The trend of 100 layers of stuff maybe over but I lost my mind, so here is 100 layers of Esmeralda.Follow thehunchblog
If you like the 1977 version, I understand. I get the appeal of it. As of now it is the most book accurate movie version that exists. But being book accurate does not necessarily make for a good movie.
Accuracy to the source material can’t hide that this version is dull. From the sets, to the cinematography, to the depictions of the characters; everything is underwhelming.
Even when I first saw this movie is my early Hunchback obsession days, I thought this version was a Feast of Snores.
The good news is that I don’t think this version was out to be a seminal version. How could it be when they don’t even have even a model for Notre Dame? Or any exterior sets. It was just a version made for TV with a limited budget. I don’t think the bar was terrible high on this version. They did the best they felt like with their resources and got out another version of Hunchback.
Would I recommend you watch this? If you’re some weird Hunchback completionist, like I try to be, then yes but you might get bored like I do every single time I watch this version. And for the purposes of this review series that was a lot mostly because I forgot a lot of it even with repeat viewings.Follow thehunchblog
Disclaimer: I know very little to nothing about Medieval Fashion and even less about the Romani people. Also this post only focuses on Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys’ costumes.
On first glance Esmeralda’s costume in this version sucks. It looks like something a Juliet would wear. It’s a pink overdress with a high waistline with a dark red and gold embroidered bodice. It’s layered over a chemise with bell sleeves and embroidered armbands. She wears bangles on both wrists and has pink ribbons in her hair. It also seems like she has another gold over layer around the bodice that has some streamer-like detail going done the skirt What is this costume?
Well this could be one the worst contextually Esmeralda costumes or it could be one of the most accurate. Isn’t that a crazy thing to suggest?
Looking at art from the late 1400’s with Romani as the subject matter, they didn’t dress all that dissimilarly from White Europeans. They do seem to be wearing a cloth headdress which is exactly what we see in Caravaggio’s fortune teller painting and in Manfredi’s painting but not in Vouet’s fortune teller painting. What is in all these paintings that is in not in the earlier illustrations is the sari-like drape garment. So it would seem, at least me, that the blanket sari-like wrap was a garment worn by the Romani in the late 1500’s and not in the 1400’s. Could be wrong but given the art available, it points to that notion.
Which bring us back to the 1977 version of Esmeralda and her Juliet-ish costume. A pervasive thought is that Romani were given clothing for fortuning or what not, so Esmeralda COULD have been given this dress in exchange for pleasing some noble for her dancing. Makes a certain level of sense.
Comparing Esmeralda’s costume to Fleur de Lys’ costumes you may notice that Esmeralda’s dress has a different silhouette. Fleur’s costumes are more in keeping with the style of noble women in the 1480’s. The color for Fleur and Esmeralda’s costumes were inspired by the 1956 version of Hunchback; a red tone for Esmeralda and blues for Fleur, someday we’re going to discuss the topic of Esmeralda wearing red again, because I have more to say on that subject.
Since we’re on the topic, all Fleur’s costumes are all very beautiful in this version. She gets the fur trim and the hennin which all things that were in style for a lady of her standing in the 1480’s.
Esmeralda’s costume looks a bit more like the style from the 1450’s which had a higher waist line but was that costume designer Dorothea Wallace’s intent? Was Wallace’s aim to emulate a style from the 1450’s suggesting that Esmeralda was gifted her dress? Or is there something else operating here? Something Groovy???
Like every single period movie ever, costume design is more of a reflection of the time in which the movie is made rather than historical accuracy. It’s a truth! In the 1977 version while there is a historical silhouette that looks like Esmeralda’s movie costume, the silhouette was in vogue in the 1970’s especially with long gowns. High-waisted empire waistlines were not super popular in the late 1970’s but you did see it. Also the dull muted pink color of Esmeralda’s dress was in keeping with the muted earth tones that dominated 70’s fashion. Whereas Fleur’s costumes are light and bright in color I.E not as trendy for the decade. See another example here
Does this mean anything? In my non-expert expert opinion, I think this means the costume of Esmeralda is trying to endear the audience to Esmeralda as her costume is aesthetic pleasing to the times and Fleur de Lys’ costumes are not as trendy. Meaning the costumes are showcasing the lovable tragic heroine and the cruel rich bitch.
