Beautiful Creatures (5/10)
has a terrific cast, but the people who are well-known are not the ones
who give the performances that carry the film. Donít get me wrong, Emma
Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Viola Davis are fine. But the two stars of
the film, Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, give performances that
make this thing worth seeing.
novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this is a gothic mystery about
a family of witches and warlocks. It would be mundane but for the
magical acting and chemistry between Englert and Ehrenreich as the
genre-crossed lovers. Englert and Ehrenrich are unlikely stars, not
achieving their status through the normal means. Englert is the daughter
of Oscar-winning director Jane Campion (for writing the script for
1993ís The Piano) and Ehrenreich was discovered by Stephen
Spielberg at the batmitzvah of a friend of Spielbergís daughter.
Englert isnít Amy Adams or Naomi Watts in terms of physical beauty, her
looks grew on me throughout the film. Ehrenreich has a terrific smile
and I thought both of them gave wonderful performances.
Thompson and Irons and Davis are as good as they generally are. Itís
just that these kind of silly tales of fantasy are not my cup of tea.
Even so, the production design (Richard Sherman) creates the mysterious
ambience required. Ably directed by Richard LaGravanese, who also wrote
the script, itís not a scary film by any stretch of the imagination.
Itís basically a love story between two attractive people facing
obstacles normal people donít face. Given that the story is
preposterous, itís entertaining enough to keep you awake most of the