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When her father (Kevin Kline) is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) inside a huge, wintry castle, Belle (Emma Watson) offers herself in exchange for his freedom. Another live-action remake of an animated Disney classic. This one can’t escape a certain sense of pointlessness considering how close it stays to the 1991 original… but that feeling is suppressed by sheer playful buoyancy and colorful opulence. More a lavish Broadway production than just a remake of an animated movie, the film offers a few new songs and really looks like no expenses have been spared. Simply put, it is beautiful and fun. Watson is radiant in the lead and the 3D visuals really draw us into this fairytale world.
2017-U.S. 129 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman. Directed by Bill Condon. Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos. Music: Alan Menken. Song: ”How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Alan Menken, Tim Rice). Production Design: Sarah Greenwood. Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran. Cast: Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (The Prince/Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor… Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson.
Trivia: Ryan Gosling was allegedly considered for a role.
Last word: “Disney didn’t know about [LeFou’s infatuation with Gaston] [laughs]. It was something I was thinking about and that I talked to Josh Gad about. Our joke was that one day he gets up and he wants to be Gaston and the next day he wakes up and he wants to fool around with Gaston and he hasn’t quite landed on it yet. It’s just a moment in the film, and I get a little weary about talking about it too much because then it seems like a more heavy-handed thing. But I kind of enjoyed that and it’s in the fabric of everybody falling in love that that couple falls in love too.” (Condon, Flickering Myth)
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