This classic adaptation of the beloved fairy tale from visionary director Jean Cocteau follows a beautiful young woman who takes the place of her father as the prisoner of a castle inhabited by a mysterious beast.
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A perfect film. Enjoyable even by children who can't read the subtitles and don't speak French. Cocteau will live forever, as he predicted in "Testament of Orpheus". Every couple of years, another film based on his work is made!
Cocteau builds up these worlds in the threshold... the indefinite spaces between life & death (Orpheus); the liminal spaces where disbelief is suspended; the enchanted, magical spaces, reachable only by flights of fancy... Rare & ephemeral & delicate worlds that make us hold our breath, to not disturb them. That's our contribution: Wide eyes & light heads! A fair trade for that sort of wonder... A true delight. 3.75
This film is nothing short of magical. Cocteau was a true poet of the cinema and with the great team he put together to make this film it is a true wonder to behold with dazzling special effects and great spirit.
A poetic fairytale. The cinematography was absolutely breathtaking. There were a couple shots so beautiful I couldn't believe they were real. Loved the acting and the production design was remarkable. Overall absolutely lovely, whimsical and beautiful.
A very stylized piece that has many of Cocteau's touches from Blood of a Poet. The changes he made to the end of the story—in which he transforms to Belle's aesthetic ideal, much to Belle's disappointment—were an interesting attempt to add nuance to a fairy tale that features pretty one-dimensional characters and a pretty one-dimensional moral. Overall, not bad.
I've just watched this again last night (on DVD), and was surprised by the film's original main title sequence since I've originally seen a different opening version on VHS. Cocteau wrote and drew (even erased) almost everything as the film opened with its credits that I'd see. "OMG! It's Cocteau himself" My first time watching this moment. :)
Jean Cocteau's darker take on Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's classic fairy tale may strike viewers more accustomed to the animated Disney version as a bit unusual, but time has yet to dim its magic. Affectations such as Cocteau's introduction imploring audiences to suspend disbelief may seem quaint by today's standards, but LA BELLE ET LA BETTE remains one of the most magical children's films of all time.
Fairly tale classic from director Jean Cocteau boasts some extraordinary fantasy visuals with imaginative production design and dream-like black and white cinematography. Unfortunately, the story and characters never go much deeper than their simplistic fairly tale origins, which can make it seem slow and overlong - but still worth watching as a visual masterwork. Excellent, lush score by Georges Auric.