10 Things We Loved About the New Beauty & the Beast

Header for B&BWe here at Sisters in Geek are unabashed in our fandoms and we lean in to our joy of all things nerdy. This weekend that included seeing the new live-action Beauty and the Beast, and we are here to say: we fracking adored it. For your reading enjoyment, here are our top 10 reasons why.

1. Dan Stevens is the sexiest, most fully realized Beast ever. I mean. Damn. We just had to get that out of the way off the top. OK, we can get to the serious commentary now.

What...um....what were we talking about again?

What…um….what were we talking about again?

2. The revelation that was Luke Evans’ performance. He can sing! He’s got killer comedic timing! He insisted on Gaston being an unrepentant, raging asshole! All at the same time, which is really no easy feat. He had, quite literally, no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and yet we loved every moment of his time on-screen.

Did I mention the part where I am the Literal Worst? I'm sure I mentioned it. I'm all I ever talk about!

Did I mention the part where I am the Literal Worst? I’m sure I mentioned it. I’m all I ever talk about!

3. Giving the servants more to do besides sing, dance and cajole was necessary, and so well executed. The profoundly sad scene where Lumiere and Plumette dance in that dark and funereal ballroom, terrified of dying before they can be together again? Pure poetry.

The layers. The detail. The apron pockets!

The layers. The detail. The apron pockets!

Gods, the embroidery. I need it.

Gods, the embroidery. I need it.

4. Costume porn and cosplay inspiration for days everyone. Days. And not just The Dress either, gorgeous though it was. The little touches on Belle’s workaday dress with its pantaloons and pockets had me making Denver Comic Con costuming plans, and her beautiful flowered number at the end made us all swoon.

5. The dancing! The dancing, the dancing, the dancing. The choreography was flawless, the period choices perfection, and the fact that Emma Watson and Dan Stevens clearly have good skills (or at least excellent teachers) didn’t hurt either. I could dedicate a whole post to this, honestly, because that’s what happens when you are a history nerd who majored in Dance.

6. Beast gets a lonely romantic solo (Evermore) and it is so right. It flipped the standard romantic narrative on its head by laying his isolation and loss of agency over top of Belle’s frantic flight into the snow to take action to save her father. It also showed off Stevens’ outstanding vocal chops and furthered the story without overshadowing anyone or anything. Oh, and it probably guaranteed Disney an Oscar next year. (You heard it here first, folks!)

7. Belle is still the hero of her own story. She owns her difference, is fierce in her love and loyalty to her father, fearless even when she’s actually afraid and above all, she refuses to hide her intelligence. She also falls in love with a man because of his library, which is a sentiment we can get behind. Beast and Belle fell in love because they are both bookworms with a burning passion for medieval romances, not because of Fate, or Destiny. And that’s awesome.

Look at the sexy brain on Beast!

Look at the sexy brain on Beast!

8. The music is still epic and gorgeous and ripe for sing-a-longs. The additions of both the new stuff and the Broadway stuff (hello Kevin Kline’s singing voice! Where have you been all my life?) fit in seamlessly, and the cast all met the challenges with grace. It’s not easy taking on such iconic roles and making them your own.

9. The more complex and, dare we say, grown up darkness of the enchantress’ curse. The way the village forgot the castle and their lord, the helplessness of Mrs. Potts as she soldiers on in raising a son all alone, her husband unaware that either exist. We like a little dark underpinning in our happily ever afters, and we got it.

10. Last, but most certainly not least, it made us cry freely and often. Because it’s awesome, and because it’s sad and because it takes us back to great moments and places in time. Because Belle is a badass bookworm, and so are we. And because when the last petal fell the footstool puppy fell onto his back and if that doesn’t break your heart, I really can’t help you. The experience pulled on our heart strings, and for that we are grateful.

#Goals

#Goals

What about you, dear readers? What were your favorite moments, what made you laugh, or cheer, or cry? Tell us in the comments, and if you need us we’ll be off somewhere pretending we have giant libraries with ladders and rare first editions.

All images credit by Disney.

