This live-action reboot of Walt Disney Studio’s watershed 1991 animated film musical inspires both imagination and cynicism. But beneath the brilliance of its execution, a certain familiarity breeds contempt. Despite the updating of certain elements of the Disneyfied adaptation of the classic story, which now features a gay supporting character and a much darker third act, this is pretty much the same movie released by the same studio just a little more than a quarter of a century ago.
The movie largely succeeds due to the guiding talent of director Bill Condon. As in the 1991 film, the centerpiece number here is “Be Our Guest,” a razzle-dazzler that pops off the screen. As for the titular romantic leads, both Watson and Stevens manage to make the roles their own. Without question, kids and their adults will love this critic-proof movie, regardless of the number of times they’ve already seen it before. Read a full review of Beauty and the Beast.