“Be. Our. Guest…” – Lumier, Beauty and the Beast
Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
I think we all know the plot (if you don’t, crawl out of your cave and watch some Disney classics and/or you must be a very young reader so I will give you a pass on that one)… And this movie is an adaptation of the Disney animated classic…this time with real live humans.
My Largely Irrelevant Commentary
Since this one is nominated on the technical and production side, I figured I should probably look up exactly what some of the less obvious categories mean. You know…rather that wing it.
Production design represents the art design in a film. So basically the interior design of the set. Some of the past winners include Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and La La Land. Costume design (wait for it…wait for it…) is all about the costumes. Period dramas tend to dominate the nominations and some past winners include Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, and Fantastic Beasts.
Let’s Get Technical
I know next to nothing about the film industry but I would have to imagine that it might be pretty fun to have the opportunity to recreate a Disney animated classic. I would also imagine that it could be a bit of a daunting task – holy high expectations and cartoonists can take a lot of liberties with their creation since they are only constructing ‘on paper’. I thought from both a production and costume design perspective that they did a nice job bringing the cartoon to life. I thought the adaptation of the 90s classic gave the ‘set’ more umpf but kept to the integrity of the original story and concept. The costumes took you right back to the original, which to me wasn’t a bad thing.
I personally don’t mind seeing adaptations of classic fairy tale and Disney stories. I think it’s always interesting to see how others interpret the original and I think the best adaptations occur in 2 ways: they revamp the classic by telling an updated version of the story while still keeping the integrity of the original OR the storyline is essentially the same but they take some chances and liberties with the time period, context, etc. So kind of like when musicians cover a song.
This film has a pretty stellar cast – a lot of great names – and it worked. I like that they kept pretty close to the original, but at the same time they added some additional layers to the characters. And the music and songs were great, as to be expected. And you may very well belt those tunes out loud when you watch it – don’t be shy. There were a few original songs blended in there and I thought they did a nice job with those – they felt like they belonged in the flow of the movie. The added touch of having our favorite French Canadian song bird, Celine Dion, do an original song to close out the movie was an unexpected treat since she sang the ever so popular “Beauty and the Beast” duet for the first one with Peabo (i feel like a last name isn’t needed there lol). Actually surprised this one didn’t pull an Original Song nomination, but I always find those nominations to consist of one obvi and 4 randos.
Bottom Line – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you like the original and if you want to belt out so Disney classics – definitely worth a watch. As for the Oscar noms, I think they are warranted for sure, but I have to see the other nominees before making a educated guess on who may be the front runner.