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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beauty And The Beast (2017)

In 18th century France, an enchantress (Hattie Morahan) casts a spell on a narcissistic prince (Dan Stevens) and turns him into a beast. The spell can only be broken if he can find someone to love him for who he is ... a beast. Enter a feisty peasant girl (Emma Watson), who offers herself as a prisoner instead of her father (Kevin Kline) who the beast has imprisoned. Directed by Bill Condon, this live action remake of the beloved 1991 Disney animated film most likely won't please the die hard fans of the original but if you're not attached to the 1991 film, you may prefer it. I liked the 1991 film but I found this more satisfying for several reasons. For one, it just seemed more magical. In an animated film, when a candlestick talks and sings, you expect it, it's animated! But in a live action film, it's truly other worldly. I must confess that although I dislike 3D, the 3D here is superb and also gives the film an eerie supernatural fairy tale quality. And finally, the actors bring an emotional core to the film that cartoon characters, however skillfully drawn, just can't! One major difference between the 1991 animated film and this one is Luke Evan's Gaston. He was pompously amusing in the first one, here he's positively despicable. The film's ace here is Watson who brings some authority to Belle, no girlie princess she! The new songs are lovely and the production design is impeccable. With Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Josh Gad and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. 

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