The Fairest Of Them All: Beauty and the Beast (2.0)

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Welcome my lovelies, to the first installment in my new mini blog-series: “Fairest Of Them All”! I hope you’re ready for spellbinding magic, timeless romance, heart stopping adventure, and even a touch of mortal peril as we travel through the stories that truly never die. In each new Fairest Of Them All post, we’ll delve into a new fairy tale and I’ll reveal my favorite versions, both in film and in print! (Although my favorite fairy tale show Once Upon a Time will not be featured in this series, mainly because they’ve already gotten a few posts of their own and have more coming, but also because I’d basically be writing the same thing on every post which is I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME!!! So just trust me on this now, if you have a favorite fairy tale, watch OUAT because chances are it’s on the show and I ship it!)

Now, for this first Fairest post, I’ve chosen my favorite fairy tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast, a French fairytale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, which tells the tale of a young woman who finds the truest of love in the heart of a beastly man…

I first came across this story like countless others of my generation: by watching the Disney animated version, which was released today actually, back in 1991. I instantly fell in love with the notion of a bookish, strong-willed woman intent on saving her father by taking his place in the palace of what she thinks is a monster. Theirs wasn’t a story of love at first sight, more like loathing perhaps, or maybe even fear, but still, this is a love story where the love has to be worked for, to be earned. In the end the Beast is made a better man by loving Belle, and Belle learns the power and reward of trusting her heart instead of her eyes. Both of these characters feel the effects of isolation, both yearn for more, they’re relatable, and their story is nothing short of powerful!

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Fairest Of Them All:

Books:

1) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley — My favorite retelling of my favorite story, this book is exactly what I want when I want to relive Belle and the Beast’s story: a strong sense of family, seclusion, isolation, new beginnings, sweet romance, a touch of mystery, and one heck of a library! This wondrous adaption has enough “real world” in it to make it believable but still enough magic left to render it charmingly fairy tale-esque. Beauty is bookish, resolute, and pragmatic and when she enters the Beast’s enchanted world her fear and stress is palpable, but so is her bravery. She’s a marvelous character to read and I just love her for being so genuine. Not to be outdone though, the Beast is cryptically wonderful, a reformed gentleman who isn’t given to the outbursts of temper usually displayed by other “Beasts”, which is refreshing in a way. Not that he doesn’t have a little gruffness and stubbornness to him…he’s not that reformed!

9780064404778

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier — This is a darker version of the classic tale, with an Irish twist that I truly enjoy (even though it creeps the bejeezus out of me…seriously). Belle is now Caitrin, a runaway young woman with a dark past, fleeing to the safety of isolation, though she knows nowhere is safe, what’s coming for her will never stop. After an exhausting journey, she happens upon Whistling Tor, a castle with ghostly secrets, and Anluan, a chieftain who both frightens her and intrigues her. But Anluan’s world may be even more dangerous than those she ran from before, but there’s a mystery to be solved, a job to be done, and a wager she is determined to win. Juliet Marillier is one of the best writers I’ve ever come across and there will be more of her work later on in the “Fairest” series, but this story is truly a work of art. It’s terrifying and yet mesmerizing and I recommend it for anyone who likes their fairy tales with a dash of darkness and death.

HeartsBlood_3900

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

3) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — I’ve always seen a close connection between the Beauty and the Beast story and that of wild impetuous Cathy Earnshaw and the scintillating and dangerously captivating Heathcliff. Granted Cathy is less polished that the normal Belle, and much less of a good person, and goodness knows Heathcliff is far more deadly and violent than any other Beast, but their love is still just as powerful, just as evocative. I would say this is a Beauty and the Beast story where everything goes wrong, where Belle chooses the wrong man, and the Beast destroys her for it.

