Beauty and the Beast is a musical romantic fantasy directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films. The film is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century fairy tale. While Beauty and the Beast is a timeless film and story is hasn’t lost it’s appeal. Every time it’s remade, it gets better and better. I’m so glad I decided to see it once again.
In Rococo-era France, a beautiful enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman (Hattie Morahan) arrives at a castle during a ball and offers the host, a cruel and selfish prince (Dan Stevens), a rose in return for shelter from the storm. When he refuses, she reveals her identity. To punish the prince for his selfishness, the enchantress transforms him into a beast and his servants into household objects, then erases the castle, the prince and his servants from the memories of their loved ones. She casts a spell on the rose and warns the prince that the curse will only be broken if he learns to love another, and earn their love in return, before the last petal falls.
Some years later, in the small town of Villeneuve, Belle (Emma Watson), the book-loving daughter of a music box maker and artist Maurice (Kevin Kline), dreams of adventure and brushes off advances from Gaston (Luke Evans), an arrogant former soldier. On his way to a convention and lost in the forest, Maurice seeks refuge in the Beast’s castle, but the Beast imprisons him for stealing a rose from his garden as a gift to Belle. When Maurice’s horse returns without him, Belle ventures out in search for him, and finds him locked in the castle dungeon. The Beast agrees to let her take Maurice’s place.
Belle befriends the castle’s servants, who invite her to a spectacular dinner. When she wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose, the Beast scares her into the woods. She is ambushed by a pack of wolves, but the Beast rescues her, and is injured in the process. As Belle nurses his wounds, a friendship develops between them. The Beast shows Belle a gift from the enchantress, a book that transports readers wherever they want. Belle uses the book to visit her childhood home in Paris, where she discovers a plague doctor mask and realizes that she and her father were forced to leave when her mother (Zoe Rainey) succumbed to the plague.
While I’m sure everyone knows the story, I will not give any more of the story away in case you don’t know the story. I urge everyone to see Beauty and the Beast. It’s a delightful movie and well done. Beauty and the Beast is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Check it out!
[Beauty and the Beast is Oscar nominated for Best Production Design and Best Costume Designs.]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged beast, beauty and the beast (2017), belle, cogsworth, dan stevens, emma thompson, emma watson, ewan mcgregor, gaston, ian mckellen, kevin kline, luke evans, lumière, maestro cadenza, maurice, mrs potts, stanley tucci, zoe rainey
I am rating Spotlight 8.5 because of the message it sends and because of the impact this story has had on society. Many people don’t want to accept the findings of this true story but the proof is there. When you have put your faith in a belief all your life only to learn that the messengers are corrupt, damaged or the opposite of what you believed they were, it’s damn hard to admit you’ve bought into a possible fraud or maybe that your whole world is possibly bogus because perhaps, you’ve chosen incorrectly. Chances are, you feel abandoned without any help from authorities to tell you want went wrong or how to fix the problem. Spotlight is the biographical story of pedophile priest in the Catholic church who’s crimes of molestation were sweep under the rug by church, city and state officials. The amount of victims and predators grew so rapidly out of control, exposure was inevitable. A small group of journalist who specialize in investigative reporting within the Boston Globe, called Spotlight, headed up by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) began working on this story when they thought there could be as many as nine priest involved. Before the story was published, they had a list of 90 priest and growing. It seemed everyone was in on the cover up, from the District Attorney to the Archbishop of Boston. As the team interviewed victims, it became clear that the damage done to these children went much deeper than a sex act. The impact on a lot of lives turned out adults that ended up in many walks of life. The team had many setbacks including the attitudes of parents who didn’t want to accuse the church of any wrong doing despite knowing the truth. The team, Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Marty Baron, (Liev Schreiber) Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) worked diligently from 2001 to 2002 at getting these priest exposed and out of the mainstream. Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney brilliantly played by Stanley Tucci, was responsible for getting Spotlight their first interviewees. This is when we learned irreparable damage was done to many of the victims and a cap of $20,000 was paid to keep things quiet. Thanks to newly appointed editor, Marty Baron, who appointed the Spotlight team to take up the story in the first place, these priest were exposed sooner than later.
In the end, several pages of domestic and international list were displayed across the screen of convicted pedophile priest. I’m not sure what the church is really doing about this problem but I know it is a serious issue. The story was well told and the movie was well acted. I wouldn’t give it best picture but I liked it very much and recommend that everyone sees it.
[SPOTLIGHT is nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Film Editing and original Screenplay]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged archbishop, ben bradlee jr, boston globe, brian d'arcy james, john slattery, journalist, liev schreiber, mark ruffalo, marty baron, matt carroll, michael keaton, michael rezendes, mitchell garabedian, rachel mcadams, sacha pfeiffer, spotlight, stanley tucci, walter "robby" robinson