Happy Monday, luvs! I hope your week is off to a great start!
This past Friday, my friend Jessie (Those Infernal Books) and I went to see Beauty & the Beast! We saw it at 11pm and didn’t get home until almost 2am! If you’re like us, seeing this live-action remake is really special because we grew up on Disney movies, especially Disney movies from the “Renaissance” era (1990s) because she and I were both born in 1993.
B&B has always held a special place in my heart because if it weren’t for Aladdin (whose leading lady is my namesake), it would definitely be my favorite Disney movie. The music is fantastic and the love story is just wonderful. B&B the music is also one of my all-time favorite musicals! When I was a senior in high school, our annual Broadway Night theme was Disney and my solo was the opening song, ‘Belle’.
What I liked:
- I think the casting was very good. Everyone has been swooning over Emma Watson since it was announced that she would play Belle, which is understandable. But I have to say that all of the characters in the Beast’s castle were AMAZING. Audra McDonald as the wardrobe was fantastic. Ewan McGregor & Ian McKellen as Lumiere & Cogsworth were great! Also, Josh Gad a.k.a. Olaf as LeFou was HILARIOUS and he was openly gay! I know people have different opinions on this, but I’m trying not to read so much into it.
- The orchestration of the music was taken directly from the original movie which I loved. Every time I heard the trailer music I got chills and hearing it in the movie theaters intensified that feeling and hit me like a wave of nostalgia.
- The cinematography and animation were beautiful, elegant, and dare I say it…magical. I thought the actors’ wardrobes really came to life from the original animated film and the Baroque detailings and intricacies of the Beast’s castle were gorgeous.
- The ensembles and townsfolk were great and sang so well! Yes, the leads are important, but B&B has such an awesome ensemble cast of supporting actors that are just a joy to watch and listen to. The Mob Song was probably one of the best songs performed in the entire movie!
- I was super impressed with Dan Stevens’ portrayal of the Beast. He really stayed true-to-character with regards to the original film. He was such a smartass to Belle and it was perfect!
- I thought Maurice was really funny…I felt like when he was being funny, Jessie and I were the only ones laughing, but when he was actually in distress everyone else started laughing LOL.
What I didn’t like so much:
- The composers created a few new songs just for this film, which are actually really beautiful, but I would have been just as happy if they just used some of the songs from the Broadway musical. I would have loved for the Beast sang If I Can’t love Her!! I nearly burst in tears when I heard Home in the background, but was slightly disappointed when Belle didn’t sing along.
- The auto-tuning was too much, especially for Emma. Just based on her speaking voice, Emma has a really pretty and simple singing voice. She had little to no vibrato which wouldn’t be such a big deal to me if the auto-tuning didn’t make it sound so artificial and unnatural.
- Luke Evans played a great Gaston and his singing was great too, but his character was meant to be an operatic baritone! In a lot of operas and musical, baritones often play the villains because that deep and haughty voice archetype just suits evil characters so well.
- There were a few tiny added plot points here and there that didn’t totally take away from the film, but I do feel like instead of being interwoven, they were thrown in casually just to take up time. (**Spoiler: At one point, Gaston ties Maurice to a tree and leaves him to the wolves and I was like “WHAT THE…Is Maurice gonna make it to the end of the film??)
As you can see, the main issues I had were music/singing-related which is not a surprise for me, haha. With the exception of Audra McDonald and a few others, I think the townsfolk had the best singing!
Going into the movie, I really thought I was going to cry…and I did! Rather than crying because the movie was so beautiful, I really cried because it touched on my fondest childhood memories: enjoying the magic of Disney movies in the comfort of my own home. I think being in those comfy reclining seats combined with my nostalgia really did a number on me, LOL.
Verdict: I happily and fairly give the film 3/5 🌟🌟🌟! Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard Disney/B&B fan or have never seen the original, you will probably enjoy this movie. Singing-wise it’s not perfect, but Emma is just so beautiful on the screen and the rest of the cast did great. I can only imagine the weight on their shoulders that comes with the daunting task of remaking a classic that is loved by people of all ages, especially those who grew up with it. Overall, a very magical live-action adaptation.
If you saw B&B, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! If you haven’t seen it yet but plan on doing so, tell me what your thoughts are going into it!
P.S. I didn’t realize there’s also going to be a live-action Aladdin and Little Mermaid in the future! I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED! A friend told me that Aladdin is supposed to start filming in June!!