Director Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast gets off to an iffy start with a rather pedestrian opening song and ends with a rather pedestrian dance (or, perhaps, it’s a bit of jealousy on my part that I’m not dancing with Belle). However, the 2 hours and a few minutes in between are absolutely a joy.
The main reason for the film’s success is the brilliant choice of Emma Watson as the lead character. Our little Hermione from the Harry Potter films has grown up to be one of the most beautiful women to have ever appeared on screen. Everything about her performance is perfection. Thanks to Casting Director Lucy Bevan, who, also, made a brilliant choice for Cinderella, a few years ago.
Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Ian McEllen, Emma Thompson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are wonderful in their roles, as well.
And, hats off to Production Designer Sarah Greenwood for some of the most innovative sets you’ll ever see.
I couldn’t help thinking that La La Land was a wonderful setup for preparing younger audiences to the joys of musical films and, therefore, a great benefit to Composer Alan Menken’s score. I hope the song Be Our Guest will be remembered for this year’s award nominations.
Bottom line, bring the kids and have a great time at the movies.
I give Beauty and the Beast a 4.3 out of 5.