Edition: United States  
One News Page
“Probably the fastest-access news portal in the world”
> >

MOVIE REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast

One News Page Staff Monday, 20 March 2017
MOVIE REVIEW: Beauty and the Beastby



Dir: Bill Condon

Starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald

starstarstarstarstar    3.5 STARS (out of 5)

Disney really is atop the crest of a very big wave – they had an absolutely enormous 2016, and while 2017 looks to be relatively quieter for the firm – after all, they released not one but two films in their animated canon last year – they are still expected to fire on all cylinders throughout the year. While we may be a few months away from Thor : Ragnarok, and while Cars 3 isn’t set to screech into theaters until the summer, fans of the House of Mouse can at least take solace in their latest attempt to re-ignite one of their beloved animated classics as a live-action spectacle. It worked for The Jungle Book, it worked for Cinderella – perhaps not for Maleficent nor Alice in Wonderland (at least critically) – so why can’t it work for Beauty and the Beast? Rest easy, as for the most part – it does, if only living in the very big shadow of its animated predecessor.

Beauty and the Beast - Review

It’s a story many will be familiar with, but it bears repeating – book-loving, humble Belle finds herself taken captive in the castle of a malevolent, self-loathing beast – one who resides far from the safety of her home town and one who, on the surface, appears to be a selfish and fearsome creature. Yet, with the help of the castle’s staff – cursed to appear as animated housewares – she starts to see the humanity in him. All the while, the boastful and repugnant Gaston aims to win her charms despite her growing ever closer to a man cursed to be a towering, furry monster.

Let’s make this very clear early on – the original Beauty and the Beast is an absolute goliath not only in animation, but in cinema, full stop. It was the first-ever animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and is still named by many as possibly the finest animated film that Disney has ever produced (with Pinocchio, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Snow White usually following close behind). This was the movie that raised Disney out of the doldrums it was wallowing in throughout the 80s, a time period where The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Company failed to reignite the company’s box office monopoly. It remains to be said, therefore, that Beauty and The Beast absolutely helped to change the fortunes of a company who still is, and always will be, associated with so many of our childhoods.

That’s why this adaptation was always going to be climbing a rather big hill – possibly a mountain. How do you lovingly recreate Beauty and The Beast well enough 25-or-so-years on for audiences to breathe in the magic all over again? That’s just it – it’s made lovingly enough, perhaps flawlessly so in awe of its predecessor – but it’s unfair to review the movie by constantly comparing it to the earlier masterpiece, even if it’s easy to do and even though that was possibly an intention on the part of Disney.

The casting choices raised a few eyebrows, yet, thankfully, they mostly work. Emma Watson does very well to embody Belle here, and I think many will be surprised by how effective Dan Stevens is as The Beast. While he mainly acts through CG here, he’s a far cry from Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley. Luke Evans is a great villain, the ever-reliable Kevin Kline offers a few new twists to Maurice, Belle’s father, and despite my initial reservations about Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson and Lumiere and Mrs Potts respectively, they do well to inject more than a little charm into proceedings. Whatever has already been said about Ian McKellen as being one of our best living actors bears repeating – he is a marvellous Cogsworth. Josh Gad, for all his character Le Fou has faced controversy in recent weeks, shines and steals almost as many scenes as he did as Olaf in 2013’s Frozen.

Beauty and the Beast - Official Full Trailer Compilation (Disney)

The movie aims to retell the story in a more grandiose fashion, and this for the most part is rather nice – there’s new flourishes, embellishments and even slight changes to characters to help make it stand out as its own creation. This is welcome, of course, and it also gives fans a little more to enjoy – but unfortunately, there will always be a feeling that the movie is constantly chasing its tail, trying to be the original animated classic. There are many elements that are translated wholesale here – perhaps in fear of hardcore Disney fans getting angry at the lack of Lumiere’s big number being cut from proceedings – and, of course, we’ve seen the story before. As such, it seems more of a tribute to the source material rather than its own standalone celebration of the characters at stake – and coming back to my previous thought about it being unfair to make comparisons, it seems that the movie very much wants you to do that – to see what Disney can do with their existing material. This is all very nice, yet – for all its grandiosity and all its effort, it still struggles to escape the shadow of the 1991 edition.

