#REVIEW: “BEAUTIFUL CREATURES”
What makes Beautiful Creatures stand-out in a crowded field of Young Adult Fiction Adaptions isn’t its immensely talented Cast, nor is it that Dark Fantasy of a Love Story, which Women of all ages have been unable to resist with the recent successes of The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games and Warm Bodies. What makes this Richard LaGravenese Film so highly-enjoyable is the fact that it is self-aware and unafraid to take a few risks by making us laugh.
At the center of Beautiful Creatures is Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a smalltown Boy who at once is incredibly bored with his life in the town of Gatlin and aware that his aspirations in life lie abroad. He becomes enamoured with Lena (Alice Englert), a Girl with a troubled Past and some dark Family Secrets, who lives with her protective and reclusive Uncle Macon (Jeremy Irons). She is a Caster who on her forthcoming 16th Birthday will have her fate determined for good, being claimed either for Light or Dark. Lena‘s Mother Sarafine (Emma Thompson) and Cousin Ridley (Emmy Rossum) are determined to ensure that she too has a doomed Fate, joining them in the darkness. Driven by her love for Ethan, Lena must do everything in her power to avoid a life of darkness, but learns that she soon may have to make a sacrifice that could hurt the one person she loves most.
Beautiful Creatures is not without its flaws and illogicalities, but on the whole it sparkles with a mystical charm, making every effort to engage us in all its fascinating Mythology. Englert, Daughter of famed Director Jane Campion, in this her first starring role is quite good, with a commanding screen presence. At any given moment she is mysterious in her pensiveness, although she is tested delivering some tricky subtext, which in addition to a couple erratic tonal shifts, make for some not-so-convincing moments. Ehrenreich is polished and alluring – almost impossible not to fall in love with, making us v. excited for what’s to come next in his Career. Through it all, we want nothing more than to see Lena and Ethan together despite the litany of supernatural forces pulling them apart. Their banter is endearingly funny and organic, helping the Film succeed as a Love Story.
The grossly-underrated Rossum cannot be denied here – an outright delicious Bitch. She teams with the always entertaining Thompson who shows great fervour, having fun with this Dual Role – much more fun when she’s being bad.
Beautiful Creatures is all about Empowerment and Choice – refreshing in a world of uncertainty. Warner Bros. releases Beautiful Creatures on Valentine’s Day. A Sequel can’t come any sooner.