Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) directed this live-action retelling of the Disney animated classic from 1991. As before, this fairy tale centers on a young woman named Belle (Emma Watson), who is forced to live in an enchanted castle with a prince who is cursed to look like a hideous Beast (Dan Stevens). In time, the pair fall in love as Belle learns to see the good man hiding behind the Beast's monstrous exterior. The film co-stars Luke Evans as Gaston, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Ian McKellen as Cosgworth, Kevin Kline as Belle's father, and Josh Gad as Gaston's sidekick LeFou. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor
Release Date: Mar 17, 2017
Rated PG for Peril, Frightening Images and Some Action Violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 9 min.
Genres: Family, Music/Performing Arts, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
The live action Beauty and The Beast hits all the right notes both figuratively and literally but it still feels like it’s missing something. Bill Condon does a fine job of directing the film delivering lavish musical numbers and a cornucopia of visual treats. His cast is excellent with Emma Watson sliding into the Belle role with great easy. Her voice isn’t quiet as strong as the role needs it to be but she’s still a great choice for the role. Dan Stevens is solid if uninspired as the Beast which is a shame considering he’s a strong actor. It doesn’t help that the CGI on the Beast is thoroughly unconvincing. The rest of the CGI characters are well done which makes the misstep on one of the main characters all the more puzzling. Ewan McGregor stands our as Lumière as does Emma Thompson. As for the rest of the live action cast, Luke Evans and Josh Gad make for a great duo which is helped by the fact that they are clearly have a great time. All in all, the live action version of the film is strong across the board even though it could have used a bit of a trim here there. Unfortunately, it never really finds itself and it really makes you want to revisit the original animated film.