Mar 20, 2013

Beautiful Creatures Movie Review

Beautiful Creatures by Richard LaGravenese
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: PG 13
Runtime: 124 mins.

Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in the Caster Chronicles book series.  It centers around the love of a caster female named Lena Duchannes and a human Ethan Wate.  Our site owner, Jessica reviewed it last year.  Click here to read her review.  Now I recently read Beautiful Creatures, please keep in mind that I have not yet finished reading the series.  So this review will be only compared to the first two books.

Let's start with the good shall we?  The best thing about this film was the casting, hands down.  Alden Ehrenreich was perfect as Ethan.  His southern accent was great, his mannerism were amazing, and overall he was very likeable.  While reading the book, I adored Ethan.  Alden definitely did his homework before playing this role.  Alice Englert as Lena was great as well.  Lena can be kind of pessimistic, and can be very antisocial.  Alice definitely nailed this.  And her chemistry with Alden was definitely there.  I did find myself swooning a bit during their more romantic scenes together.

Even though the heart of the story is the relationship between Ethan and Lena, this movie has some pretty amazing supporting actors.  You can't really go wrong with one academy award nominated actress and two academy award winners.  Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood in my honest opinion was the greatest thing about this movie.  Macon is actually my favorite character from the book.  And I was so happy that they got an actor who really embraced the character.  As a reader, it's always good to see when the director gets a casting right.  And Viola Davis as Amma and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lincoln, that was definitely casting done right.

The scenery of the film was absolutely beautiful.  They filmed the movie in Louisiana, and I felt like it had that Southern feel to it.  My grandparents were from Georgia and Alabama, and one summer I went to both states as a child.  It definitely brought back memories.

Now I admit I saw Beautiful Creatures a few weeks after it's initial release.  I had read reviews online.  A lot of people who loved it, were people who hadn't read the book.  A lot of people who hated it, were people who had read the book.  I decided to go into it with an open mind though.  And unfortunately, I have similar thoughts to the fans who had read the book.  Now I didn't hate it, but I found myself scratching my head quite a few times.  I do understand that in book to film adaptations changes do occur.  It's inevitable because you have to appeal to the movie audience.  Some things you read in a book can be exciting, but won't translate well to screen.

But to completely change crucial parts of the plot, made absolutely no sense to me.  It almost felt like the writer of the screen play only read the first half of the book.  I believe a lot of the core story that lead into the second book had been changed.  And I found these changes to be unnecessary.  There was plenty of action in the climax of the book, it really didn't need to reworked.  I think with these changes the essence of the story really changed.

So as much as it pains me to say this, I would only recommend this movie to non readers.  Because it'll only come across as great movie to those who know nothing about the series.


  1. I completely agree. I was disappointed on how much they changed. It was like watching the movie version of Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, where the entire plot of the book was hardly in the movie. :-/

  2. I agree, for one, I think the lollipop should have been in the movie. I think that it would be great on screen!


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