Tale as old as time…
It’s another live action disney remake! This time it’s the Stockholm Syndrome story of Beauty and the Beast played by actual-real-life-Belle-embodied Emma Watson and CGId beastie Dan Stevens. Just like the cartoon we have provincial France (though a variety of accents) a big old castle and walking-talking, all-singing all-dancing furniture to set the scene for a beautiful love story about judging books by covers or being patient or something.
Some have been less than impressed with Watson’s acting ability in this film, but I’d beg to differ. I think she did a great job – and what a voice! She got the balance of vulnerability and assertiveness just right, and I’d say there was a lot of great face acting when having to interact with imaginary characters. She does have a very expressive face (this is coming from someone who has equally excitable eyebrows). Plus she just looks the part, doesn’t she?!
Having been watching Legion lots this month I couldn’t get over how much the Beast had Dan Steven’s mannerisms (big fan) – he was captured really well and brought humour to the character. Luke Evans is an equally brilliant Gaston – and another great singer. I really enjoyed his relationship with LeFou (Josh Gad).
The visuals were great – the costume design was perfect and the beast looked as beast-like as you can translate from an apparently unnervingly “attractive” cartoon. It’s always a little disappointing when he turns back into a normal man though #spoileralert – even Belle seemed to think so with a creepy beard remark.
Some of the shots panning around weren’t in focus and it seemed like some of the effects were purely for the 3D effect which is just irritating. It’s lost on a 2D audience and brings you out of the experience. I also felt that Be Our Guest was a bit too much – and some of the object-characters were a bit much too. It all went on too long and was too CGI-ey. That’s the only part that reminded me that this is a film for kids after all – pretty colours and moving things are fine for them. Also not a fan of overly accented singing (cough cough Emma Thompson).
That said, this was a great remake of a classic. It’s never going to overtake the original, and of course it’ll be held to a higher standard by comparison, but in terms of the costumes and characterisation this had me all nostalgic.