Movies:

1) Beauty and the Beast (Disney 1991) — I don’t think this one needs any explanation really, it’s 100% Disney magic at it’s best and if you haven’t seen it WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR?!!!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) — This Andrew Llyod Webber musical is actually based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux, but it’s the musical itself that I recommend for fairy tale lovers as the book is lovely, but not one of my favorites. Much like Wuthering Heights, I can’t help but see many similarities between this story and my favorite fairy tale: a beautiful young girl, a deformed man, a love that cannot be suppressed… See what I mean? But once again I like to think of this as an example of what happens when people make the wrong choice. This is what happens when Belle rejects her Beast out of fear and the Beast refuses to take no for an answer.

poto2-jpg

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

3) Wuthering Heights — I adore the mini-series version from PBS Masterpiece released in 2009 with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley,  it’s lush, haunting, maddening, and well worth watching my lovelies!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

4) La Belle et la Bete — I’ve mentioned my love for this Beauty and the Beast adaptation before and really it’s just as wonderful as I said it was. This 2014 French rendition is absolutely gorgeous, just a sparkling feast for the eyes, and the visual effects are stunning! If you want full on fairy tale grandeur at it’s best, look no further, this film is perfect!!! (And it’s on YouTube, just make sure you look for one with English subtitles!)

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Beauty and the Beast (2017 Live Action) — This movie had epic hopes and dreams placed upon it before  I even walked in the theaters my lovelies. I mean let’s be honest, I’ve waited YEARS to see this thing (I was writing about it back in March of 2015 for crying out loud)! And it was WORTH IT!!! This beautiful, magical, epic film was everything I ever wanted it to be and more! I literally started crying ten minutes in and couldn’t leave the theaters until ten minutes after the movie ended because I was just flat out happy sobbing. No joke. I have no idea why it made me so emotional, but I loved every minute of it and I’m so happy and thankful that this version exists now 😀 The costuming, the music, the visuals, everything was just so spot-on and fun and I cannot wait to see it again. Plus the Beast’s song (Evermore) just broke my heart and has been on repeat ever since I left the theater! Happy sigh…

Just chilling on the staircase with Cogsworth…

And there you have it my lovelies, all my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations and recommendations! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the “Fairest Of Them All” series and remember to keep an eye out for the next one which will be coming soon!

What did you think of my picks my lovelies, did I leave any of your favorites out? Is there a fairy tale you’d like to see featured next? Let me know!

For more information about the origins of the Beauty and the Beast story click here. And remember:

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

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The Fairest Of Them All: Beauty and the Beast

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Welcome my lovelies, to the first installment in my new mini blog-series: “Fairest Of Them All”! I hope you’re ready for spellbinding magic, timeless romance, heart stopping adventure, and even a touch of mortal peril as we travel through the stories that truly never die. In each new Fairest Of Them All post, we’ll delve into a new fairy tale and I’ll reveal my favorite versions, both in film and in print! (Although my favorite fairy tale show Once Upon a Time will not be featured in this series, mainly because they’ve already gotten a few posts of their own and have more coming, but also because I’d basically be writing the same thing on every post which is I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME!!! So just trust me on this now, if you have a favorite fairy tale, watch OUAT because chances are it’s on the show and I ship it!)

Now, for this first Fairest post, I’ve chosen my favorite fairy tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast, a French fairytale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, which tells the tale of a young woman who finds the truest of love in the heart of a beastly man…

I first came across this story like countless others of my generation: by watching the Disney animated version, which was released today actually, back in 1991. I instantly fell in love with the notion of a bookish, strong-willed woman intent on saving her father by taking his place in the palace of what she thinks is a monster. Theirs wasn’t a story of love at first sight, more like loathing perhaps, or maybe even fear, but still, this is a love story where the love has to be worked for, to be earned. In the end the Beast is made a better man by loving Belle, and Belle learns the power and reward of trusting her heart instead of her eyes. Both of these characters feel the effects of isolation, both yearn for more, they’re relatable, and their story is nothing short of powerful!

