Beauty and the Beast
There is a lot to like about this film, particularly for anyone who had nostalgia for the animated movie and/or was frustrated by the gigantic plot holes in the animated movie. This film closes those plot holes for the most part. It is visually stunning if a bit too reliant on the CGI, has some of the best costumes I have seen on film in quite some time, and is just a lot of fun. The vast majority of the performances were excellent and the Be Our Guest scene was outstanding.
There were some things not to like about it. Though they lessened the piece, they didn’t ruin it. There was some questionable casting, like Emma Watson as Belle. She cannot sing and is auto-tuned to the point of sounding like a breathy robot. She is also so mild in her approach to Belle that is difficult to see her as in any way rebellious, adventurous character she is meant to be portraying. I am an Emma Watson fan in as much as her work with He for She is concerned, but I just didn’t see Belle on screen; I saw a likable Emma Watson. Also, one of my favorite actresses, Emma Thompson, was simply annoying as Mrs. Potts. Her over-accented straining through two of my most favorite songs in the movie crushed me. Emma Thompson can sing. She has a beautiful voice, but she was acting so hard through the songs that she lost the music.
The much discussed gay character the “gay scene” was disappointing and played into some unfortunate stereotypes. It was little more than a kitschy/campy performance leading up to a split second joke. If Disney was going to take the heat for having a gay character, they should have made him, I don’t know, actually be gay and not “questioning.”