Following Charlotte I am doing my own Beauty and the Beast review! If you have somehow been living under a rock or are very unawares of new movies that are coming out, the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast came into theatres a month ago. It had been built up for months and months, and I think you would had to have worked hard to avoid it. I did try to avoid anything more than the first trailer, especially detailed film site reviews lest something be spoiled for me. I went into it with as fresh a mind as possible!
I should back up. The original Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favourite movie of all time. Although family and friends often make fun of me for it, I refuse to deny it. I was transfixed the first time I saw it at 3, and I still am now! When I first heard that there would be a remake, I was very uncertain- why did it have to be remade? What could be added to it? And were the actors up to it?
It took far longer to see it than it probably should have, but my love of the original (and a busy schedule) meant that I saw it a month after it came out. I admit it, I didn’t know if Emma Watson could carry it. Now that I’ve seen it, I think she did a wonderful job! I found that her singing sounded quite auto-tuned and really felt like it was stuck on top at the end, but her talent in acting certainly made up for it. If you’ve seen Dan Stevens in Downton, you know that he was going to be able to pull off the sullen jerk role fairly well. For me, the supporting cast was really who shone: Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, they all were wonderful! Those are some huge names and they all committed to their roles without being distracting (as often happens with big name actors).
The sets were stunning (as you would imagine a seventeenth century French castle to be), and the CGI was well done, as well. I was very impressed with the different servants/ objects in the castle- they were clearly CGI but they weren’t comically so. As Charlotte brought up in her review, I loved that we finally got to know the castle’s inhabitants. We found out their thoughts on the Prince’s curse and their backgrounds and relationships, and it really fleshed out the whole film. I always felt like they were the heart and soul of the original animated film and I am so glad that it continued in the remake.
I had two minor criticisms: I didn’t particularly like the court dances- as a dancer who has a little bit of the history of French court dances, the fact that they were running around each other and doing the good ol’ Titanic spin was a little annoying. If we put money into everything else, why did we cheap out on choreography?? My second hiccup was the new songs. While they weren’t bad or terrible songs, I didn’t feel that they really added to the film. The original songs have such a nostalgia factor that the new songs bounced off of me, so to speak.
Overall, I’m going to give it 4/5 stars for taking me back to the happiest movie I know and love! I’ll be looking forward to this coming out in the Google store to grab it right away. I’ve got to thank Disney for bringing the magic back!
Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? What was your opinion?