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Fairest Of Them All:

Books:

1) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley — My favorite retelling of my favorite story, this book is exactly what I want when I want to relive Belle and the Beast’s story: a strong sense of family, seclusion, isolation, new beginnings, sweet romance, a touch of mystery, and one heck of a library! This wondrous adaption has enough “real world” in it to make it believable but still enough magic left to render it charmingly fairy tale-esque. Beauty is bookish, resolute, and pragmatic and when she enters the Beast’s enchanted world her fear and stress is palpable, but so is her bravery. She’s a marvelous character to read and I just love her for being so genuine. Not to be outdone though, the Beast is cryptically wonderful, a reformed gentleman who isn’t given to the outbursts of temper usually displayed by other “Beasts”, which is refreshing in a way. Not that he doesn’t have a little gruffness and stubbornness to him…he’s not that reformed!

9780064404778

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier — This is a darker version of the classic tale, with an Irish twist that I truly enjoy (even though it creeps the bejeezus out of me…seriously). Belle is now Caitrin, a runaway young woman with a dark past, fleeing to the safety of isolation, though she knows nowhere is safe, what’s coming for her will never stop. After an exhausting journey, she happens upon Whistling Tor, a castle with ghostly secrets, and Anluan, a chieftain who both frightens her and intrigues her. But Anluan’s world may be even more dangerous than those she ran from before, but there’s a mystery to be solved, a job to be done, and a wager she is determined to win. Juliet Marillier is one of the best writers I’ve ever come across and there will be more of her work later on in the “Fairest” series, but this story is truly a work of art. It’s terrifying and yet mesmerizing and I recommend it for anyone who likes their fairy tales with a dash of darkness and death.

HeartsBlood_3900

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

3) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — I’ve always seen a close connection between the Beauty and the Beast story and that of wild impetuous Cathy Earnshaw and the scintillating and dangerously captivating Heathcliff. Granted Cathy is less polished that the normal Belle, and much less of a good person, and goodness knows Heathcliff is far more deadly and violent than any other Beast, but their love is still just as powerful, just as evocative. I would say this is a Beauty and the Beast story where everything goes wrong, where Belle chooses the wrong man, and the Beast destroys her for it.

Movies:

1) Beauty and the Beast (Disney 1991) — I don’t think this one needs any explanation really, it’s 100% Disney magic at it’s best and if you haven’t seen it WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR?!!!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) — This Andrew Llyod Webber musical is actually based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux, but it’s the musical itself that I recommend for fairy tale lovers as the book is lovely, but not one of my favorites. Much like Wuthering Heights, I can’t help but see many similarities between this story and my favorite fairy tale: a beautiful young girl, a deformed man, a love that cannot be suppressed… See what I mean? But once again I like to think of this as an example of what happens when people make the wrong choice. This is what happens when Belle rejects her Beast out of fear and the Beast refuses to take no for an answer.

poto2-jpg

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

3) Wuthering Heights — I adore the mini-series version from PBS Masterpiece released in 2009 with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley,  it’s lush, haunting, maddening, and well worth watching my lovelies!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

4) La Belle et la Bete — I’ve mentioned my love for this Beauty and the Beast adaptation before and really it’s just as wonderful as I said it was. This 2014 French rendition is absolutely gorgeous, just a sparkling feast for the eyes, and the visual effects are stunning! If you want full on fairy tale grandeur at it’s best, look no further, this film is perfect!!! (And it’s on YouTube, just make sure you look for one with English subtitles!)

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

And there you have it my lovelies, all my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations and recommendations! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the “Fairest Of Them All” series and remember to keep an eye out for the next one which will be coming soon!

What did you think of my picks my lovelies, did I leave any of your favorites out? Is there a fairy tale you’d like to see featured next? Let me know!

For more information about the origins of the Beauty and the Beast story click here. And remember:

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Rediscovering Twilight

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The first time I read Twilight (the vampire hit by Stephenie Meyer) I was seventeen and in my senior year of high school. It had been out long enough that the hardback version of New Moon was released and Twilight was already available in paperback, so I figure I was about a year behind publication wise. But it was New Moon that caught my eye as I perused my local Barnes and Noble (aka Heaven) looking for new reads after my birthday. I immediately stopped and stared at the absolutely gorgeous cover: a feathery white and red flower against a inky black background. Simple, yet effective. And sooo pretty. I just had to take a peek. Just to see if it might be worth my time.

