Movies: Beauty and the Beast, Viceroy’s House, Personal Shopper

WE’RE BACK!!  We had a great time in London.  Watch for our recap under TRAVEL in the next few days.

That said, we saw all three of these films in London. Two at the state of the art VUE Theaters in Shepard’s Bush and Beauty and the Beast at the historic Ritzy built in 1911 in the southern neighborhood of Brixton, but upgraded with new digital equipment.

Another observation: you would expect children at Beauty and the Beast but we completely underestimated how many children.  Upon arrival, there were children running everywhere, some climbing over row after row of the seating like a jungle gym.  The good news: the moment the movie started every single one of them was in their seat and not a peep through the entire show.  Amazing.

Beauty and the Beast

The long awaited ‘live action’ hybrid of this Disney classic hit the theaters like a thunderbolt.  It is brilliantly made, blending all the elements of the original cartoon with just the right mix of modern technology and respect for authenticity of the story itself.

The cast is stunning.  Emma Watson shines as Belle.  Dan Stevens is an awesome Beast.  Luke Evans is both a goofy and sinister Gaston.  Josh Gad is a so-so LeFeu.  There is also Ian McKellen as Cogworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Ewan McGregor as the Candelabra.

It is rated PG but some scenes are rather intense.  We heard more than one parent consoling little ones now and then.  It is listed as a Fantasy Romance and runs a whopping two hours, 10 minutes.  We loved it and thought it was near genius.

Rating: 

Viceroy’s House

This is the complex story of the final months of British rule in 1947 India, the haggling for a new government and the ultimate partitioning of India and Pakistan.  It also speaks to the social divisions between the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities, 500 of whom were servants to the British rulers in India at the time.

There is also a fascinating peek at the then political elite including Lord Mountbatton, his remarkable wife, and power brokers, Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah.

It is well made, directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Paul Mayeda Berges and Moira Buddin.  There is a huge cast featuring H ugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, Gillian Anderson as Edwina Mountbatton, Manish Dayal as Jeet, and Huma Qureshi as the love interest.

Some critics felt the film tried to tell too many stories in the same film.  We agree to some extent but there is also a lot to tell.  It is well worth a look at an extraordinary time in history.

The Genre is noted as Drama/History running 1 hour, 46 minutes.

Note:  it was fun watching a British film, with a British audience, regarding a topic that was not necessarily Britain’s finest hour.

Rating 

Personal Shopper

This is a thriller, suspense and mystery, sometimes all at the same time.  It is also one of the best performances of Kristen Stewart’s career to date.  It is the product of French Director Olivier Assayas.

Stewart’s character is an American in Paris as a personal shopper for a celebrity.  She also believes she can communicate with spirits including her recently deceased twin brother.

It is a unique film with an infectious style.  Sometimes confusing, sometimes mysterious.  It has a fresh international cast and a seductive vibe to it.

It is listed as a Mystery/Drama film.  It is rated R for some nudity and adult images.  The run time is 1 hour, 50 minutes.  If you are looking for something unique and suspenseful, give this film a look.

Rating 

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