This past weekend, my love and I went to see the brand new live action Beauty & the Beast on the IMAX at Navy Pier in Chicago. After viewing the animated version at the same locale for one of our first Valentine’s Days, it seems only fitting that we returned.
Based on online reviews, I had high hopes and expectations for this film – especially given the casting – Emma Watson for starters.
The setting and scenery is nothing short of breathtaking – a perfect replica of a favorite Disney classic – they brought to life the very best elements of a longtime classic. Emma Watson is DROP DEAD stunning as the perfectly cast Belle – voice, mannerisms, and more. I was also delightfully surprised to see Kevin Kline who plays her bumbling father in a role that is both comical and heartwarming.
The typical musical fare was reminiscent of what I remember, but also infused with some new touches, new songs, and perspectives that I had not quite anticipated. Beautiful artistry, AMAZING voices, and a story that is not one simply told.
Jim’s favorite HAD to be (hands down) the famed Gaston. We have visited him in Disney World and their casting of Luke Evans was spot on. Beautiful, debonair, and oh so pompous – he is the perfect opposite to silly LeFou – expertly played by Josh Gad aka Olaf.
Jim was visibly riled up when the villagers decided to go after the Beast at his castle – pumping his fist and ready to join the brigade (hats off to Disney for bringing out such bravado in my normally reserved better half.) The music, the lights, the fiery torches were enough to start the parade of destruction at the castle.
The chemistry between Beauty and the Beast was beautiful and I LOVE that they told more of the back story of each of their lives – granting insight into their pasts – it helps to set the stage for their eventual romance and reluctant affection.
This romantic retelling of looking on the inside instead of outward appearance for love was enough to bring tears to my eyes (FOR REAL) especially when the Beast seeks her out after he sets her free.
Stunning visual effects with the same beautiful story woven in – the live action Beauty & the Beast is truly a tale as old as time.