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Comics of Asian Descent Put Themselves Onstage via @NYTimes

Beautiful Creatures Archives -

Beautiful Creatures Archives -

Karen Posada


2013/02/13 at 12:00am

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures

We all know that no matter what, books are always better than movies because they have the advantage to be as detailed as possible and to develop relationships without rushing; putting that aside I think director Richard LaGravenese did a good job with ‘Beautiful Creatures’ staying very close to the source material. I will get the ‘Twilight’ comparison out of the way and agree that this is a lot like that saga except that in this film we get much better acting and effects. This is without a doubt going to become the next teen addiction, the four books written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have been on the New York Times bestselling list for a while. The film definitely makes every moment more dramatic and the last thirty minutes are very chaotic, but the nice part is that it is all unexpected and that trick isn’t bad. For anyone interested just remember this is very much directed towards a teen audience like ‘Twilight’ was, so keep your expectations leveled and remember it is based on four books so we will probably get four or five movies.


In the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina where nothing ever happens, 17-year-old Ethan Wate (Alden Enrenreich) born and raised there awaits his high school graduation to escape the monotony and travel the world. But when Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) the niece of the town’s shut in Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) comes into town everything changes, especially for Ethan. Lena has supernatural powers and being an outsider makes her an outcast, but Ethan is attracted to her and tries to break her shell to get to know her. The two must turn against the whole town and their leader Mrs. Lincoln (Emma Thompson) and some of Lena’s relatives like Ridley Duchannes (Emmy Rossum) with the help of Ethan’s best friend Link (Thomas Mann) and Amma (Viola Davis) they will do anything to be together.    


The script surprisingly mixes in a lot of comedy and charm, which helps give the film a more lighthearted and likeable quality. Enrenreich is fantastic and steals almost every scene he’s in, he has talent and shows it both in the comedic and more dramatic scenes, with that he will easily become the next heartthrob. Rossum is my next favorite; she’s perfect for this role and shows her potential. Irons and Thompson are also great, and give the film a good balance with the adult lead they provide. Davis is the heart of the film and you immediately are sympathetic towards her, her being one of the few humans. Mann really plays the role of a secondary character that is barely noticeable. I leave Englert for last because she really is the only thing that doesn’t shine here and feels out of place, she doesn’t seem to have any acting skills and has no appeal to bring the public to like her.    


The changes made so that the script could fit better in the big screen don’t bother me; I think it gives it a tighter and neater feel, although beware those that loved the book the ending is a bit different here. The time frame seems a little off at the beginning where it all seems to happen in the span of two days or so, it’s not quite clear. Referring back to rushing relationships this one feels rushed towards the middle and it takes away some of the magic of the story. This pace starts making things somewhat confusing and that is when the overdramatic part of the script comes in.


The southern setting is beautiful and the accents, the landscapes and sceneries really complement the film and its beauty. There are times when it’s hard to understand what the characters are saying and even what’s happening with all the supernatural stuff and people. The thing that gets the movie going and will have you buying your ticket for the sequel is the charm, beauty, elegance, sophistication and power it has to draw you in despite its flaws. If you were disappointed to not have a ‘Twilight’ movie coming out once a year, this one will be an easy replacement with a higher production value than the previous craze.

Karen Posada


2012/10/15 at 12:00am

NY Comic Con Coverage: ‘Beautiful Creatures’

NY Comic Con Coverage: 'Beautiful Creatures'

The next movie by director Richard LaGravenese nominated for an Oscar for ‘The Fisher King’ and ‘P.S. I Love You’ is titled ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and will open in theaters February 13, 2013. This film is based on the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl which is the first part of a series of books for young adults called ‘ Caster Chronicles’; The New York Times called one of the bestselling fantasy novels for young adults. This series of novels is made up of four books: Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption, this last one will be available to the public in a week. The movie, which is based on the book by the same title will be distributed by Warner Bros Pictures.  

This supernatural love story takes place in Gatilin South Carolina, where we meet the love struck couple: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) a young man who wants to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert) a mysterious girl. They unite to uncover dark secrets about their families, their history and their town.

The main actors from the movie are: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons winner of an Academy Award, Viola Davis Oscar nominee, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson Oscar winner and Zoey Deutch.

Alden Ehrenreich, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Zoey Deutch and director Richard LaGravenese were in New York Comic Con this past weekend to promote their movie. The novel’s writers were there as well to express their enthusiasm on seeing their work on the big screen. A teaser was shown where you could see this mix of magic, drama and special effects. The cast commented on the movie and their experience being a part of it.

They all agreed that the director didn’t try to capture how each teenager is around the world, because that would be impossible, which allowed him to treat them like real characters without trying to make them be teenagers that already exist. They clarified that the film doesn’t only take place in the present, there are flashbacks to show that the characters have existed for centuries, therefore the Romeo and Juliet love story shows that they’ve been around. To this the director stated that for him certain characters never go out of style, such as characters that are intelligent, witty and charismatic because they last for centuries and this is how he created this characters, this way they are not only of this culture but part of all of them. Most of all they suggested for the public to remember this is a human story, it’s not a supernatural story like people assume it will be, it feels very real.

Each actor told a short story as to how they prepared for their roles:

Alden Ehrenreich who studied in Argentina for a year and plays the “Romeo” of this story, Ethan, said: to prepare for this I only had to think of our location, and I would ask myself who my character was, to understand the context of his family and understand their interactions. I would try to understand how they felt about one another. What I liked is that I didn’t have to think about it much; I just had to use my instincts. I had a dialect coach, which helped me a lot.

Zoey Deutch who speaks a little Spanish and will play the character of Emily Asher, talking about her role said: what helped me a lot was being able to change my appearance and hair color, things that made me feel different. This character is so wide and that helped me understand her. For example, I’m Jewish and she’s Christian so I went to different churches and watched many videos and tried to have the accent, I wanted it to be different, a southern manipulating accent; because usually southern accents are so nice and fun to listen to and I wanted to change it.

Thomas Mann who will play Link gave a very sincere answer: I prepared for my character remembering that I couldn’t just use a southern accent, but I had to feel like they do to understand where they came from, their customs, habits and that environment they were brought up in. In the movie they don’t try to use popculture like Twitter or Facebook, so it feels timeless. I learned some southern sayings and they let me re-write some of my lines so I could use them.

Lastly, Emmy Rossum who will be the provocative Ridley Duchanness said: My character is always showing off and looiking for attention and she has some moments were you can see her vulnerability. I had to think how does she walk, strut, the tone of voice she uses when she’s trying to manipulate someone, that honey, southern sugary voice; I wanted to see how far I could go with it and sometimes Richard would say “Ok, that’s enough”. It was an exercise to be over the top, self-centered and to use my sexuality. I had a lot of fun and my expectation is that this movie is going to be great.

In the meantime we can enjoy the trailer, which shows us more about this love story surrounded by mystery and supernatural powers.    


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