Dearest Blog: Today it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the live-action remake of Disney's classic, Beauty and the Beast.
Spoiler level here will be...oh, who am I kidding? Everybody knows how this turns out.
A selfish prince is turned into a hideous beast by a curse that can only be lifted by his learning to love and be loved.
Dear Reader(s), other than Pirates of the Caribbean and that awesome old Robin Hood cartoon, I'm not really a Disney super-fan. If you want to know how the current imagining of Beauty and the Beast stacks up against the much-loved animated version (which I failed to revisit, despite my best intentions), you're going to have to look elsewhere. That out of the way...
The new Beauty and the Beast gets just about everything right. Emma Watson is a delight in the lead. She hasn't got the strongest singing voice, but she's gifted with numbers that aren't much beyond your average shower performer, getting by on her natural charm, beauty, and ever-growing acting chops. As for the Beast, well, casting a handsome devil like Dan Stevens in a role where you hardly see his face has to be a black mark on a film's permanent record, but Stevens' charisma is never hidden by his beastly facade. The cast's true gems are in its supporting players. Luke Evans, Josh Gad, and the divine Audra McDonald use their musical theater cred to steal the show, and the number "Gaston" (featuring Evans and Gad) is easily the highlight of the picture. Some interior scenes are a bit too dark (a by-product of seeing a 3D product in 2D), but the movie's glorious sets are otherwise on full, stunning display. Costumes are also top notch. Seeing Emma in that iconic yellow dress tugged at even my Grinch-sized heart. For my money, the movie's only serious flaws are bland tunes (I daresay most don't share that opinion) and the fact it could use about a 20-minute trim, but a good--if predictable--story, fun action, and solid humor more than compensate for these minor quibbles.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast runs 129 minutes and is rated PG for "some action violence, peril, and frightening images."
The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is magic for old and new fans alike.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Beauty and the Beast gets seven and a half.
Fangirl points: The Goddess Audra! My beloved Luke Evans!
Until next time...