Gorgeous Musical Masterpiece
With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, how much do I love Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast? Let me count the ways. The wonderful look of the film. The charming musical score. The whimsical special effects. The excellent performances. The magical atmosphere. And… well, you get the idea. But the most surprising highlight for me involves “Evermore,” a beautiful new song composed by Alan Menken. I still can’t stop thinking about the fabulous way Dan Stevens (the Beast) performs those memorable Tim Rice lyrics and how the amazing cinematography enhances this haunting sequence. If “Evermore” doesn’t win the Best Original Song Oscar during the next Academy Award season, there is no justice in the world.
My comments aren’t meant to degrade the other musical numbers in the film. Who can complain about the appealing songs from Disney’s animated version of this popular fairy tale? I’m happy to report that old favorites like Be My Guest (presented here as a show-stopping big production number featuring the great Ewan McGregor as Lumiere) and Beauty and the Beast wow us in this version. The entire package ends up as a special gift to movie musical fans.
Beauty and the Beast made me feel
like the magic was really real.
It offers up so many scenes
with fun, songs and a Beast who sings.
The Beauty Belle warms up your heart.
You hope these two will never part.
A gorgeous masterpiece, I think.
I didn’t even want to blink.
Costumes, sets, and special effects
add to this film with no defects.
And the new song called “Evermore”
will surely never ever bore.
As old as time this tale may be.
Now “Evermore” will stay with me.
Here’s to Alan Menken, and how!
He should stand up and take a bow.
Kudos also to Emma Watson for bringing Belle to life with such an engaging performance and to Luke Evans for his very amusing interpretation of Gaston, a villainous suitor who refuses to take NO for an answer. Plus, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci and Josh Gad lend excellent support.
Director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), working from a screenplay adaptation by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spillotopoulos, served as ringmaster for this circus of visual and aural delights. He deserves recognition for making sure that once again the curse on the Prince and his castle is lifted as a result of love that grows between Beauty and the Beast. It’s so satisfying when true love conquers all!
(Released by Walt Disney Motion Pictures Studio and rated “PG” for some action violence, peril and frightening images.)
For more information about Beauty and the Beast, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.