Beauty And The Beast: The critics give their verdict

The new Beauty And The Beast film – and the performance of its star Emma Watson – has been met with mostly warm reviews from critics.

Disney has updated the much-loved 1991 animated movie with a live-action remake.

Bill Condon, whose credits include The Twilight Saga and Dreamgirls, has directed the new movie, starring ex Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens alongside Emma.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman said that “the new Beauty And The Beast is a touching, eminently watchable, at times slightly awkward experience that justifies its existence yet never totally convinces you it’s a movie the world was waiting for.”

But he praises Emma, adding: “You can see within 15 seconds that Emma Watson has the perfect perky soulfulness to bring your dream of Belle to life”.

The Telegraph’s Tim Robey gave the movie four stars, saying that “Watson isn’t a flawless Belle… there’s a lack of confidence in her gait.”

“But”, he adds, “she’s good: that girl-next-door winsomeness and a sweet, clear singing voice see her through.”

The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner said that the remake “fails” to live up to the original.

“Too often, it whimpers where it should roar, phuts where it should fizz,” he wrote, giving the film three stars.

“Miss Watson is not a particularly good actress….So, for example, when she says ‘I want to help you, there must be some way to break the curse’, she sounds about as passionate and committed as someone ordering a skinny cinnamon latte, to go,” he added.

Peter Bradshaw gave the film three stars in The Guardian, pointing to a “good performance” from Emma and a “decent” performance from Dan.

Like other critics, he said that talk of a gay storyline in the movie has been exaggerated, calling it “a blink-and-you-miss-it moment at the final dance.”

Damon Smith, Press Association film critic, calls the movie a” ravishing live-action remake”.

“The charm, sweetness, heart-tugging romance, infectious songs and rumbustious humour of the original – Disney’s finest hand-drawn animation – have been lovingly polished by screenwriters Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos”, he wrote.

:: Beauty And The Beast is released in cinemas on March 17.

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