My Thoughts: First of all, I would like a sequel to Beauty and the Beast that follows Chip as a he grows up. Can you imagine the conversations: “So Chip, that’s an unusual nickname. How did you get it?” “Well I grew up as a teacup in an enchanted castle . . .” Second of all, I know Disney gets a lot of flak, but the truth is they are such a big company for a reason. When they put the time, effort, and money in, they are master movie makers and Beauty and the Beast is a master film.
Recommendation: If you like movies that are done well with good acting, music, etc. and you like to be transported back into your childhood you should watch this movie.
Writing/Screenplay: This is such a creative tale, which is why it has been told again and again for centuries. I liked the added elements of mystery in this film. The character of Agatha added a fascinatingly new facet. I also liked how they spent a lot more time cultivating a relationship between Belle and the Beast while still emphasizing Belle’s need for freedom and loyalty to her father. They also added a lot of historical aspects with Belle’s mother, etc. I wish they could have spent more time on the Beast’s past. It was touched on briefly, but I wanted more! I love the new depth that was added to this old classic!
Acting/Performance: The cast in the film was incredible! Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Emma Thompson . . . need I say more (because I could)? Now I know, Emma Watson has been getting all the hype for her performance and she did a great job, but the standouts to me were Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, and Josh Gad. Dan Stevens was wearing a giant green suit and walking on stilts for most of the movie and he was able to really dig into the many layers of the beasts’ character. Also his song, Evermore, was my favorite; it gave me shivers! Josh Gad and Luke Evans were just fantastic. Gaston was cruel and manipulative. Le-foue was the funny, innocent victim of Gaston’s manipulative nature. The two of them had such a great chemistry. They were funny and clever and they just absolutely shone! All the actors and actresses gave wonderful performances (they are all incredibly experienced and talented) and it was just a pleasure to watch each and every one of them perform! Now, there is one thing that annoyed me. The movie is set in France and the only actor they made do a French accent was Ewan McGregor (as Lumiere). Literally everyone else had a British accent and it was just a little strange to me, but I still love everything about this cast.
Cinematography: I don’t have a ton to say about the cinematography. I think we were supposed to focus more on the special effects, etc. in this film. The special affects were great, I really liked what they did with the beast. I wonder if I might have been more impressed had I seen the movie in 3-D. The one thing that I did really, really love was the theme of the rose that they emphasized throughout the film. It was seen in the costumes, in the props, in the stairwells of the castle. It was very cool to see that theme carried out in different places throughout the movie.
Soundtrack: The music in the movie was lovely. Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, they all have beautiful singing voices. The new songs: Evermore and Days in the Sun were my favorites, I can’t stop listening to them. However, in terms of being a musical this film was not on par with films like The Sound of Music or The Phantom of the Opera or some such musical. It breaks my heart to say, because I am a huge fan of Ewan McGregor, but I was not overly impressed with his and Audra McDonalds singing. They were good, but not great and I was a little disappointed.
Overall Score: 36/40
“People say a lot of things in anger. It’s our choice whether or not to listen.”
Gaston: “Belle is the most beautiful girl in the village and that makes her the best.”
Le-foue: “But she’s so well-read and you’re so . . . athletically inclined.”
Gaston: “Yes, but ever since the war I’ve felt like I’ve been missing something and she’s the only girl that give me that sense of . . .”
Le-foue: “Je ne sais quoi?”
Gaston: “I don’t know what that means.’
“Those are called books you third-rate musketeers!”