The summery was evocative and exciting (for some reason when it said she cut her finger at a party, I automatically thought she cut it cooking at a party and was like: why on earth are you using sharp utensils at a vampire party?!) and I knew this book was destined to be mine…until I saw that it was a sequel. Sigh, defeated by my own neurosis. I admittedly have a thing my lovelies about reading books in order NO MATTER WHAT. I just can’t handle picking up the third or fourth or even the second book first, I’m just not built that way. And I never read the last page first either. Sacrilege. But anyway…New Moon went back on the shelf and I reluctantly picked up Twilight and gave it a look over. The cover wasn’t as pretty. It was gothic-looking and just odd. So was this really the book for me? I looked back at the other cover, so tragic and romantic. That cover was for me, so if I had to read this book to get to that one then so be it. I promptly bought the book and went along on my merry way none the wiser that I had just purchased one of those life-altering books we all dream about as avid readers.

Skip forward a few days until I actually start reading the book and within a few pages I’m hooked! Screw the pretty flower-covered book, this was my kind of story! Impossible romance, thrilling danger, paranormal themes of a non-scary nature, and a sparkly love interest! Where the hell had this book been all my life?! You know how much I love sparklies my lovelies, it’s a weakness, I can’t help it! Edward was perfection itself and Bella was so adorably relatable, I couldn’t help but love them both. And Charlie. And the Cullen family. I read every spare minute I could find, even going so far as to read during class, which is about as close to teenage rebellion as I ever got. It was like riding a feels roller-coaster. I was on an emotional high for three days, loving every second of it and prepping my mom for reading it next — she very quickly fell in love with the book as well and Edward in particular.

Twilight was a beacon of happiness and possibility for me at a time when I was stressed out with college applications, writing endless scholarship essays, and knowing that every day that passed was one day closer to me leaving my family for college. It gave me something to look forward to and was something my mom and I bonded over book-wise. Twilight was my second Harry Potter experience. It was something I latched onto and wouldn’t let go of for anything. I picked up countless vampire novels afterward, so thrilled to have some new reading area opened up to me, and when I finally did go away to FSU, Twilight started many a conversation in class and instantly bonded complete strangers with their love of Edward and this poignant love story. Life as a Twi-hard was fantastic.

Until the first movie premiered.

As soon as I discovered a movie was in the works — which was early on because the author’s website was a daily stopping point for me — I was uncontrollably excited. I eagerly waited for every new piece of casting information and interview tidbit and very quickly became addicted to IMDb — the king of all movie information websites. Needless to say, when tickets went onsale, I ordered mine online (which was still a new kind of thing at the time) and a group of friends and I arrived at the theater opening night breathless with anticipation. I settled into my seat, the lights dimmed, and I waited for Edward to appear. And sadly, he did appear — to the applause from the entire theater no less — but he so clearly wasn’t Edward. Or at least, not the Edward I knew.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The smooth, velvet-voiced and mercurial-tempered Edward Cullen was now a rude, I-hate-my-life, depressed teenage boy. And Bella was just as bad. Where were her constant smiles and cute awkwardness? Where was his ability to dazzle every woman in a ten-foot radius, and his love of arguing playfully just to get a rise and blush out of Bella? Everything was so sharp, every sentence they spoke to one-another cutting instead of sparring and sweet. And their intimate getting-to-know-you moments (blood testing in Bio anyone) were completely destroyed, rewritten into laughable, hard-to-watch needless drama (I know what you are. Say it…out loud. Vampire.). No…just no. It didn’t work and I left the theater vaguely disappointed but unsure why that was or how it could possibly be. I was supposed to love everything Twilight, so why didn’t I love this? Something was definitely wrong in my Twilight universe.

