May. 5th, 2012

kareila: (Default)
[personal profile] kareila
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038348/

I sought this out at my local library because I saw a review online claiming this was the best cinematic adaptation of a fairy tale yet to be filmed. I don't quite agree with that, but there is a great deal here of interest.

This is a black and white, French language film. The subtitles are adequate but fail to capture certain subtleties of the dialogue, such as the delightful moment when Beauty switches from calling Beast "la bête" (the beast) to "ma bête" (my beast). Both are simply subtitled as "Beast!" in the version I watched.

The special effects are impressive. Unseen hands tend to Beauty. Statues come to life. The Beast's hands smoke whenever he kills. And the ending... I don't want to spoil it, but it is lovely.

If you want to spend an hour and a half on some old-fashioned character development and cinematic sleight of hand, this is a good pick.

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