‘Les Miserables’ vs. ‘Django Unchained’: Box Office Battle (POLL)

By: Todd Gilchrist / December 27, 2012

It’s Oscar slummin’ time at the movies as Hollywood rolls out its primo slate of films, but despite a handful of new titles across the marquee, it’s all about the French Revolution and the Civil War South this weekend. The big-budget adaptation of Broadway’s favorite child, Les Miserables, is pitting its cannons and bayonets against Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti-western six-shooter, Django Unchained.

Which film will sing a victorious ballad and which will lay buried in a shallow desert grave?

Directed by Tom Hooper, the filmmaker behind The King’s Speech, the latest theatrical rendition of Les Mis combines a star-studded cast with high-cost Hollywood production value. The end result is a wonderfully performed rendition of the classic story with critically acclaimed turns by Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.

Watch Celebuzz’ interview with Jackman about the challenges of bringing the musical to the screen:

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player

Hooper’s direction, however, makes the film feel a bit like a well-funded stageplay with the camera filming from the point-of-view of the audience. With a series of close-ups and wide, sweeping shots, the production never truly figures out a way to present these songs in a uniquely cinematic fashion. The film looks and sounds spectacular without necessarily taking full advantage of its medium.

Quentin Tarantino, on the other hand, makes full use of his cinematic toolbox to bring the story of a former slave and a German bounty-hunter to life in Django Unchained. Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, Django tells a tale of pre-Civil War revenge in purely Tarantino fashion. It’s likely one of his finest – and certainly funniest – films that strikes a smart balance between the near-comic absurdity and inhuman brutality of American slavery.

Check out Celebuzz’ interview with Django actor Sammi Rotibi:

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player

Showcasing action, comedy and drama with a smart soundtrack and a striking series of cinematic visuals, Django Unchained is the absolute pick-of-the-week for lovers of old-school Westerns or Tarantino in general.

Let Celebuzz know what you’re planning on seeing this weekend with your vote above, and talk about why you want to see these box office brawlers in the comments below!