Things only got worse when the second movie was released. Presented with a down-right depressing and condescending Edward that I just couldn’t stand, I switched teams, becoming a Jacob fan. And let me tell you that caused MOUNTIANS of drama at home when I said as much to my mother. Other friends of mine came home from college with completely new religious beliefs but I came home a Jacob fan and a feminist, what the hell had happened?! My love affair with Twilight was flickering, the movies completely blurred the books for me until I was just too annoyed to reread them because I couldn’t handle getting aggravated by Edward all over again. I couldn’t see my book Edward anymore, only the representation on the T.V. screen. And for more personal reasons, I was discovering I didn’t like controlling men, and Edward definitely had control issues.

By the time the fourth and final book arrived, I was a die-hard Jacob fan and totally enraged at the cop-out that was Renesmee Cullen. I can handle Jacob not getting the girl and all because lets be honest, we all knew he wasn’t going to get the girl, but it was like the author didn’t have the guts to give Jacob an unsatisfactory ending and created this whole new love interest out of frenzied desperation. Think about it, how awkward is it going to be to tell your future love that you had a MASSIVE thing for her mother back in the day, but hey, you know, you’re great too. I’m totally not settling for second best here or anything. Sigh, she was cute in the movie and all, but really just let Jacob go off with Leah and Seth and start a new life slightly disappointed but free to live his own epic love story in the future. But no, you had to shackle him to the kid of his almost-true love and call that acceptable. Nope. Not for me.

Grrr.

So why bring all this up with you now my lovelies? Legitimate question. Well after years of not reading the books and only watching the movies when I had to, I got the random urge to try the books again. Perhaps it was because of all the tenth anniversary hoopla I saw online, but I decided to at least give them another try, just to see if anything was salvageable from my former Twilight ardor. I started reading this past week, forcing myself to put aside all my anger and annoyance which flared to life every now and then when a book scene and the movie scene merged together in my head. Thankfully, this happened only a handful of times.

So what did I find? Was the book everything it was originally? Well yes and no. Yes, in the fact that it was a sweet, teenaged love story and that Edward was once again the boy I vaguely remembered at this point. And although I still had to remind myself to not instantly dislike him, I could see the vampire I fell in fictional-love with again. And Bella was so much happier than she ever is in the movie versions. It was nice, like a cute little memory newly rediscovered. But it also wasn’t the epic drama I thought it was at seventeen. I could now see the somewhat laughable nature of it when they basically fall in insta-love and some of the more creepier aspects of their relationship. But that’s more me growing into an adult than any fault of the book I think. And yes, the writing was not the brilliant prose I remembered, but it wasn’t horrible either. There were definitely way too many descriptions of Edward’s beauty and his likeness to an angel, but you know, in the end, it’s a book for TEENAGERS, it doesn’t have to be perfect, especially for an adult reader. I can appreciate it for what it gave me all those years ago and for the cute story it is to me now. And actually there were some segments of writing that are downright lovely. And I didn’t completely hate Edward! So I count that as a win.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

All that being said, I’m starting New Moon now, so we’ll see how long my new-found Edward acceptance really lasts. I was actually thankful that Jacob wasn’t a major presence in the first book, it gave me time to remember Edward and why I liked him, but we all know New Moon is Jacob’s book, so we’ll see how it goes. 😉 In the end I’m really happy that I gave this book another try, it opened back up a world that I once loved. And even though I can’t fully fall back into that ever-green Forks-centered world, it’s nice to visit again and see some long-lost friends and places. And as tempted as I am to re-watch the movies now to see if I have the same success, I’m going to wait until I finish reading the books, just in case movie-Edward pisses me off again. Though I really love all the movies except the first one, the rest are wonderful for the most part, but I just don’t want to risk movie-Edward ruining all my progress here!

What about you my lovelies, have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite book/character/or series? Did you ever try to revisit them again? What books have changed your life? Be sure to let me know and happy reading my lovelies!

