The screen adaptation of Les Miserables is being talked about as Oscar material and its star Hugh Jackman has welcomed the buzz as recognition of how hard it is to transform a musical to the screen.
The star-studded film version of the stage musical debuted to critics at screenings in New York, London, Los Angeles and Sydney last weekend and it won lavish praise, with reports of standing ovations.
Showbiz.com tipped Jackman as a contender for the best actor Academy Award for his role as Jean Valjean, the ex-prisoner who creates a successful new life for himself.
The Universal Studios movie, directed by Tom Hooper who won an Oscar for "The King's Speech", also features fellow Australian Russell Crowe as Jackman's nemesis Inspector Javert and leading lady Anne Hathaway as Fantine.
Jackman said he had not seen the final cut until the Sydney viewing and he was "pretty blown away by it".
"I think everyone understands that musical movies are probably the Mount Everest of movies," he told ABC television.
"There's so many elements that need to come together. Les Mis has so much pedigree, not only in world literature, but as probably one of the most successful stage musicals of all time.
"So there was a lot at risk, but I loved it, I really loved it."
The stage version has been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe, and is still breaking box-office records in its 27th year.
Jackman, who made his name on the stage but is best known for his role as Wolverine in the "X-Men" movie series, said his latest role, set against the backdrop of 19th century France, was the hardest of his career so far.
"There's no doubt that of all the things I feel I can do, this demanded more than anything," he said.
"As a pedigree of work, it's probably higher than anything else I've been in. The director, the ensemble, it was certainly one of those projects that felt like a once in a lifetime event."
It makes the early Oscar buzz all the more satisfying for the Sydney-based star.
"I would love nothing better than for the film to get recognised because I know how hard everyone worked and what was at stake, and we all know how musicals, when they don't come out well, can stink to high heaven," he said.
"So, any kind of positive buzz, of course I'm happy."