Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Out Now On-Demand

Experience the tale as old as time.

A quarter-century on from the animated classic, Disney brings the romance fantasy tale to life in live-action. Directed by Oscar-winner Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), starring Emma Watson as the headstrong Belle, Dan Stevens (TV's Downton Abbey) as the cursed Beast, Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6) as the burly brute Gaston, and Josh Gad (Pixels) as Gaston's sidekick Le Fou.

Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart and soul of the true prince within.

Beauty in the Beast is a tale as old as time. You know, the one where a successful Disney film of the 2D animation era gets dusted off and all dressed up in CGI and celebrities and plays out to a predictable end. It looks exciting and new, and there are a few winky nods to the modern folk (Le Fou is gay!!!!!) but everything else remains entirely the same out of either laziness or a fear of redneck audiences screaming at the changing world around them.

Thrusting the 1991 animated classic into the world of live action, director Bill Condon attempts to breathe new life into the Beauty and the Beast world with his heavy, cloying Twilight vapours. The result is spectacularly lavish at times, hilariously ugly in others, and mostly like a gloomy Tim Burton Instagram fan page. The musical numbers are the most fun of all, and smash hit ‘Be Our Guest’ unsurprisingly soars when the singing and dancing cutlery meets the full Hollywood musical treatment of Busby Berkeley.

Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen voice the lovable homewares Lumiere and Cogsworth and bring some much-needed light (literally, HA!), and Dan Stevens as the Beast seems growly enough, but this movie belongs to Emma Watson. She plays Belle with a bracing earnestness, but there’s a certain sass missing in 2017. Belle, I don’t care how much you love Shakespeare and how well you fix clocks, you've still been imprisoned by a violent Sasquatch-looking thing wearing a tuxedo and I just feel like we need to talk about that a bit more rather than falling straight in love.

TimeOut (UK)


Three cheers for director Bill Condon and star Emma Watson for having the courage to make a live-action adaptation with 2017 gender politics.

Variety (USA)


It's a lovingly crafted movie, and in many ways a good one, but before that it's an enraptured piece of old-is-new nostalgia.

Hollywood Reporter


It's a Michelin-triple-starred master class in patisserie skills that transforms the cinematic equivalent of a sugar rush into a kind of crystal meth-like narcotic high that lasts about two hours.

New York Times


Its classicism feels unforced and fresh. Its romance neither winks nor panders. It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste. I almost didn't recognize the flavour: I think the name for it is joy.

Empire (UK)


Those who predicted this wouldn’t hold a talking candle to the animated original will be pleasantly surprised. The tale may be as old as time, but it’s retold with freshness, brio and flair.

Los Angeles Times


...he [Condon] has taken a sleek and elegant 84-minute fairy tale ... and spun from it a 129-minute epic of extravagance, a gilded monument to the more-is-more principle.

Total Film (UK)


There’s enough darkness to give it a bit of edge, but plenty of laughs for levity, and also moments sure to elicit tears. (James Croot)


This new Beast is still a tale as old as time that looks likely to stand the test of time...

Sydney Morning Herald


Doesn't completely work, but it doesn't completely not work either, if you have the sweet tooth for musicals that I do.

It's lovely but...WHY

Don't get me wrong its beautiful and enchanting and kids (old and young) will adore every gushy moment. It's got the incredible set design and luscious costumes, the songs that come on... we all have to admit we know. I'm just not sure why we needed a live action version, feels a lot like Disney cashing in on past glories. You can tell i'm not a real fan of remakes, I feel like its lazy film making at its worse, right up there with sequels to awful originals.