La Belle et la Bete

Hello my lovelies, hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday evening so far! Mine had been delightful I have to say, I finally got to hold my five month old little cousin, er well, he’s my cousin’s baby, so I don’t know what exactly that makes him to me really. A second cousin? Or first cousin once-removed maybe? Ancestry am I right. Either way, I finally at long last got to hold him )I was horridly sick when he was first born and every time I’ve seen him since, others have stolen him away first so I was forced to wait lol) and he is just the cutest little bundle of smiles ever, and considering I am not a baby person, it’s safe to say he really is just that awesome 😀 But all the familial loveliness aside, this post is really about an incredibly beautiful film I discovered a few weekends back that I wanted to share with you all called La Belle et la Bete, a 2014 French rendition of my favorite fairy-tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

I’d heard about this film a year or so ago and found it on YouTube a few months back, but I didn’t actually sit down and watch it until about three weeks ago, and let me just sat…WOW! Seriously, just wow. It was so worth the three hours I spent watching it, even though it paused every five seconds on YouTube (because my Wi-Fi hates me unfortunately), I mean I just couldn’t look away. Every second of every frame is just breathtaking. No exaggeration. No hyperbole. Just awesomeness. Don’t believe me? Check out the trailer for yourself and see what I mean: (note: this trailer has English dubbing but the movie itself is in French with English subtitles, just so there’s no confusion later!)

See what I mean? Doesn’t it look just wonderfully amazing?! And trust me, it so is! And the sparklies…for the love of all that glitters, the sparklies my lovelies! Even the light glows and sparkles at times, and then there are literal sparklies floating hypnotically all-over the place at times! Perfection? Yes!

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

With the lush costumes, jewel-time colors, stunning romantic scenery, and incredibly talented actors, this film is just a marvel for the eye. I even forgot the aggravation I usually feel when forced to read subtitles throughout an entire film. Within minutes, I was happily drinking in the beauty of the French language, feeling that it only added to the magical, unattainable allure of the enchanting masterpiece. And the Beast himself if created and brought to life so artistically and yet so realistically it’s astounding. This whole production has really raised the bar for my expectations of the live-action Disney version coming out in 2017! My only little quibble storyline wise is that I feel like Belle and the Beast did not get to spend adequate time together, getting to know one another and forging that absolute need for one another. But the chemistry between the actors and the heartbreaking mythological twist to the story almost fully makes up for this lack in bonding.

And there was no library, but really, I think the ballroom makes up for the lack of books, almost. I really enjoyed the dancing scenes, the tension and desire between Belle and the Beast really came through wonderfully as they swept across the black and gold ballroom-floor. Though I would have liked to have seen a library in this gorgeous, rose-strewn castle!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Overall, this is one movie I desperately want to buy now and add to my own collection! Sadly the French DVD does not work with American DVD players, so I have to find one that will work here and hopefully soon, because as wonderful as it was on YouTube (blurry thanks to my Wi-Fi) I’m sure it will be 100 times better with the clarity and crispness of a DVD! And while I was looking it up, I discovered three different and excruciatingly beautiful covers, and now I don’t know which one I want more! Is it sad that I really want all three? They’re just so pretty!

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What do you think my lovelies, does this look like something you’d enjoy? Have you seen it and if so what did you think? And which cover would you choose if you could one pick one? Let me know in the comments! 😀

Violent Delights and Violent Ends

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Being the self-proclaimed romantic that I am my lovelies, I think it’s pretty much a given that I LOVE Shakespeare’s immortal tragic love story: Romeo and Juliet. LOVE it. Like crazy. Seriously. You can say whatever you want about it being impractical, it was just lust that led to murder and death, yadayadayada, I don’t really care, I just am nutty about this story, in all it’s incarnations (Pyramus and Thisbe, Tristan and Isolde etc.). There’s just something stirring and intoxicating and just unforgettable about the love of these two young people forced to hide their forbidden relationship from their warring families. (Personally I’ve always been a Montague girl myself, but that’s neither here nor there lol.) And over the years I’ve read the play countless times, both in school and out and watched pretty much every Romeo and Juliet movie I could find. My ninth grade English teacher even made us memorize the prologue as we marched up and down the sidewalks outside our classroom. She then proceeded to teach us how to “dance” like they would have back in the day, you know, because teenagers aren’t self-conscious enough without having to pair off, nearly press their palms together, and stare the opposite sex in the eye whilst they try not to die of embarrassment as they waltz in circles. Sigh…

Image From Bing.  Because High School wasn't hard enough...

