Thursday, 30 October 2014

La Belle et la Bête - movie review

 (fig. 1, original poster)
La Belle et la Bête” directed by Jean Cocteau in 1948 is a beautifully designed film, able to immerse the viewer in a world of fairy tales. James Travers states that: “Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la bête is that rarest thing in cinema, a film that has the ability to transport an adult spectator into the realm of childhood imagination without ever appearing twee or childish.” (Travers, 2014). The invisible servants in the enchanted castle of the Beast are an example of an interesting and new ideas, conveyed through the film (fig. 2)
fig. 2 – movie still
Peter Bradshaw talks about the film: “Jean Cocteau's erotic and surreal fable is now revived on the big screen as part of the BFI's fascinating Gothic season. Watched now, 67 years after its first release, you can sense how its echoes have reverberated in the figures of Guillermo del Toro and Michael Jackson” (Bradshaw, 2014) “La Belle et la Bête” is an influential film, maybe not so because of its acting, but the environment and surreal feel it brings to the screen.
Bosley Crowther talks about the film: “The dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods.” (Crowther, 2014). Figure 3 shows the theatrical nature of the film.
fig. 3 – movie still
In conclusion “La Belle et la Bête” is a romantic film, it conveys its message through design and is theatrical and possibly slightly camp, but still engaging and mesmerizing.

Bradshaw, P. (2014). La Belle et la Bête – review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Travers, J. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Crowther, B. (2014). Movie Review - La Belle et la Bete - THE SCREEN IN REVIEW - [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 1 - Beast, B. (2014). Beauty and the Beast (1946). [online] IMDb. Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 2 - ShowFilmFirst, (2014). La Belle Et La Bête. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].

Fig. – 3 - (1946), L. (2014). La Belle et la bete - Jean Cocteau - film review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2014].

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vlad,

    Ok, so again you have touched on several very valid points; now it is time to really start to expand on these. For example, you could have discussed the relationship between the visual appearance of the film and the production drawings of Christian Bérard - how did those chalky drawings on black paper translate to the screen?
    You could also have talked a little more on the influences the film has had on contemporary film; the Disney version of 'Beauty and the Beast' for example.

    Just on a technical note, don't forget to italicise your quotes, and make sure that your bibliography is arranged in alphabetical order by author's surname :)