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Okay, so the new trailer for the live-action drama Beauty and the Beast is entirely in French. But thankfully fluency in French isn't needed to enjoy this. After all, this is a tale as old as time. Just sit back and relish in the striking visuals Christophe Gans has put together for this dark and dangerous interpretation of the classic story.
Okay. If the trailer from Allocine isn't enough for you, how about a plot synopsis courtesy of Coming Soon?
1720. After the wreck of his ships, a financially-ruined merchant exiles himself in the countryside with his six children. Among them is Beauty, his youngest daughter, a joyful girl full of grace. One day, during an arduous journey, the merchant stumbles across the magical domain of the Beast, who sentences him to death for stealing a rose. Feeling responsible for the terrible fate which has befallen her family, Beauty decides to sacrifice herself and take her father’s place. At the Beast’s castle, it is not death that awaits Beauty, but a strange life in which fantastical moments mingle with gaiety and melancholy. Every night, at dinner, Beauty and the Beast sit down together. They learn about each other, taming one another like two strangers who are total opposites. When she has to repulse his amorous advances, Beauty tries to pierce the mysteries of the Beast and his domain. And when night falls, the Beast’s past is revealed to her bit by bit in her dreams. It is a tragic story, which tells her that this solitary and fearsome being was once a majestic prince. Armed with her courage, ignoring every danger, and opening her heart, Beauty manages to release the Beast from his curse. And in doing so, she discovers true love.
From the rose to the dopey dad and even the design of the Beast, it seems Gans, who previously helmed Brotherhood of the Wolf and Silent Hill, is pulling a lot of his inspiration from Disney's Oscar-winning animated version. But can you blame him? Look how gorgeous it still is:
Playing Gan's Beauty and Beast are French film stars Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan). Frankly, I find this casting inspired. Seydoux is of course inarguably beautiful. But as she's shown in the harrowing first love drama Blue is the Warmest Color, she is also one hell of an actress. Then for his beast, Gans chose an actor who is not traditionally good looking and yet oozes a dangerous sex appeal in films like Black Swan, Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Trance.
Personally, I find the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast almost flawless, right up until they reveal the prince version of the titular brute. He was just such a letdown. Gone was the deep voice and growling passion of the hairy thug we'd come to love, and what was left was a weird looking blonde guy with admittedly lovely blue eyes. But man, I'd take Cassel over Disney's blandsome prince any day.
Beauty and the Beast will open in France on February 12th, 2014. No U.S. release date has yet been announced. Meanwhile, Disney is reportedly in development on a live-action remake of their own.