John Paul Filo/CBS/Landov
11/25/2012 at 05:00 PM EST
With its theatrical release still 30 days away, Tom Hooper's Les Misérables
is already being touted as an Oscar contender for Best Picture.
The movie musical screened for the first time on Friday afternoon at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York, where The Hollywood Reporter
was on hand to report on general reactions.
Although Anne Hathaway
's role as Fantine in the film is brief, she makes an "indelible impression" especially during "I Dreamed a Dream," THR
Hathaway – who told attendees she spent four months working with a vocal coach before the cast assembled for nine weeks of rehearsal – was willing to cut her hair short for the role, even though it meant she'd "be almost bald" for her September nuptials
to Adam Shulman
"When I eventually looked in the mirror I just thought I looked like my gay brother," she said at the screening.
Hathaway has not been shy in divulging how she transformed into Fantine. She recently spoke candidly to Vogue
about her extreme dieting
to prepare for the role.
The Academy Award-nominated actress, 30, began the process with a strict cleanse, resulting in a 10-lb. weight loss. Then, she lived off two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste a day for two weeks, causing her to lose 15 more lbs.
"I had to be obsessive about it," she said in the magazine's December issue
. "The idea was to look near death. Looking back on the whole experience – and I don't judge it in any way – it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that's who Fantine is anyway."