La Belle et la Bete

Beginning with a letter from director Jean Cocteau requesting a suspension of logic and preparation for the fantastical, la Belle et la Bete does not hide the ludicrous and high concept nature of its plot. 45 years before Disney set about with dancing cutlery, this tells the Beauty and the Beast tale slightly more subtly, though elements such as the homing horse, magic mirror and teleportation glove push the early request to its limit. Jean Marais’ make-up and costume, complete with smoking gloves and breathy, rasping growl, is incredible for the time, and the images of the human arm candle holders and faces in the mantelpiece remain vividly in the memory long after the film is over.
Choose film 6/10