It’s hard to top a much-loved classic. With the live-action remake of 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, Disney was wise to play into the nostalgia of its source material. They spared no expense in recreating scenes from the animated film, with a nod to the fairy tale’s French origins, and gave the OST a much-needed boost albeit it wasn’t without any criticisms (filed under: “TELL as old as time”).😂
How is it that Celine Dion does wonders for any song she interprets? Her haunting rendition of “How Does a Moment Last Forever” is easily my favorite track. Together with “Evermore”, both songs are on loop in my playlist these days.
The all-star cast themselves were a delight (Ewan McGregor’s French accent!). Luke Evans was born to play the effortlessly charming and boorish Gaston. Kevin Kline nearly had me bawling so early in the movie before I completely lost it during the ballroom scene. Emma Watson was even surprisingly likable as Belle. The chemistry between her and the Beast wasn’t as palpable as I expected but it played out well onscreen. I do not get the indifference towards Dan Stevens though. I loved how he voiced the Beast and thought he was the right fit for a noble blood from 18th century France. Were they expecting someone hunky who’ll sweep Belle off her feet?
Negative comments aside, fleshing out some of the characters’ backstories gave the movie something that sets it apart from the animated version. It’s a lovely tribute to my childhood years and I couldn’t be happier that Disney stayed true to a movie I knew by heart. We may know how the story ends but it’s the stuff peppered in between that makes it something to look forward to.
Ask me what Disney film OST I first listened to and I will tell you, without batting an eyelash, that it was 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. I fell in love with the tale as old as time re-telling of how true love allows you to look beyond appearances in seeing the beauty of a person’s heart. Of course, I knew the story was adapted to suit their target audience. La Belle et la Bête, however, is a more adult approach to the story of our childhood.
The thing with French films, unlike their Hollywood counterparts, is that they’re very straightforward. No subplots were inserted if they weren’t necessary to the story. Even Belle’s siblings each served their purpose in the narrative.
Léa Seydoux’s interpretation of a feisty Belle was such a delight. She was no pushover and certainly gave the Beast a challenge in winning her affections. Can anyone say, girl power?
Vincent Cassel, however, was clearly the most unusual yet perfect choice to play the Beast. Feel free to contradict me otherwise but had this been a Hollywood production, the role would’ve gone to some actor more well-known for his good looks than his acting chops. Christophe Gans and the casting director gambled on Cassel which made the Beast’s vulnerability more heartfelt after his backstory was shown. Oh and yes, he and Léa certainly had chemistry despite the age gap.
Aside from the characters, the cinematography itself was one for the books. The castle scenes alone, especially during the battle part, were a visual feast. I’ve seen the film twice and it gets better for me with each viewing. Do not be intimidated by the subtitles nor be discouraged because the leads don’t conform to Hollywood standards. For being an unconventional yet impressive take on a childhood fairy tale, that alone makes La Belle et la Bête worth two hours of your time.
* Reposted from my old blog – original entry dated October 19, 2014
Have you recovered from the surprises the month of November had sprung on the country and the whole world? I think I’ve ranted enough on Twitter so I’ll spare my blog the negative vibes. 😉 That said, I’m very excited to see what the last few weeks of the year have to offer. 2016 has been a year full of surprises. It has not been financially rewarding but I am thankfully getting by. One only needs to appreciate the good things happening around, no matter how trivial they may be.
And speaking of good vibes, it’s been a while since I’ve managed to finish a book much less continue something that’s part of a series so I am happy to note that I just started with Book 4 (A Chesapeake Shores Christmas) of Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Shores. The books are the source material for the TV show of the same name which recently concluded its first season on Hallmark. Fondly referred to as a light and heart-warming read, Woods presents her stories like a continuing narrative of a small-town community revolving around the O’Brien family and the people connected to their lives.
The first book, The Inn at Eagle Point, revolves around the eldest O’Brien daughter (Abby) and the circumstances which brought her back to Chesapeake Shores. The second one, Flowers on Main, focuses on another O’Brien sibling (Bree) who’s recently back in town and eager for a fresh start. My favorite of the lot (for now, at least) has to be Harbor Lights which tells the story of how the eldest O’Brien son (Kevin) found a second chance at love after a personal tragedy. While they’ve made several modifications to the story for its small screen adaptation, I kind of wished several parts from the books were retained for more drama.
I haven’t started with Gilmore Girls’ A Year In The Life and everyone’s been buzzing about it over the weekend. Real life just got too busy these days and I barely even have time to finish my TV series backlog! I’ll most probably get to it during the holiday season so that gives me something to look forward too aside from Hallmark movies. Hehe!
I finished The Crown though. And there’s my recent “recommend a foreign rom-com flick” for the month, Casese Quien Pueda. I haven’t even written anything about Nostros los Nobles and it was so much fun!
I went to Fully Booked earlier today and saw the 2017 planners on display. My gaaahhdd, I wanted to buy at least two!!! How is this possible? 😀 I know my finances aren’t exactly in tiptop shape these days but December just ropes you into feeling okay to splurge on things.
That said, it’s officially the last month of the year! Let’s make it count, people! 🙂
There’s something oddly satisfying about watching foreign rom-com films. From the way they pace their stories to the swoon factor between leads, everything’s direct to the point without shortchanging the viewers. Such was the charm of Cásese Quien Pueda’s trailer that we decided to watch it over the weekend.
This Mexican film splits the story between two sisters, Ana Paula and Daniela, whose lives take an interesting twist as they deal with their insecurities, frustrations and expectations about love. The sassy Ana Pau, friendly and always put-together, goes on a downward spiral after discovering her fiance cheated on her. Tomboyish Daniela, on the other hand, unknowingly creates an opportunity allowing her to act on a long-time crush towards a childhood friend. Their stories are hilariously interspersed with scenes introducing the viewers to one of the municipalities from the state of Quintana Roo — untouched by civilization and rich in natural resources.
But a rom-com flick only works if it has equally capable male leads. Luckily Michel Brown, whom Filipino viewers may know as Franco Reyes from the original Pasion de Amor (Pasion de Gavilanes) series, still has what it takes to send hearts aflutter. Ruggedly handsome guys aren’t my type but for someone like Erik, I’d gladly make an exception. 😉 It’s impossible to resist those eyes! Haha.
So if you’re up for some warm and fuzzy feelings after watching a movie, Cásese Quien Pueda comes highly recommended.
I’m getting mixed reactions from people who’ve seen Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. For someone who had very low expectations of the movie, I was surprisingly entertained by the revelations it provided. Eddie Redmayne’s a charmer. His good-natured portrayal of Newt Scamander provided much of the movie’s heart.
For starters, I love how we’re starting on a whole new backstory to supplement what has been revealed in the Harry Potter series. Save for Pottermore and whatever J.K. Rowling has released on her site, not much is known of Newt Scamander other than being the author of a standard textbook mentioned in HPSS and the grandfather of Luna Lovegood’s husband. Here we see him as a budding magizoologist who comes to New York with an enchanted suitcase that houses all of these magical creatures he’s been caring for. The adventure begins when a brief stopover turns indefinite after he’s unknowingly involved with events in the American wizarding world.
The Big Apple itself is a welcome departure from the very British setting of the Harry Potter movies. MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) proves that it can hold a candle to the Ministry of Magic and the American Aurors are every bit as kick-ass as their British counterparts.
Surprise cameo aside, the movie is worth every penny for the fans who’ve missed the magic of the HP films. Fantastic Beasts benefits from not having a book series as the source material and it has done wonders for character development. Besides, what can possibly go wrong with J.K. Rowling herself penning the screenplay?