Top Five Christmas Films 2017: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Sky Premiere, 3:10pm & 8pm, Christmas Day

4/5 -  very good lots to enjoy

Belle (Emma Watson) is a pretty bookworm in rural, 18th century France. Patronised and shunned by her community, she lives with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) and fends off the aggressive courting of the handsome but narcissistic soldier Gaston (Luke Evans). When her father is attacked by wolves, he seeks shelter in a hidden castle over which a spell has been caste, turning the servants into household items and the master into a huge, vicious beast (Dan Stevens) who imprisons the old man.

Belle swaps places with Maurice and over time appreciates the inner beauty within the beast. But Maurice’s account to the townsfolk sees a lynch mob formed, led by the enraged Gaston.

Review, by Jason Day
Any film that gets me to like the woman I usually refer to as the ‘acting accident’ that is Emma Watson is one to be admired...and admire this film I do.

That's not to say it isn't without its faults, particularly in regards to the huger amount of unnecessary padding that has been whacked on. This remake adds nothing to Disney's impeccable 1991 animated version of the fairytale, apart from an extra hour on the running time. During Gaston’s rousing bierkellar routine, LeFou (Josh Gad) ends the song with an excruciatingly poor lyric about not being able to spell his master’s name, literally spelling every letter out with huge pauses between each one.

As Gaston, Luke Evans' performance works like a dream. Priggish, brusque, self absorbed and a sex pest, he is the star of the show although Watson is a sweetly effective Belle and the Be Our Guest routine, led my Ewan McGregor, casts a wonderful spell.

For more, see the full review:

Cast & credits
Director: Bill Condon. 129 mins. Disney (PG)
Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman.
Writers: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos.
Camera: Tobias A. Schliessler.
Music: Alan Menken.
Sets: Sarah Greenwood.
Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Haydn Gwynne, Gerard Horan, Ray Fearon, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci.