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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

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Only true love can save a young prince (Dan Stevens), cursed to live life in his castle as a beast. When Belle (Emma Watson) arrives at the castle to save her imprisoned father (Kevin Kline), the Beast releases him in exchange for her. Over time, she becomes fond of the hideous creature and his enchanted staff. When the villagers attack, led by Belle's unwanted suitor Gaston (Luke Evans), she must make a life-changing decision. While 1991's cartoon classic (the first animated feature to be nominated in the Academy Awards' Best Picture category) is still the winner, this new version is absolutely charming. This time around, real people ably take the place of their two-dimensional counterparts - with an assist from some fabulous CG effects. Director Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") paints a mesmerizing picture that's filled with lavish sets and costumes, colorful characters and unforgettable music.