Beauty and the Beast

Irritating live action make-over of Disney’s fortune-reviving animation of 1991.

Two talking points: Emma Watson’s supposed feisty feminist take on the Disney heroine Belle – she comes over as snobby, conceited, condescending; I never got her growing attraction to the Beast (who is hardly hideous – he just looks like a cuddly lion) – come on, Disney: if she loved books, have them sit down and discuss literature. or if it’s animal magnetism, then lets’ get sexual with it.

Meanwhile, much is made of the introduction of a gay character; this is Josh Gad’s sidekick LeFou, who is a bit in love with his master, the preening Gaston (Luke Evans, one note). Yet all Gad does is mince about and make pouts in the mirror. This is hardly advancement in representation.

Plus, there’s a talking clock, candelabra and teapot that worked fine in a cartoon but in live action are just silly. I hated most of the songs, the choreography was flat and despite an effort to chuck in a few black faces in the market place, this was mainly a pointless retread with no real heart or originality in its reading of fairy tales.

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