So love it or hate it the new Beauty and the Beast is coming out whether we like it or not. To get ready for the release I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 2014 French version of our classic story entitled La Belle et la Bete.
This film is directed by Christophe Gans and stars Lea Seydoux as Belle and Vincent Cassel as The Beast. In all honestly, it is not a strong film but as a piece of soap opera in fairytale form it is entertaining.
The best thing about this version of Beauty and the Beast is the sumptuous costumes and sets. I’ll be honest Seydoux’s dresses show up anything I’ve seen them put on Emma Watson in the publicity for the new film. The attention to detail from hair all the way down to feet is just beautiful.
There are definite moments where the backgrounds look green screened in and the production looks cheap but there are also sets that look as lush and regal as anything you will see in the new version.
As far as the rest of the movie it is extremely silly. It’s the kind of heaving bodice period piece that you see lampooned on shows like Saturday Night Live where everyone has sexy looks about them and the melodrama is strong.
This silliness includes a running set of dream sequences of a prized deer who is shot through the heart with a golden arrow. LOL. These scenes must be seen to be believed and they may have some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a live action film. It is hilarious.
That’s not to say this movie is ‘so bad it’s good’ because it doesn’t quite get to that level of unintentional laughs. It’s more like a telenovella that’s so over-the-top and dishy that it is kind of fun. I honestly think the people involved in this project know it is silly and they play along.
So your enjoyment of Beauty and the Beast 2014 depends entirely on your tolerance for campy theatrics. If that sounds like your thing than give it a watch. If not than stay away. You will hate it!
Overall Grade- C-