Beautiful Creatures is a movie that has a rather complicated plot. It has characters that are not that well fleshed out. The exposition is circuituous and the dialogue can be funny, charming and sometimes not that well thought out. You can sense that the director is really trying hard to sell and tell the story of star-crossed lovers, Lena played by Alice Englert and Ethan played byAlden Ehrenreich. The movie mostly works and mostly doesn’t. But what keeps the movie afloat isn’t the main character but the side characters played by veteran actors Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson. Emma Thompson is so great here trying to do a Southern accent. She’s such a talented actress and I think she may have chosen this project only so she could play a Southern Belle.
What I loved about the movie is Ethan played oh so perfectly by Alden Ehrenreich. Ethan is this small town boy who dreams of escaping to the big city. His character is witty, charming, funny, literate but at the same time kind of innocent. You really believe that a boy like him could fall in love with a brooding witch. Ethan plays the damsel in distress so to speak since his lady love, Lena, is a powerful witch or rather as she would prefer to be called a ‘caster’. The visuals are great but I would rather that the director focus on developing the characters rather than focusing on the visuals.
To those who haven’t read the novel where the movie is based, the plot may be a bit confusing. There’s a part where the past must intersect with the future but the transition didn’t work out as well as the director had hoped. It ended up being a confusing mess. The movie jumps from scene to scene and somehow there isn’t even a smooth transition between scenes. We don’t know how many days have passed. There were scenes that were totally uneccessary or redundant.
The director of the movie, Richard LaGravenese worked mostly as a screenwriter but he has directed a few films. He also wrote the screenplay for this movie. Perhaps he should work with a good film editor because not everything you write should end up on the movie screen. There are several things you need to leave out. Apparenlty, he wanted to cram a lot of elements from the novel into the film.
I love the visuals of the film though. The beginning of the movie was haunting and a bit soulful. I would have thought that the opening scene would have set the mood for the entire film, unfortunately, it didn’t. The film would have been perfect if the kinks were smoothed out. The character of Lena was okay but the scene stealer has to be Ethan’s character played by handsome and charming actor, Alden Ehrenreich. He is almost perfect in this film. He is such a talented actor and I can sense that he would transcend this mess of a film. He will have many more movies to come. I just hope he makes a few more romantic movies because he has that boy-next-door charm that sadly doesn’t exist in Hollywood anymore. He plays innocent and charming so convincingly that he steals every scene that he is in. I’d watch the movie again just to see his performance. This girl needs her eye candy you know.
I give the movie an overall rating of 2 over 4 popcorns.
I give Alden Ehrenreich’s performance a 4 over 4 rating.
I give the visuals a rating of 3.5 popcorns.
Overall rating of 3 popcorns.
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