2017’s Beauty and The Beast has plenty of heart and tons of character – it’s very affable, funny and full of thrills – and while there are a few clunky visual moments here and there, it’s all rather big and grand enough to offer widespread appeal. If you’re going into this one expecting an abject failure or a perfect retelling of the animated classic, you’ll get neither – you’ll get a movie that is perfectly entertaining in its own right, even if we really have seen much of it before.

Share on
Share on
Post on 
Share by

You Might Like

Recent related news

"Beauty and the Beast" passes $1 billion mark

Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has broken records to become 2017’s first movie to hit $1 billion
CBS News - EntertainmentAlso reported by •NewsmaxEntertainment TonightGoal.comContactMusic

The £15 Primark dress everyone wants that's now selling for...

The £15 Primark dress everyone wants that's now selling for...
It's a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it, but this cheap-as-chips Primark dress has got fashionistas frothing at the mouth this week - and the bad...
Derby Telegraph - UK

The Story Behind These Viral Photos Of A Starstruck 7-Year-Old Meeting Belle

April 14 marked the first day of a week-long magical adventure for 7-year-old Daisy Perez, and the highlight of her trip was the day she met Belle from “Beauty...
Huffington Post - Entertainment

Drama about Antonin Scalia plays out like 'Beauty and the Beast'

In John Strand’s snappy, timely, contrived drama “The Originalist,” now at the Pasadena Playhouse, it's 2012, and a liberal law-school graduate named Cat...
L.A. Times - AfricaAlso reported by •ContactMusic

Back on? Luke Evans and Jon Kortajarena Hint at Rekindling Romance

Back on? Luke Evans and Jon Kortajarena Hint at Rekindling Romance
The 38-year-old 'Beauty and the Beast' actor and the 31-year-old Spanish model have teased on Instagram that they may be a couple again.
AceShowbiz - EntertainmentAlso reported by •Just Jared

In Honor Of Emma Watson's Birthday, Check Out All The Books She Recommends!

There's no one who loves a good book more than Emma Watson! In fact, we imagine the Beauty And The Beast actress is celebrating her birthday (April 15) by...
Perez Hilton - Celebrities

Kathleen Kennedy Keynotes The Archer School For Girls' 6th Annual Archer Film Festival Empowering Female Filmmakers

A Gala Film Screening Event In Beverly Hills, And Industry Panel In Brentwood, Open To The Public Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) April 20,...
PRWeb - Press Releases

Other recent news in Entertainment

Salma Hayek Sparkles in Leather for '11th Hour' Screening at TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL'Fate of the FURIOUS' Tops Box Office, Hits $900 Million Globally
Bradley Cooper Continues 'A Star is Born' Filming While LADY GAGA Headlines CoachellaSelena Gomez Knew DAVID HENRIE Would Get Married First!
Justin Prentice Wiki: 5 Facts to Know about Bryce from “13 REASONS WHYFRANK OCEAN: 'Lens' - Stream, Download, & Lyrics - Listen Now!
ROSARIO DAWSON Will Not Appear in Marvel's 'The Punisher'Trump: Mexico Will ‘Eventually’ Be Paying, ‘In Some Form,’ for the BORDER WALL
JUSTIN BIEBER Shares His Old Mugshot, Reflects on His Troubled PastKATY PERRY & Orlando Bloom 'Weren't Too Friendly' at Pal's Party



Anna @ B&L Michelle went to see Beauty and the Beast at the movies. This is what she thought:... https://t.co/oyzQMMhbBz 43 minutes ago


Caleb Lanham RT @GiveawayBandit: Beauty and the Beast is in theaters! Have you seen it? #BeOurGuestEvent #BeOurGuest Check out our review 👉https://t.co/… 59 minutes ago


susanna rose RT @GiveawayBandit: Beauty and the Beast is in theaters! Have you seen it? #BeOurGuestEvent #BeOurGuest Check out our review 👉https://t.co/… 1 hour ago


Writebase Check out this review of the new #BeautyAndTheBeast movie at https://t.co/IUMKRieOa8 #Disney #Movies #MovieReviews… https://t.co/wYJjfFYeMV 1 hour ago


LaToyia Dennis RT @GiveawayBandit: Beauty and the Beast is in theaters! Have you seen it? #BeOurGuestEvent #BeOurGuest Check out our review 👉https://t.co/… 1 hour ago


Shane McDonald #new Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review https://t.co/1Xs3pBZWjP https://t.co/GyUxPQzL70 2 hours ago

•More original news reports from One News Page
Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2017 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter   FIND us on Google+