Beauty and the Beast ★★★

I almost feel bad giving this film anything but praise, given Jean Cocteau’s appeal to the audience’s cynicism in the opening crawl, but I’m not sure I got this rendition of Beauty and the Beast in the way so many others have. Yes, the special effects are groundbreaking (though, it should be noted, half of those are just the film being reversed) and I love the look of the titular beast and castle (those displaced arms holding candelabras are seriously inspired). But the overall story and characterization feel so lackluster in comparison. I’m sure it’s a fairly accurate adaptation of the original story - and it’s not bad by any means - but outside of the production design, I have little reason to recommended it. 

3 Stars 

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