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Cats: Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae to star in film version

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Posted (edited)

 

39 minutes ago, ninamargaret said:

I find it disconcerting and faintly unsettling. The creatures are neither animal nor human. I saw the original, and also have it on DVD and the cats were far more catty than these weird and rather unpleasant creatures. The actual dance looks,impressive, but I find it strange that no credit is given to Stephen McRae. 

Or Olivia Cowley.

Edited by Fiz
Double comment.

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It's a trailer: it's aimed at the general public, who by and large won't have any idea who the RB dancers are, but will recognise the names of the actors/singers.  "And introducing Francesca Hayward" does suggest that she will have a fairly large role in it, I think.

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2 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

 

disconcerting for me too - looked like miniaturised people been put through a catalytic converter! 🙂

 

I agree they look weird. A weird human/animal mix gone wrong. Also their sizes seem off too - the bed and the chair/table/cutlery look huge!! 

 

When it’s obvious that they are people being filmed (as opposed to animation etc) I think to be honest it would have looked better to have them seem more humans in costumes in some ways (like the broadway show?) - this is an odd hybrid. Surely they could have found some better costumes and not resorted to this distortion? Admittedly some do look better than others (Jennifer Hudson seems ok, but Judi Dench is a no). 

 

I also have to admit I didn’t recognise Frankie Hayward in the trailer (I assumed she was Taylor Swift as she’s the first ‘cat’ featured (?) and she seems to be featured in the trailer very prominently which is good for her!). Not sure if this is the fault of me watching on my tiny phone screen or the CGI/white face make up (which I am also not a fan of to be honest). 

 

It seems Frankie will have a large role in this and I’m pleased for her, and also hopefully this will raise the popularity of ballet too. I hope (rather selfishly!) this doesn’t mean we’ll see less of Frankie at ROH though due to other movies/opportunities, though appreciate this seems unlikely as she hasn’t stated an intention to act and it’s clear that she’s in this movie as a dancer rather than a actor (not to say she can’t act, I’m sure she’s fabulous at that but just she won’t be doing only acting roles I imagine in future?). 

 

Despite Frankie, McRae and Cowley, and what is excellent acting/dancing/singing talent, I don’t think this is to my taste, but I hope the actors and those involved are proud of their work and wish the movie all the best (and hope it inspires more dance movies perhaps...?). 

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I’ve watched the trailer a few times and think what perturbs me slightly is that the cats are much less feline in the way they move than they are in the original stage show.  If the fur can be CGId onto faces, why can’t hips and boobs be CGId off, as it were?  Perhaps the new choreography doesn’t help and I’m not sure why any or all of Dame Gillian Lynne’s marvellous choreography needed replacing.

 

The cats are supposed to be cat sized but they manage to be both cutlery-sized and only slightly smaller than the Trafalgar Square lions all at the same time, which is a bit odd.  

 

I think Jennifer Hudson’s voice is incredible but she sounds like she’s pushing too hard in “Memory” which makes her rather pitchy.  

 

I’ll go and see it but am unsure about it at present.

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Actually, I wonder how representative this is of the finished product, or whether they will still be doing tweaking with CGI in post-processing at this stage?  It does look rather oddly smooth in places, and as Anna says the scale seems a bit off.

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2 hours ago, alison said:

It's a trailer: it's aimed at the general public, who by and large won't have any idea who the RB dancers are, but will recognise the names of the actors/singers.  "And introducing Francesca Hayward" does suggest that she will have a fairly large role in it, I think.

Yes, but what about "Royal Ballet dancers" as credit, at least. It's a movie I know but still sad. Educating the general public a bit is a no go? Sad.

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1 hour ago, Anna C said:

I think Jennifer Hudson’s voice is incredible but she sounds like she’s pushing too hard in “Memory” which makes her rather pitchy.  

 

I thought so too...almost cat-erwauling in fact ! 

 

However, even in these brief scenes, Francesca looks wonderful, whether cutlery-sized or lion-sized! So pleased she seems to be the central character. She has a song too!

If the movie needs a new star to save it, she will be  the one...... 

Hoping for some great dancing  from her and the other ballet stars, even if other elements turn out to be cat-astrophic. 

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For what it’s worth, I’m unlikely to watch this at the cinema (and always was), I think they’ve managed to make Francesca Hayward look less beautiful than she really is, and I agree that Jennifer Hudson sounds a bit ropey; but I find the criticism I’ve seen on Twitter silly and overblown.

 

Twitter has many things going for it but it’s a platform which actively rewards negativity.

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25 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

Twitter has many things going for it but it’s a platform which actively rewards negativity.

 

Too true :( 

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What role does Francesca Hayward play? I assumed that it was Victoria, the white cat, which is not as far as I remember a main role in the original production - but may of course have been adjusted for this film. 

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49 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

I thought so too...almost cat-erwauling in fact ! 

 

However, even in these brief scenes, Francesca looks wonderful, whether cutlery-sized or lion-sized! So pleased she seems to be the central character. She has a song too!

