly”.
Over the years, Les Miserables has had many different recordings, including the London cast album, the original Broadway cast recording, and others. Many of these albums have also experienced a boost in sales, with the Broadway recording hitting #2 on the Top Cast Albums chart, the London recording at #5, the 25th anniversary production’s accompanying recording at #7, and the Royal Albert Hall concert recording at #8.