Short title: Beautiful Creatures
This film was a study in brave actors, several of whom weren’t even from the US, attempting a southern accent for an entire movie with varying levels of success. Emma Thompson gave it an excellent go while simultaneously chewing scenery. Jeremy Irons pretty much passed just on the strength of being Jeremy Irons and wearing a selection of utterly fabulous ties.
Viola Davis was my favorite in the movie. She was strong, took no nonsense off of Jeremy Irons, and did not play a maid. Instead she was the most badass librarian the south has ever seen. (As you might imagine, she also had the best southern accent, being from South Carolina and all.)
Teasing aside, I enjoyed this movie, and shockingly considering the lack of explosions and paucity of assault rifles, so did Mike. I’ve heard it compared to Twilight several times, and I’m honestly not sure why. It’s a teenage fantasy romance story, yes, but it doesn’t suck. And Alice Englert (Lena) can act. And at no point is stalking mistaken for love. And so on.
Mostly, it was just fun. There was a lot in the movie about the nature of good and evil, and how people define it. Some of it was a bit clumsy, but it was all very heartfelt I think, and the conclusion was satisfying. And I really appreciate that Lena and Ethan get together very early on and it’s mostly about them figuring out their relationship and not a lot of pining.
Though there was something about the story that did really annoy the crap out of me. And, well, I should read the book at some point to see if it’s the same there. I am not a fan of “fate” as a main plot motivator in fantasy, since so often it ends up being about people struggling, whining, and then accepting a foregone conclusion. I hate fated heroes. Just in general I think it makes the choices of the people meaningless. (Right up there with “be a hero or the world blows up” well NOT MUCH OF A CHOICE THERE.)
But this was a step beyond the normal fate thing. So apparently witches – sorry, casters – can be dark or light. Okay, with you so far. Male casters can apparently choose which was to go… and then change their mind and go the other way at will. Jeremy Irons does this (he’s bimagical!), though it’s never really explained why he would. But female casters are just destined to be one or the other, and there’s no fighting it.
Ugh. I just did not like that at all. And yes, part of the point is that Lena is super special chocolatey awesome and does get to fight destiny, but what about every other female caster ever, including Ridley, who was so afraid of hurting Lena if she got “claimed” by the dark that she ran away? Ugh.