Have you seen Don McKellar?

First teaser for 'Les Miserables' hits the web

We’ve seen a smattering of set photos pop up here and there around the web, but now we have an official teaser trailer for ‘Les Miserables’–and in addition to a lush French cityscape, it shows off a side of Anne Hathaway you’ve probably never seen before.

The long-running stage musical, based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, has been wildly popular for many years; but adapting a theatre opera into a film is a monumental task, and the trailer provides a tantalizing glimpse at the end result. Directed by Tom Hooper (‘The King’s Speech’), the film features a killer cast of seasoned actors, but this first teaser focuses mostly on one whom you probably wouldn’t have pegged for such a dramatic role: Anne Hathaway, who’s better known for roles in films like ‘The Princess Diaries’ and her upcoming role as Catwoman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ than for anything this gritty.

Hathaway plays Fantine, just one of a host of characters struggling through the hardscrabble France of the early 1800s. Fantine is a young working woman who leaves her daughter Cosette with the unscrupulous innkeeper Thenardier (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his wife (Helena Bonham Carter). Unbeknownst to Fantine, the couple are cruel to her daughter (played as n adult by Amanda Seyfried), and as they demand more and more money for her “care”, Fantine goes to greater and greater lengths to provide for her daughter, but Fantine is unable to meet their demands. She is also dying of an unknown disease for which she can’t afford treatment.

As Fantine, Hathaway unleashes a singing voice well worth the price of admission, as well as dramatic acting chops that should earn her a bit of buzz come awards season. But Fantine is only one of many characters whose stories intersect with the plight of the main protagonist, the ex-convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). Over a period of several years, the former thief attempts to make amends for his past by helping the less fortunate, but he must continually run from the law, led by the Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), as his ex-prisoner status makes him an undesirable in the eyes of the crown. Valjean’s struggles bring him across the paths of the Thenardiers, Cosette, Fantine, and Javert, with whom he has multiple brushes over several years.

‘Les Miserables’ will hit theatres on December 14. Hint, hint: a pair of tickets would make a great early Christmas gift for anyone on your list!

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