(Figure1) La Belle et la Bête [Poster]
The film uses visuals to tell the story more than it's dialogue which is far more life-like in acting, the characters natures are always coherent and really feels like something said characters would do in the situations they are placed in, from Ludovic (Belle's brother) teasing his sisters to how Avenant (Ludovics friend) attempted to slay the beast to win Belle's heart.
(Figure2) The Beast [Still]
Visually the film stuns it's audience with it's deep, dark shadows(see fig 3) and contrasting bright lighting that really puts emphasis on what is going on rather than having the set pieces take precedence over the actors.
A lot of the movie is filmed at "Raray" a commune in northern France, praised for being a beautiful place: 'many of the exteriors having been filmed for rare architectural vignettes at Raray, one of the most beautiful palaces and parks in all France' - Bosley Crowther (1947)
Upon release the film received critical acclaim, Bosley Crowther (mentioned above) was a critic in New York City at the time and reviewed the film: 'priceless fabric of subtle images,...a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas' Crowther obviously really enjoyed the film, praising it in all aspects but mostly focusing on how it was pieced together: 'fabric of subtle images,...a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors' the fabric of the film that holds it all together that according to his statement was the visual side of the film.
Crowther was not the only reviewer of course, in 1999 Roger Ebert said: 'one of the most magical of all films" and "fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal.' Evidently the film reaches deep into the human psyche and pulls fourth emotion and understanding, it's designed to make you care for a monster which at the time was not common at all.
- La Belle et la Bête (1946) Directed by Jean Cocteau [Film] France: André Paulvé
- Bosley Crowther (1947) Review of La Belle et la Bête: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/bosley-crowther/ (Accessed 27/10/16)
- Roger Ebert (1999) Review of Beauty and the Beast: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946 (Accessed 27/10/16)
- Figure 1 La Belle et la Bête [Poster]
- Figure 2 The Beast [Still]
- Figure 3 The Beasts dining hall [Still]