Film review by Steve Duffy –
“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
As Belle, Emma Watson, transforms herself as Disney’s favorite bookworm. Belle’s character is also enhanced in this film. She is not only the town bookworm, but a champion for female literacy and empowerment. Her singing voice is a little weak for all the songs, but she does just fine.
I was a little disappointed in Dan Stevens’ interpretation of the Beast. He pretty much mirrored the animated character, but as a wonderfully created CGI monster.
The supporting cast was superb. All excellent are Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson)
Kevin Kline is warm and affectionate as Belle’s father Maurice. Luke Evans is a perfect Gaston. His singing wasn’t bad either. Josh Gad is perfect as Le Fou, Gaston’s bumbling sidekick. And yes, Gad portrays Disney’s subtle first “openly gay” character.
The production design and the costumes are impressive. Included with our favorite songs, are a few new musical numbers.
Don’t except any new perspectives on the plot, it pretty much mirrors its 1991 animated film, but fans of the original Beauty and the Beast will love Director Bill Condon’s glorious adaption.
Rating: PG for some action, violence, peril and frightening images.
Runtime: 129 minutes