The Best Movie Critic + review

Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast

Man, I know I'm getting a little repetitive in my endorsement, but the Starz Film Center is tickling my movie fancy just right these days. As if last week’s bitchin’ double feature (Jungle Book and District B13) wasn’t awesome enough, they had to go and top themselves this week with an even better double feature this Friday: Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast and Tobe Hooper/Dan O’Bannon’s Lifeforce. Justin has dropped by with an ever-so-brief-but-still-tantalizing preview of Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. This is a gorgeous movie. If we were to trace the steps between early movie magicians like George Melies and modern movie magicians like Michel Gondry, Cocteau would be there and Beauty is the movie he would be there for. Here’s Justin with a little more…

Right before we popped in Beauty and the Beast I caught part of Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer on TV. The movies don’t really have anything in common, I just want to point out that even though Beauty and the Beast was made 51 years earlier and had a fraction of the budget of F4, the costume design and even the special effects look many, many times better than the later film.

If you’re familiar with Cocteau, it is probably from his other big movie, Orpheus. In that movie, Cocteau takes on Greek mythology, setting the story in contemporary France. Beauty is Cocteau’s take on fairy tales, though it is consistent with the Grimm Brothers’ period. It’s a truly wonderful movie, and should be seen by anyone who is only familiar with the animated Disney version and especially if they thought something was missing from it. This is a weird, dark, troubling, and slightly disturbing story and Cocteau does it justice.

Magic Moment: entering the Beast’s castle for the first time

Beauty and the Beast plays at the Starz Film Center on Friday, February 12th at 7pm and again on Sunday, February 14th at 4pm. The Friday showing will be followed by a discussion with Colorado NPR critic Howie Movschovitz and Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs, ‘contrasting choreography of the film with the […] upcoming Colorado Ballet production.’ The Sunday showing (sans hoity-toity discussion) is a Valentine’s Day special, with 2 tickets and 2 glasses of wine for 24 bucks. Wowee. Impress your special lady with your vast knowledge of classic French cinema! She’d never have guessed you were so cultured! You might finally get to third base, dude!

This inaugurates a lil’ ‘Monster Movie Week’ here at The Movie Advocate. We'll return tomorrow with a review of a brand new movie staring another hairy beast. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Teen Wolf 3.

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Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast + review