Beauty And The Beast very much falls in to my Cinderella pile. As comparison piece to the original animation, this live action adaptation loses each battle it tries to forge. The ability to build a world using animation makes for a much more expansive, escapist aesthetic, and this kind of world building is very much missing in the remake. Belle’s (Emma Waston) ‘small provincial town’ looks exactly like what it is, a sound stage in a warehouse somewhere in Hollywood. Things get slightly better when we get to the castle scenes, but this time the problem lies not in the look of the sets but in the look of the characters. Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellen), Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) and co. don’t possess half the charm of their 90s predecessors, with the focus on making the ornaments look as ‘authentic’ as possible limiting their opportunity for real expression.
This 2017 re-imagining of our beloved colourful troop tells the story of five teenagers in Angel Grove, all of whom, one way or another, you could label to be misfits and outsiders. The film absolutely has The Breakfast Club to thank for the dynamic of the group, the majority of them even meeting for the first time in weekend detention, and it’s the human, coming-of-age element of the story from a star quarterback fallen from grace to a tech geek coping with autism to a Latina struggling with her sexuality that adds a really very endearing heart to the proceedings. Massive, massive props to the film for portraying the first instances of both autistic and LGBT superheroes in a blockbuster. No matter how pedestrian or forgettable the overall package is, that is one hell of a step forward.Have you noticed how we are halfway through the review and I haven’t even mentioned the plot yet? That’s because it really, really doesn’t matter.