April 27, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

Title: La belle et la bête
Year: 1946 (France), 1947 (US)
Director: Jean Cocteau
Writer: Jean Cocteau, story by Cocteau & Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Starring: Jean Marais, Josette Day
Music: Georges Auric
Distinctions: formerly on IMDb's Top 250
Synopsis: a girl is forced to live with a half-human monster
Length: 96 minutes
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), November 2008
Subjective Rating: 3/10 (Bad).
Objective Rating: 3/10 (gets points for concept, dialog and special effects/design) c. 2.1/4 (Okay).

There were maybe two scenes in the entire movie that had any entertainment value for me at all. The Beast was cheesy and theatrical (by modern standards), and the sets and costumes in general looked home-made, but the living furniture was too cool and creepy to not give a point for special effects/design. I was very surprised by how distant and unsympathetic the characters and story are; it's very much a post-war art film, not a romance.

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