The best roles are saved for two very prominent actors of our time. Dan Stevens (The Guest) is unrecognizable as the beast, which is a good thing. After the opening scene, we get a scary image that takes time to gain the audience's trust. His role is much different from his other works. Stevens seems to be one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood right now.
Speaking of versatile actors, Emma Watson (Harry Potter) graces the big screen once again as an iconic Disney character. In this remake, Belle is different from the original film. This time, she is a much more empowered character. Watson's work on feminism clearly made its way into the film, proving that equality in movies is possible. No one could do a better job in this role than Watson, and no one is more fitting. Condon makes it very clear that this story is more based around Belle than it is around the beast.
Of course, this wouldn't be a Disney live action adaptation without a reworking of the original score. Usually, pre-recorded performances distract me from the screen as I watch clear lip-syncing. However, I applaud Beauty and the Beast's sound crew for making the singing look as realistic as possible. Sure it is not as authentic as the Les Miserables performances, but this is as good as it gets! The massive scale choreography is also exciting to watch as the cast dances to iconic songs such as "Belle", "Be Our Guest", and the titular song "Beauty and the Beast". Of course, "Gaston" remains as one of my favorite Disney songs ever with a job well done by Josh Gad (Frozen) and Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6). These familiar names play off of each other with a grand stage presence. Evans is menacing as hell and Gad brings another wimpy character to life.
The Bottom Line: Beauty and the Beast brings back a tale as old as time with grandeur and charm-filled acting that could only be produced by the familiar faces in the cast.