“Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
What We Thought:
Let me start this by saying that I’m just not a Disney person. I’ve seen most of their older films and went to Disney World when I was a kid, but Disney doesn’t do much for me. I haven’t seen all the Pixar films and most of their animated “classics” I’ve only seen once or twice and that was decades ago when they came out.
Because of that, Disney’s new live action version of Beauty and the Beast is a perfectly fine movie to me, but nothing I’d watch again. Others who saw it with me loved it and can’t stop talking about it, but it’s just not my cup of tea and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I will say I’m surprised at the timing of its release. The production design, wardrobe/costuming and all that are quite impressive. I’m surprised they didn’t try to release this in November to try to sneak in an Oscar nomination for those categories. There’s a lot of CGI work, but there’s just enough real world acting and set design to balance out the use of computer generated worlds.
As for the film itself, Emma Watson makes for a good Belle. She’s an attractive woman and a good actress and fits the role well. She won’t be confused with Adele, but her singing is good enough for a film like this. Dan Stevens plays the Beast and from what I was told not only did he act opposite Watson on stilts, but also redid the scenes with motion capturing for his facial expressions.
This is probably Luke Evans best performance since, ok, maybe ever. You always know you’re getting good performances from Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor. Then there’s Josh Gad. There’s some “controversy” about Gad’s character being gay. Had I not been told about this ahead of time, I wouldn’t even have noticed. He’s not making out with dudes on-screen so if no one had said anything, I doubt many people would have noticed. If you want a controversy why not complain they hired a straight man to play a gay character instead of a gay actor or if this movie takes place in France, why aren’t there any French actors in it? Watson and Stevens are British. Evans is Welsh. Gad and Kline are American. Can you tell “controversies” in movies mean absolutely nothing to do me?
Watching this shows me that I probably haven’t seen the entire animated version. I knew it had songs like “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast”, but either I didn’t see the full movie or I don’t remember it having as much singing and dancing. This film is practically a musical and I wasn’t expecting that. Obviously Disney fans will already know that and have watched the trailer a hundred times and know everything about this movie already, but as stated, I’m not a Disney guy.
Obviously my opinion on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is pretty irrelevant in the long run. Fans will make it a hit worldwide. Watson is easy to watch and the movie looks pretty fantastic even if it’s genre I’m not a fan of. If you like Disney, the animated version of this film and already have your tickets purchased then this is…
Cast & Crew:
- Emma Watson
- Dan Stevens
- Luke Evans
- Kevin Kline
- Josh Gad
- Ewan McGregor
- Stanley Tucci
- Ian McKellen
- Emma Thompson
Recommended If You Like:
- Beauty and the Beast (Animated version)