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Entries in Beauty and the Beast [2017] (1)


Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast is the rare movie whose form underscores its message. Sadly, Disney's latest 2D-to-live-action adaptation demands that audiences work really hard to suspend disbelief and discover loveliness beneath layers of garish, caked-on CGI. If you’ve seen the 1991 cartoon, you’ve seen this remake, save for a couple of new musical numbers and a poignant but nonsensical scene involving teleportation. Unlike Kenneth Branagh’s expansive and tactile Cinderella, Beauty relies too heavily on sloppy compositing and inconsistent character animation (primarily in the Beast’s face), which crowds out the whimsical, real-world sets and costumes. The film lacks visual splendor, but each performance is winning, and the songs will set your soul ablaze (just close your eyes during “Be Our Guest” and the titular ballroom dance number). In the moment, Condon’s spell hit me intermittently. With each passing hour, Beauty feels like a fairy tale I never quite believed.

Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #203 to hear Ian and Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie sing slightly different tunes about Beauty and the Beast!