I read Past Bedtime



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Welcome to I Read Past Bedtime, a blog for 20-somethings finding their way in the world.


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Review: Beauty and the Beast

Last night I went to see Disney’s new take on Beauty on the Beast. I laughed (a little), I cried (a lot) and I single-handedly demolished a bag of Veggie Percys before the ads tailored to the film had begun (impressive). The film is (for sensitive souls like me) an emotional rollercoaster best experienced first hand – but if instead of that you’d like my scene-by-scene take on it, you’ve come to the right place.

Shhh! Opening credits, isn’t the Disney castle breath-taking? Reminds me of recent trip to Disneyland Paris with sis. Spend first few scenes fondly reminiscing.

Ah ha! Belle has arrived. Nods to her feminist traits take an overt turn as she tucks one side of dress into her bloomers for easy roaming about the provincial town. Must remember that trick next time I’m in Aylesbury.

Gaston has made an entrance and is suitably self-absorbed and stereotypical – she’s never going to go for you, you muppet! Personal highlight for me is his right hand man whispering ‘It’s never gona happen ladies’ to Gaston’s equally vacuous admirers. But wait, I’m sure I’ve seen Gaston in something else… racks brain for all movies ever watched to find link.

Villagers do not take kindly to a girl with a brain – Belle runs for the hills in anguish. Hang on, is this Beauty and the Beast or The Sound of Music? As Emma Watson serenades the hills about her yearning for adventure, the distinction is momentarily blurred.

We’re firmly back on dry land with the castle. Talking teacups and candlesticks aren’t quite as endearing when made to look realistic, but Ian Mckellen as Cogsworth wins me over every time (this being the first).


This Gaston thing is really bugging me…


Another moment of heroism from Belle as she tricks her father into leaving the dungeon and taking his place. What a gal.

Is it just me or is the Beast quite attractive? Nothing gets me going like a troubled soul who is actually hilarious when you get to know him. Perhaps in an attempt not to frighten away the kiddies, Disney haven’t done a great job of making him particularly scary.

Can’t help but notice that Emma Watson doesn’t have many lines in this. Thank goodness for her expressive face.

The Beast lets Belle go of her own free will because he loves her and sings a rousing song about it. I’m right there with him emotionally as he watches the yellow-dressed figure flee into the night. I am balling my eyes out within seconds. Somehow the Beast keeps it together.


He’s Bard! He’s Bard in the Hobbit! Relief washes over me.


You know the rest – Gaston has his wicked way and locks up Belle and Papa B, villagers decide to storm the castle (Belle’s friend the librarian looks perturbed about the direction things are taking, but you don’t speak up do you, wuss?? Men these days.) After a heart-warming father-daughter moment, the two prisoners manage to escape and Belle sets off to save her man.

And there we have it – Belle admits her undying love and the Beast turns back into Matthew from Downton Abbey. While I’m thrilled for Cogsworth, Lumière and assorted cast as they rediscover their old lives, I have to agree with Emma Watson – the Beast was better before.