Also out now is the film Beautiful Creatures based on a series of young adult novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. From the film’s official Facebook page:
A supernatural love story set in the South, Beautiful Creatures tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Going into Beautiful Creatures I knew absolutely nothing about the film other than it was based on a book. I wasn’t even sure if it was a series of books or just one book, that’s how little I knew about it. When someone at the screening told me it was kinda about witches I started wondering what I got myself into. But after watching the film, I surprisingly liked it. Here’s why.
First of all you have Jeremy Irons. Even in terrible movies Jeremy Irons is usually great. He is fantastic in this, seriously a scene of him playing a piano still gives me the giggles. Either his character is supposed to be campy or Irons plays it that way, whatever the reason, Irons steals this film. If you need a reason to see it, see it for him.
As much as the whole young adult genre is emotionally draining and full of brooding teenaged characters older adults laugh at, this didn’t feel that way. In all honesty, it felt pretty universal and completely understandable. Sure there’s a supernatural tone/storyline in the film, but it’s not really played that way. She just happens to have powers and is part of a family of powers, but they fall for each other for reasons that really don’t involve that. Whereas those vampire movies are more life crushing to watch, this is a universal love story closer to a Romeo and Juliet than Kristen Stewart movie. I’ve never gotten into the whole supernatural thing so I kinda felt like this was a new fresh take on it that non-genre viewers could enjoy.
Speaking of the two leads, Alden and Alice are relative newcomers to me and I think they did well enough to make this a successful franchise. You understand why the out of towner Lena would fall for the small town boy Ethan because he wants more out of life than spending his life in the small town. She has seen more in life than he has, but his intrigue to know more bonds them (along with maybe an old time curse). They look good together and I await the progress of their characters in future films.
The film also has some good supporting roles. Viola Davis and Emma Thompson add legitimacy to the film (along with Irons). Emmy Rossum adds some hotness to the darker side of the craft and Thomas Mann plays the perfect sidekick. Along with great set design and costuming, for a young adult film, the movie works.
As like any film it has its flaws. The spinning dining room scene was a bit much for me. Some of the accents aren’t exactly precise, but overall I forgave all that and just enjoyed the film. It takes a lot of shots at the south, plays up the conservative vs. liberal dynamic of the area and just has enough for me to want to see the next film. It’s not about witchery as say The Craft, but for a film I was expecting to roll my eyes at and hate, I actually find myself recommending it more than anything else.
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