Hail to The Streep: A Quick Manifesto on Life, Art, and Film, and Why “Political” Isn’t A Dirty Word

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08:  In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts  Cecil B. DeMille Award  during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Meryl Streep accepts Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

 

Did y’all see Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe awards the other week, and her badass speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to film?

Here. In case you missed it. Go on. We’ll wait.


Amazing, right? The woman is a legend. I love her. I really do.

And what I think I love the most about Meryl Streep is the way she uses her voice. Whether it’s via the roles she chooses or the philanthropic work she does or the speaking out on issues important to her, she knows she has a voice and by god, she is going to use it and don’t you DARE try to shut her up or you will be staring down the barrel of a very disapproving glare a la Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.

This speech was powerful. She knew exactly what she was doing. She knew well in advance that she would be honored with this award, and she wrote a speech that said, “Screw all this self-aggrandizement that we are famous for in Hollywood. I’m going to stand up there and speak some TRUTH.” And she did exactly that. She called to task some very powerful people — well, one in particular — and she asked the room to join her in standing against him. And she did this on a broadcast from a television network that kisses that man’s ass as though he is the second coming.

It took about ten minutes on the interwebs for people to start getting angry and attacking her for being “too political”. Everyone’s favorite thing to say: “It’s an awards show. You are just a stupid actress. You are there to look pretty and entertain me. Go make a movie and shut up.”

Hey guess what?

Movies are art. Some of us call it film, or filmmaking, in our slightly more pretentious moments. And the art of filmmaking, like all art, when done well, can transport us, challenge us, make us laugh, make us weep, make us rage, make us cheer, make us hate, make us love. And art? Art IS political. Art has always been political. Because art is life, and life is political is life.

From the beginning of time, humankind has created art that tells stories about their lives. Cave drawings. Language. Storytelling. Dance. Music. It’s all been around a lot longer than Hollywood. And it’s all been political a lot longer than Hollywood. Plato, Sophocles, Socrates: All political. Beowulf contains political commentary. Shakespeare is so super political, what with all the critique of society and whatnot. Hell, even the BIBLE is political — all those Romans versus the Jews and everyone using Jesus Christ as a pawn in their political long game?

Dark times are upon us. Our country has been given over to a group of people who would like nothing more than to shut all of us up, permanently — time will tell what lengths they’re willing to go to achieve that. They want us to be stupid. They want us to not ask questions. They want us to fall in line and be the pawns in their game of money and power.

And some random people on the internet — and plenty we’ll meet in real life too — want us to “stop making everything political”.

(It’s funny how the people who always throw that word around like it’s something dirty or bad are always the ones who turn every single conversation towards the political and then as soon as you disagree with them, screech at you for “bringing politics into this”, isn’t it? Hilarious!)

Well. It’s good to want things. But no.

I refuse.

Meryl Streep refuses.

The women she inspires refuse.

We all refuse.

Think about the darkest times in your life. The ones you were sure, at the time, you wouldn’t make it through. The ones where there was no light at the end of the tunnel — at least no light that you could see. What got you through?

Antidepressants, most of my close friends are thinking right now. And that’s right. Antidepressants… and art. Photographs. Paintings. Music. Theatre. Dance. Books. And MOVIES.

And another thing: Don’t tell Meryl Streep what she can and can’t say on HER platform. That’s HER workplace. She’s the boss in that room and she will say what she came there to say. It is the most appropriate possible time and place for her to speak, and to stand up for people who don’t have the same voice she has.

And at the same time, don’t tell us that we can’t applaud her, for speaking up on our behalf, for touching our lives over and over with her art, for being a woman we can look up to, that our girls can look up to. Whatever your motivation, just don’t. Don’t tell me it’s all a distraction. Don’t tell me it’s just a bunch of celebrities. Don’t tell me I should have better things to do with my time.

The most important thing I can do with my time is LIVE. And art is part of life. Art tells the story of our life.

So we salute Meryl Streep and thank her for the art, and for the words, and for the voice.

Now let’s go watch some movies.

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