Monday, 8 May 2017

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (film) was spellbinding

Director: Bill Condon.
Cast: Emma Watson / Dan Stevens / Luke Evans / Kevin Kline / Josh Gad / Emma Thompson / Ewan McGregor / Ian McKellen / Stanley Tucci
Content Rating: PG for some action violence, peril, and frightening images.
Source: Cinema.

An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

The hype and advertising for this film has been incredible. It's been in our faces for months, and after seeing the raving praise of particularly Emma Watson but also the film as a whole, I was nervous to watch it myself. I was so desperate to like it and so nervous I wouldn't, and yet when I sat down and the movie began, I was swept away without a conscious choice. I was won over instantly.

The visuals are spectacular. They're dazzling, overwhelming, and the scenes are exquisitely detailed. The sets are magical and intelligent and vivid, and I was frequently breathless in awe of the beauty unfolding before my eyes. From the costumes to the set pieces to what felt like very real magic sprinkled over each scene, the film was a feast for the eyes.
Not to mention the excellent cinematography. With visuals like this, it goes without saying that the gorgeousness be captured and appreciated from all angles, and it was - to every last detail.

The pacing is perfect. The humour - thanks to the epic comic duo of Josh Had and Luke Evans - made for some deliciously laugh-out-loud moments, and I just adored it. The balance between comedy and tragedy and magic is perfect, and I felt every emotion when I was supposed to feel it; and vividly so. I laughed, I cried, and I lost myself in the magic.
It sticks exactly to the original story, which makes me think it isn't really a retelling. Yes, Belle's character was altered a lot, but the film feels like it's just the original dazzled up. I'm not criticising, just commenting: there were no big twists on the original story and no surprises. I was personally a bit disappointed with that.
The musical score is fantastic. The songs are catchy, atmospheric, and charming, and I was very impressed with the cast's singing. Auto tune does help, though ;) I thought that was quite obvious with Emma's voice.
The choreography is also brilliant. The ensemble pieces are vibrant and graceful, and the dancing is fantastic.

The acting is generally excellent. I thought Luke Evans and Josh Gad easily stole the show, and the supporting cast weren't far behind. Evans and Gad are effortlessly Gaston and LeFou, and their scenes were always full of skill, humour, and vitality. Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen are also superb, despite spending most of their screen time voicing animate objects.

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens didn't blow me away. Please don't hate me for saying this, but I don't think Watson's a great actress at all. I do think she's lovely in this film and it's definitely her best performance to date, but I don't think her acting is amazing.
I also loved Belle's character development and the "feminist" slant to her character.
And the character development is wonderful. I loved how in particular Belle and her father grew throughout the film and how they changed. Their arcs are impressive, and I soaked up the depth.
But Kevin Kline as Maurice is the highlight for me (along with Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou). Kline's performance is just phenomenal. I frequently had tears in my eyes simply because his portrayal of Maurice conveyed such gentle, tender, aching pain and his facial expressions were heartbreaking. He acts brilliantly, and I loved his performance.

Beauty and the Beast is a masterpiece of incredible visuals and skillful scenes, and perfectly balances tragedy, comedy, romance and magic. It's dazzling, satisfying, overwhelming, and I loved it - despite being disappointed with Stevens and Watson. 
The supporting cast and the visuals were the highlight of the film for me, and I highly recommend it. 


  1. Luke Evans was PHENOMENAL!!! He was by far my favorite :P! Wasn't a fan of the prince for either :/ but the movie really was absolutely magical!
    Kariny @kariny's book frenzy

    1. HE WAS!! Definitely my favourite too! *high five* It was!

  2. For some reason we never got around to seeing this in theaters - will definitely be a Netflix add, for sure! I love the original animated version, and I'm excited to see everything "come to life" - great review, makes me want to see it right now!!

    1. I hope you get to see it soon on Netflix! It definitely comes to life in the most magical way :)
      Thanks! I'm so glad!

  3. The movie was GREAT <3 Glad you liked it too!

  4. I LOVED the humor and cinematography! One thing that drove me crazy was that you could clearly tell Belle/Emma Watson and many other characters were lip-sinking. I though Josh Gad did wonderful as LeFou, and I was surprised to see him, since I didn't know he was part of the cast. Hands down, the sets were astounding. The palace and costumes were incredible! Not my favorite movie, but it was feel-good and magical, and I enjoyed it!

    1. They were amazing! HIGH FIVE!
      Yeah good point. Especially with Emma, I thought.
      He was :)
      Yes!! So incredible!
      I'm so glad :) Thanks for the comment, Caitlin!

  5. Luke Evans and Josh Gad were my favourite as well. I swear I could just watch their parts on repeat! I loved the movie and I can't wait to watch it again. I'm so glad you liked it Amy :)

    1. YAY :) Haha so true! I'm already feeling like a re-watch!
      Thanks Aneta, me too :)

  6. Enjoyed reading your thoughts, Amy! I was so impressed with the live action adaptation. I thought the casting was perfection (I really enjoyed Watson as Belle) and, like you, I was so impressed with the visuals. Just spectacular.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    1. Thanks Tanya! And I'm so glad you liked her as Belle :) I wish I had, but oh well.
      Definitely :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Yes, the visuals are AMAZING! And the soundtrack is spectacular; I'm still listening to it today! Lovely to hear your thoughts on the film. :)

    1. THEY WERE! Haha nice idea! It was amazing.
      Thank you :)

  8. I LOVED this movie - for so many reasons and I wasn't disappointed that they didn't deviate too much from the original. I enjoyed the tweaks that they did make though and thought that as a Beauty and the Beast lover, that it was a wonderful tribute to the original movie.

    1. YAY! I'm so glad you liked that :)
      It was!
      Thanks for the comment, Di! <3


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