Friday, March 31, 2017
Beauty and the Beast (a movie review post)
Of course, the problem with talking about this movie, at least for me, is that it's very difficult to do as a thing all on its own without any kind of comparison or consideration of the 1991 animated feature. Probably, that's impossible. Disney's original Beauty was a landmark film and, really, changed animation forever. It was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy awards and was the cause of the best animated feature category being created. This movie, the remake, despite beautiful animation, can't be said to be anything more than conventional. In fact, my daughter's response to it (and she's the one who wanted to see it) was, "It was all right."
I think I liked it more than she did. But she hasn't seen the original in so long she barely remembers it, and it was never anything to her more than another movie on video. In post-Pixar days, it's difficult for earlier animated movies to hold up. Maybe that's why they need to be remade...
But part of what I liked about it had to do with nostalgia more than any inherent quality in the movie itself. Which is not to say that it's not a good movie. It is. It's a good movie, possibly very good, with some great performances and great music, which goes without saying since much of the music is from the original.
Also, as you could expect from a Disney movie, the cast is great. Emma Watson is charming. Kevin Kline is... well, he's Kevin Kline, so he was great. Dan Stevens looks princely, which, especially for Disney, is appropriate. Luke Evans is incredible and came close to stealing the whole movie. Not quite but close. Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen are an amazing voice pair. They, also, came close to stealing the show.
Really, though, what it comes down to is this:
If you're a fan of the original because you remember seeing it in the theater when it was first released, you will probably get a big shot of nostalgia from this movie and love it. I'm going to guess that children will really enjoy it, too, but I don't know if it is the kind of movie that will actually compete with animated movies for their attention. For people in between, well, it's probably not going to be anything special. It's good, but it's not going to blow you away or change your life. It's probably worth seeing on the big screen, though.