Review: Beauty and the Beast

Title: Beauty and the Beast
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans
Runtime: 2 hrs 9 mins

What It Is: Disney presents a live-action remake of its 1991 animated classic. In this, a young French girl named Belle (Watson) gives up her freedom to free her father from the prison-like mansion of a Beast (Stevens). The Beast was at one point a Prince when he was cursed by an Enchantress. Now every person that works for the Prince has been turned into an inanimate object. With a manly man named Gaston (Evans) dead set on marrying her and trouble with the Beast Belle has a lot to deal with. So be their guest in Disney’s world of magic and wonder.

What We Think: It is incredibly hard to turn into reality the first animated feature to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Having said that I think that Condon and the production did an incredibly good job. This despite the film’s uneven nature. All or most of the singing isn’t terribly good. It is just not up to the snuff of the original. There are a couple of original songs but they don’t add anything to the film as a whole. It does have a certain charm about it though that is unmistakably Disney. Emma Watson does an okay job as Belle she just doesn’t have the singing chops to fit the character. In fact, the singing is only passable at best.

Our Grade: B-, A flawed bit of pacing hurts. Condon has a history with underwhelming me with musicals. Look no further than his last one Into the Woods which I found grossly overhyped. I think that while I found the pacing a bit all over and it’s a bit all show and it doesn’t give you enough in return. That said the film is too beautiful to pass up and I certainly recommend this film. It’s a rather charming film.

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