The live action adaptation of Disney’s magical animated movie of 1991 has an amazing star power. Some great use of visual effects and stays loyal to the source material.
Disney is on a streak these days. They take their old classic animated films, and remake them in live action. Beauty and The Beast has Emma Watson as everyone’s favorite book-worm Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Among the support cast we have Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts.
In the acting part here there are so much good to mention. Emma Watson shines in the role as Belle and Luke Evans is the cocky demanding arrogant Gaston, and he is very good at it. Ewan McGregor is a Scot pulling of an amazing french accent as everyone’s favorite candelabra Lumiere. A cast of big names helps build a movie justice and there is no reason to hide that DIsney has gone all in trying to capture the magic of the original. Maybe too much.
The CGI is pleasing to look at and the crew at Beasts castle looks incredible. Dan Stevens was in a huge suit on stilts while playing The Beast and it is always fun to see some classic motion capture going on in movies today.
The music. We have to talk about the music. Most of the original soundtrack from the 1991 animated movie returns. Emma Thompson does a version of the title track “Beauty and The Beast” that is almost worthy of Angela Lansburys original. Alan Menken is a spectacular film score composer. There is one brand new song called Evermore which is the Beast singing his own song and this smells an Oscar for best Original Song. it is a powerful tale of true love and heartbreak and is being performed just after The Beast has released Belle from his captivity and sent her to fetch her father.
Bill Condon does a great job directing this. Already known for his incredible work on writing and directing Dreamgirls and writing the screenplay for Chicago he still proves he is one of the best in terms of musicals in Hollywood. His choice of making one of Gastons crew very clearly homosexual is genius. Josh Gad portrays LeFou and just the name is phenomenal. He is one of the more hidden highlights of the film. Condon also manages to show Belle as a powerful female character in the way she stands up to Gaston and does not care what people think of her weirdness.
The costumes. ahh I just have a soft spot for brilliant costume design. Belles traditional yellow dress looks splendid and Gaston looks like he has been pulled straight out of 1991s animated film. It is a pretty movie, with good CGI and use of cinematography.
The main issue with Beauty and the Beast is that it is still the same movie it was 25 years ago. Stay with me for a second now. It does justice to the original film. But some of the magic is missing in terms of the screenplay. When Beauty and The Beast tries to be original, as in Evermore, they really shine. But they appeal to the nostalgia of 1990s kids here, and of course it works, but it is not very original. The overall quality of the movie is good, not great.