Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Movies: Beauty & The Beast

Click to Purchase on Amazon!

Starring:
Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans

Directed by: Bill Condon
Released: 2017
Length: 2h 9m

Beauty & The Beast has been probably my #1 most favorite Disney story of all time ever since I was a child. As a girl, I loved simple things about the story - the part where the Beast gave Belle access to his library, the parts where he began to change in his love for her, the parts where she accepted him regardless of his size and form. And of course, I found cartoon Gaston to be wildly handsome despite the horror of his personality. In fact, the character of Gaston is where I first began to realize that outer beauty and inner beauty are largely disconnected - and that one is vastly more valuable than the other.

In my appreciation for inner beauty - particularly as I got older - I began to recognize my own disconnect from those around me, in a society which so disproportionately values the sort of outer beauty that is such a temporary and fleeting thing.

But as a woman I see so much more in this story - the sacrificial love of a familial bond, the transformative power of one person's love for another, the romantic nature of one's willingness to grow and change for the sake of our loved ones - and yes, the ability to truly see and appreciate another person for what they are, entirely separate from what they look like.

The casting in this film is spectacular as well, with Emma Watson so perfectly slipping into the role of Belle that it's as if the character was somehow created just for her. Everything worked for me exactly - from Lumiere and Cogsworth to Chip and the Beast and yes, even Gaston. And being able to see and experience the story in the live-action style was ... wow. Just wow. I was mesmerized the entire time - and in fact, I was so entirely enthralled that I forgot to write my Hidden Delights as the movie went along! So, having finished it, here are a few of the parts that stuck with me:

Hidden Delights From This Movie:
1. As mentioned before - the casting is STUNNING. Belle was spot on. And Gaston, while still a totally unbearable and idiotic shit of a person, was still completely and utterly dreamy to look at.
2. The freeze scene in the village at the end of the Provincial Life song ... wow.
3."She hasn't made a fool of herself just to gain my favor. What would you call that?"  "Dignity." This exchange between Gaston and Le Fou had me giggling to myself.
4. The entire Be Our Guest sequence was amazing. Synchronized swimming? Come on!
5. The rescue from the wolves, and Belle's momentary struggle with whether or not to leave. The ensuing conversation with the Beast about books, and the gifting of his library had me in full swoon. I was all dreamy-eyed and ... *sigh* ... It was perfect.
6.  The sequence with the dancing and the Tale As Old As Time song and the yellow dress and the ... everything. Ah, be still my heart!
7. The gunshots. Both the first and last ones actually made me sit back and gasp a little. The drama was high at that point and I was so engaged I didn't even hear Eden speaking to me at one point.
8. That last dance in the ballroom, with everything all beautiful again and everyone reunited. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I wish I could rate this movie with ten stars. Or sixty. Or a hundred. From the casting to the scenery to the script, right down to the few variations from the original story as I remembered it, this movie was impeccably and undeniably spectacular. In case I haven't been clear enough - it doesn't matter if you're man, woman, or child. If you're a fan of Disney at all, a fan of beautiful stories, great music, and movies that pull off every minuscule detail with utter perfection ... then do yourself a favor. Don't miss this. You simply can't.
Today's "Featured Favorite Product" is in tribute to how very much I adore this movie - and simultaneously, a flash back to my favorite childhood toy. When I was little, my most favorite toy was almost always my Barbie collection - in fact, I loved them so much that I've kept them all for my own daughters to play with! And I'm thinking the next Barbie in our collection will have to be the stunning Belle in her village dress, from Amazon:

$10.75 at the time of this post: click photo to purchase!

Then again, as much as I love Belle, her story just isn't as complete without the Beast and what he meant to her. Truthfully, he has his own arc in the story too - and to be totally honest, his arc is the one most important here - the theme of being beautiful on the inside and putting less focus on outward appearance is one more people should take to heart. So maybe I'll spring for this set instead, and have the Beauty AND her Beast in the family collection, also from Amazon:

$46.63 at the time of this post: click photo to purchase!

Well, but then only having the Beast in his beastly form forgets to acknowledge the power of his love for Belle, and how that love changed his heart and allowed him to return to his true form. Besides, what princess doesn't want her prince? And this set has Beauty AND the Beast, with a human prince and Belle in her beautiful wedding gown - there's no topping that!

$49.95 at the time of this post: click photo to purchase!

Aren't they beautiful? Makes me almost wish I was a little girl again - or that if I were to buy these, I could actually transform myself into the kind of mom who wouldn't cringe watching them get played with. But then ... I could just leave them in the box to look at, right? Secretly?

Hey, a girl can dream.

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Thanks for stopping by and sticking around to see how much I loved the new Beauty and the Beast movie! If you could relate to my excitement, or if you're just as much of a B&B freak as I am, make sure you let me know in the comments! I always love the chance to connect with my readers, especially if, like me, the library was also one of their favorite parts of the movie!

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