Film Reviews
Beauty and the Beast (Rated: PG)

Love Bridgnorth film reviewer Charlie Pugh gives us his take on the much anticipated Beauty and the Beast, now showing at Bridgnorth Majestic Cinema Weekdays: 5:00pm and 8:00pm and Weekends: 11:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm and 8:00pm.

After Belle, (Emma Watson) a high-spirited young woman, offers her freedom in exchange for her father’s (Kevin Kline) she goes to live with the Beast (Dan Stevens). We all know the story…..she slowly starts to realise, aided by his enchanted objects Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson), that her captor has ‘something there that wasn’t there before’ and a tale as old as time unfolds.

Of all of the animated films that Walt Disney Animation Studios have released over their long history, the 1991 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast can be considered one of their finest achievement. It made history as the first animated film to ever have been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and the first to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture in a Musical or Comedy; the timeless story, beautiful animation, unforgettable characters and incredible music from the late Howard Ashman, it’s considered one of the finest achievements in animation history.

Despite a heafty marketing campaign and political rumblings, Bill Condon pays tribute to the classic with a shot-for shot remake of a classic with a few added elements and a few more songs.

Beautifully reworked versions of ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Something There’; wonderful costume and set design and the return of Alan Menken’s beautiful score left me smiling most of the time.

Emma Watson has proven herself a wonderful actress in the past with the Harry Potter films and has done amazing work for charity and politics, however, her singing isn’t very good and her performance lacks the life Paige o’ Hara gave to the role of Belle 25 years ago. The rest of the cast do a magnificent job: Kevin Kline’s more emotional take on Maurice, Luke Evan’s more sinister Gaston and Ian McKellen’s older Cogsworth and Emma Thompson’s younger Mrs Potts although Ewan McGregor’s French accent does get distracting.

Overall this new take on Beauty and the Beast is definitely a safe crowd-pleaser and is a good tribute to the crown jewel of 90’s Disney Animation.

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