If the movie needs a new star to save it, she will be  the one...... 

Hoping for some great dancing  from her and the other ballet stars, even if other elements turn out to be cat-astrophic. 

 

Oh dear - I now foresee potential elements of the reviews, if the film turns out less than well... :lol:

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Just managed to watch the trailer and I found it disappointing. Jennifer Hudson is really straining and I agree with AnnaC’s comments about the bizarre changing size of the cats and their much less feline appearance when compared to the original production. 

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Well, I thought it was great!  So exciting for Francesca Hayward to have a lead role, and she looks wonderful in it.  I haven't seen the Twitter comments, but I couldn't care less about some people who maybe feel they must put everything down and deride it.

 

Roll on December 20th when (I believe) "CATS" opens in the cinemas!

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1 hour ago, Legseleven said:

What role does Francesca Hayward play? I assumed that it was Victoria, the white cat, which is not as far as I remember a main role in the original production - but may of course have been adjusted for this film. 

 

Yes, she is cast as Victoria. They bigged up the role for the film. From the look of the trailer, they turned Victoria into a pivotal character. And giving Francesca Hayward the 'And Introducing' credit is huge imo in the movie business. The producers obviously fell in love with her, like the ROH audience has.

Cats is a marmite show as a musical, so I expect the movie will be the same. I am just going to suspend disbelief, sing along and enjoy 'our own' Frankie stealing the show 😻

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I enjoy your sentiments Candleque but don't think I'd better sing along .....Id probably be out on my ear!! 

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Posted (edited)

I think Francesca looks great in her cat guise.  The size inconsistencies others have pointed out are bizarre, but the dancing looks promising. I really can't bear musicals because of the style of singing but I will happily watch this (with earplugs firmly screwed in).

 

Edit:  I see the Telegraph is now trying to spin up a 'whitewashing' controversy about her appearance 

 

 

Edited by Quintus
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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

I think Francesca looks great in her cat guise.  The size inconsistencies others have pointed out are bizarre, but the dancing looks promising. I really can't bear musicals because of the style of singing but I will happily watch this (with earplugs firmly screwed in).

 

Edit:  I see the Telegraph is now trying to spin up a 'whitewashing' controversy about her appearance 

 

It makes me so angry. She's playing a white cat, for God's sake! Is it a problem if a white performer is playing a brown or black cat?? Bizarrely ridiculous.

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2 hours ago, Quintus said:

Edit:  I see the Telegraph is now trying to spin up a 'whitewashing' controversy about her appearance 

 

 Beyond belief. Whatever kind of mindset do such 'journalists' (and twitterers) have?

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I hate singling out particular newspapers for opprobrium - I think it’s healthy to read the full spectrum of opinion - but the Telegraph has developed an unpleasant habit of trying to sow division where none exists (more so than the Mail IMO), presumably in pursuit of clicks.

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I'm afraid you may be right, Lizbie.  When I think of some of the headlines I've seen on/in it recently - and I've already accused some of its front page headlines of sounding as though they've been written by a sulky teenager ...

 

I was wondering how long it would take someone to come up with accusations of "whitewashing" this morning, when I saw the footage.

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It’s pitiful. Poor Francesca.  It should be such a happy time for her, and she has to deal with all this idiocy. I hope she can ignore it and just enjoy her days in the sun. 

 

 I thought Jennifer Hudson sounded dreadful.  It’s a very difficult song to pull off, requiring an amazing vocal range that she doesn’t seem to have.  I guess there’s time between now and December to record it again.   

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Posted (edited)

I must be in the minority that actually loved Jennifer Hudson's take on it. What I find quite off-putting about the CGI is how un-uniform the face looks in relation to the rest of the body. Not appealing whatsoever even for Francesca. Looks like they didn't have the budget for great graphic artists. But perhaps its unfinished -- although based on the recent ineffectual efforts to create promising CGI by even a massive company like Disney in their live-action remakes, I shouldn't expect much.

 

Sidenote: I wonder if the film's high-profile means Francesca might seek a new path in the arts and her personal career (in terms of not just focusing on ballet)? She did mention in an interview that she doesn't want to be bogged down by just performing at the Royal Ballet like some of her peers have done. I think Nunez is a good example of this given the traditional, "cookie-cutter" path she took and her utmost "allegiance" to the company throughout her entire career (not that not being restricted to the Royal Ballet means otherwise! Certainly not for me!). Perhaps we'll see more of Francesca in future films? She might be a promising actress for the cinema. 

Edited by HappyTurk

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9 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Frankie goes to Hollywood - sorry I couldn't resist!

 

Well, on Instagram, she is frankiegoestohayward    

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12 hours ago, Anna C said:

@HopelessMummy I have merged your new thread into this existing one. ☺️

Thanks. Was obviously late to the party. What insightful comments on this thread! 

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I had to stop watching after about twenty seconds because the CGI human/cat effects made my skin crawl. Evidently some people are more sensitive to this sort of thing than others, but to me it's high octane nightmare fuel!

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