So while Esmeralda’s costume is a 1970’s take on Medieval style and Fleurs’ costumes are a little bit more in keeping with medieval sensibilities but are the costumes in the 1977 version good? For the most part they are good.As earlier started Fleur de Lys costumes are all lovely but Esmeralda’s costume doesn’t seem correct. This actually could be less of the fault of the costume and more with the casting. Michelle Newell is not a great casting pick for Esmeralda. This costume does showcase a sweeter Esmeralda that had not been seen since 1923 but it just doesn’t really work with the character or the attitude of the actress.
Esmeralda’s costume could have read as more accurate depiction of what a young Romani woman could have worn in the 1480’s, the reality is that her costume was just made with the 1970’s fashion aesthetics in mind.Follow thehunchblog
This suggestion came off a ideas wiki list but that list has since changed but we’re still going to go through them. Jessica Szhor is one of those actresses whom I have heard of but I have never actually seen in anything. She is most known for playing Vanessa Abrams on Gossip Girl and playing Nessa on Shameless. Otherwise she has not been in that much of note unless you like Piranha 3D, maybe it’s amazing but somehow I very much doubt it.
As the link is for a Disney remark, Szhor is being suggested as a Disney Esmeralda and I can see why. For starters her overall look is great for Esmeralda. She part Hungarian and African-American. Her eyes are also blue. All around she looks the part.
Given the actors who appeared on the suggestion list, it seemed the idea was to go for a more comedic tone rather than a dramatic one, in this capacity Szhor could work in the role. She doesn’t seem like a dramatically driven actress. Given the right direction she could play the role effectively.
Jessica Szhor would not be my top choice to play Esmeralda but it’s understandable why someone would want her to play her in a Disney remake.Follow thehunchblog
This version of Esmeralda is baffling. It’s neither good or bad. It’s super boring though. This Esmeralda hits all the marks of the plot that this version is going for; she is a gypsy dancer who likes her goat and Phoebus and doesn’t like Frollo very much. She doesn’t fear him like in the book so he is really a second thought.
This version also tries to go for the charming, doe-eyed, innocence Esmeralda, which is not very convincing. Gina Lollobrigida was also unconvincing with her lines about innocence but she had more interest and charisma. It’s just hard to separate this Esmeralda from her actress, as she is styled in a very 70’s style, her costume doesn’t look very in character, more on that later, and again she is gypsy being played by a white woman. If her name was Melody it would make the some amount of impact. I don’t feel Esmeralda’s character even though that is what being presented. More like a wax fruit than the real stuff.
It the same issues that the 1982 version had with Lesley-Anne Down, except there she was fearful and didn’t like dancing. That’s not a positive it just makes the role more the movie’s version and therefore different. This Esmeralda does have nothing that separate her from her book persona and because of the gap in the execution there is nothing there, again it’s wax fruit when instead of actual fruit. She says the lines and there nothing believable or convincing about it. It’s a very boring and dare I say by the book, No it’s like act by numbers.
There are some scene where she is believable but it’s mostly when she is being playful, like the scene with Gringoire but that is really it. It’s just boring depiction.
I think they best way to showcase this this version of Esmeralda is go watch her introduction scene when she is dancing. The camera spends more time on shots of ugly extras than her dancing. The director would rather focus on extras than the woman that all the male characters obsess over.Follow thehunchblog
Daisy Ridley for Esmeralda was suggestion by Sky. At first this made me think of Ridley to play Fleur de Lys. As much as I love Ridley’s Rey, I do want to see Ridley playing a character like Fleur, maybe as a bitch maybe not. For whatever reason I have a soft-spot for Fleur. Sure in the book Fleur has blonde hair but so does Jehan and Quasimodo has red and Esmeralda has dark eyes, why get bogged down with colorition when other movies ignore them so much? Fleur de Lys could have brown hair why not?
Given Ridley’s star in on the raise it hard to see her accepting the role of Fleur where as Esmeralda is a leading role. I could see her doing Fleur pending on other facets of the production like the director and if it was more of an ensemble piece.
So let’s consider her for Esmeralda. The only way I could see her playing the role is if they did Esmeralda’s original backstory, as in she is French raised by Gypsies, even if they did not have the whole of the Sister Gudule plot in the movie.
On the acting front I could Ridley playing the role even though she still fairly new and so far her biggest roles have been Rey in Star Wars and Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express. She also playing Ophelia in upcoming movie. Not sure how Ridley would play the role but my guess it would less overtly sexual than some other actresses and portrayals but you never know.
