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Review: ‘Beautiful Creatures’ has flair
REVIEW BY NANCY ARCAYNA / firstname.lastname@example.org
“Beautiful Creatures,” based on the first book in the best-selling series by Kimi Garcia and Margaret Stohl, just may be the next blockbuster phenomenon since “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” completed their runs.
Although it didn’t resonate immediately with me like the “Twilight” or “Potter” films, I really enjoyed the story and characters — and absolutely loved the costumes. The movie had supernatural flair, romance and a dash of comedy.
Other books, which are scheduled to become future films, include “Beautiful Darkness,” “Beautiful Chaos” and “Beautiful Redemption.”
The story is set in Gatlin, South Carolina, a small Southern town where Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) are star-crossed lovers who dreamed about each other long before their actual meeting.
Lena, a witch who prefers to be called a “caster,” is waiting for her 16th birthday, which happens to fall on the Winter Solstice. On this day, her powers will be claimed for the forces of light or dark, depending on her true nature.
Although the movie has a serious tone as Lena awaits her fate, the comedic bantering between Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) and other characters, like Emma Thompson (Mrs. Lincoln) and Sarafine (Lena’s mother) is entertaining. Viola Davis’ performance as Amma, the librarian, also kept things interesting as Ethan and Lena learn about family secrets and a curse. Davis actually played a combination of two roles from the book — Amma, a housekeeper/seer and Marian, a librarian and Ethan’s late mother’s best friend.
The costumes, designed by Jeffrey Kurland, definitely had gothic appeal. Some boasted Victorian stylings, such as a corset-bodiced dress with an asymmetrical hemline worn by Englert. Kurland had approximately 80 outfits custom-made, including Irons’ entire wardrobe, which had 1920′s and 1930′s influences.
One of my favorite characters was Ridley Duchannes (Emmy Rossum), Lena’s cousin who was claimed by the dark side and makes a grand entrance in her fast car and long, lace cut-out dress.
The movie left me with a curiosity of what’s to come. I’ve already ordered the books and am eager to see the subsequent films.