Ridley has one big thing working for her as Esmeralda and that is her sword and fighting ability. Ridley has done a lot of strength training and fight choreography for action scenes in Star wars. Those skills could translate into some nice dance choreography.
I could see her going either way. As much as I think Daisy Ridley is cool person, she would not be my top pick for either role but if she were casted for either Esmeralda or Fleur I would happy to see her grace a Hunchback version?
What do you people think? Ridley for Esmeralda? Ridley for Fleur de Lys? Or Neither? Or Both?Follow thehunchblog
Like the 1986 burbank version the 1977 follows the plot quite faithfully. Aside from the Sister Gudule plotline this version is the most accurate to the book. There is no vault scene of Quasimodo lying down beside Esmeralda’s body instead there is a weird ending where Phoebus and Fleur de Lys’ wedding processional dances around Frollo’s fallen corpse with Esmeralda’s body hanging in the background. And Gringoire just laughs it off saying the he survive to tell the tale. BAD ENDING!
But the ending is a symptom of a larger issue with the plot, sure it’s got in a lot of scenes from the book, like the scene where Frollo and Gringoire spirits Esmeralda out of Notre on the boat and Gringoire leaves her with Frollo, that scene is never don except slightly in the Jetlag version but to point the movie doesn’t elevate the scenes. The actors say their lines MAYBE emote a little and that is it. It’s like a very mechanical boring version of the book.
The adherence to the book is it’s only selling point. There is nothing much this version has to offer but the plot. Aside from that there is no artistic vision, no mood, and no heart.Follow thehunchblog
The poll is closed and the chosen version is the 1977 version. This maybe the last “big” movie version I have left to review till hopefully another movie version gets made (it’s long overdue at this point).
The 1977 version, like the 1982 and the 1997 version, was made as a TV movie and again like the 1982 version it was made from British TV. It was directed by Alan Cooke and the screenplay was writer by Robert Mueller. It stared Warren Clarke as Quasimodo, Michelle Newell as Esmeralda and Kenneth Haigh as Frollo.
So why did it take me so long to get to this version? Was a saving it because it’s amazing? Or is it amazingly shitty? The answer is it either but I hate it! It’s so boring despite it being THE MOST ACCURATE ONE!
Side Note – This version is also dated as 1976 but I’l just go with 1977.Follow thehunchblog
This suggestion is off a list from http://fuckyeahnotredamedeparis.tumblr.com as part of an ideal casting. Oona Chaplin is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin and his 4th wife actress Oona O’Neill. Her mother is Geraldine Chaplin, another prolific actress and Patricio Castilla. Her family is full of actors and performers.
Chaplin is most known for her role on HBO’s Game of Thrones as Talisa, a show only character. Talisa is a noble lady from Volantis turned wartime medicine women turned Queen in the North who is killed at a wedding. Pre-season three, I thought she was a spy for the Lannisters as she did know a lot about Westeros and it would have merged the show with the book but no she was just kick-ass strong women character.
Chaplin is a competent enough actress, not amazing but no means bad. She was decent as Talisa but she is better as Zilpha in Taboo. She is also going to appear in James Cameron’s Avatar universe so look forward to that.
However being of Spanish descent does offer an intriguing aspect to Esmeralda that Chaplin could weave into Esmeralda’s characterization. Though Esmeralda in the book wasn’t Spanish, she did travel to Spain as a small child. It would be interesting to see an Esmeralda that had her unique speech patterns that are a amalgamation of youth traveling around Europe. That would be a new facet to a film adaptation of Esmeralda.
I doubt Chaplin would be cast as a naive Esmeralda and probably would play the role closer to Hayek or the Disney characterization but it would interesting if they did make her that type of Esmeralda but kept her book backstory intact. It would be a decent merger of films and the book and would make the character still different.
Not sure if I need to say this but Chaplin has the look of Book Esmeralda. She has the dark eyes and hair that Hugo passingly described. She also has olive skin which Esmeralda has but as the result of traveling around Europe. She does have a more angular face that I personally wouldn’t have envision for Esmeralda but it’s not a count against her especially of they didn’t go with the the type of Esmeralda that is more confident with her sexuality.
Oona Chaplin could play a very interesting version of Esmeralda giving the direction of the movie but what do you think? Do you see Oona Chaplin playing Esmeralda?Follow thehunchblog