Image From Bing.
Because High School wasn’t hard enough…

But either way, as I was saying, I’ve watched a good many Romeo and Juliet movies, but only three of them have stayed with me, for one reason or another: the 1968 Romeo and Juliet, the 1996 Romeo + Juliet, and the 2013 Romeo & Juliet. Each one is vastly different than the others, whether in design, speech, or overall effect, (not to mention the differing ways to represent the word “and”) but each of them contains something that just hits home with me and for one reason or another I find myself drawn to these dramatically different representations of the same story.

Image From Bing.

Image From Bing.

The ’68 version is the quintessential old-timey Shakespearian masterpiece, with beautiful actors with light-filled eyes, and a kind of realistic charm that just screams Romeo and Juliet. I mean really, can these two be more prefect for each other? I think not. Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting are just amazing together and I just love watching them fall in love onscreen with that beautiful music playing in the background and the light gleaming in their eyes (seriously, have you noticed how much their eyes are like infused with light in this version? It’s just gorgeous.) And I don’t know why but there’s just something utterly romantic about older films, they just seem more special than their newer counterparts!

Image From Bing.

Image From Bing.

That being said, I have been head-over-heels in crazy love with the 1996 version since I first saw it when I was a teenager (which probably meant it had been out for seven or eight years lol). It’s over the top Baz Luhrmann fun and drama with the beauty of Shakespeare’s language set against the gritty glamour of ’90s Miami and I love every minute of it! This movie for me IS Romeo and Juliet. The music, the acting, the craziness, everything! If Shakespeare could perform this play to modern audiences, I’m sure this would be the way he chose to do so. This film just goes all out there, it’s high-stakes drama with no apologies and no shame and THIS is what this play is all about. And I just love the juxtaposition of the dated and beautiful language with the harsh but sexy modern edge of the setting, I just think it bring the work to life in a whole new way. And hands down, this movie contains my favorite Mercutio (my favorite Shakespeare character ever) and for me, that’s saying something! (It also has my favorite lead couple, Leo and Claire are but brilliant together!) The emotion of this movie is just on-point and I still get chills when Romeo walks down the neon lit tomb to reach his believed-to-be-dead Juliet. And Kissing You…yeah like the most romantic love ballad ever!

Image From Bing.

Image From Bing.

And last, but certainly not least, I added a new version to my list of favorites a few months ago. Now you know how much I adore Downton Abbey my lovelies, so when I heard the writer of Downton was rewriting and directing this version, I was immediately sold! That being said, I was promptly disappointed and extremely pissed off when I finally got a chance to see this film. The wording was altered, the beautiful verses and phases I know from heart, uprooted and stitched back together by someone clearly more accustomed to writing for Downton viewers and that was enough for me to begin fuming for the rest of the movie. It took me a few months to calm back down and give this one another try (as I admittedly have this weird thing about watching new movies, catch me on the wrong day and I’ll hate them no matter how great they are) but once I allowed myself to watch the movie again (with the full knowledge that the words were messed up completely) I realized that the movie is unusually beautiful. Nearly every scene in this movie is just breathtakingly lovely and just serves to pull you in to the belief that this crazy story could actually happen. They leads were gorgeous, and while they were not my favorite of the Romeo’s and Juliet’s, they did a great job and I’m pleased to say I like this movie more and more every time I watch it again!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What about you my lovelies, do you have a story that you follow passionately through all it’s varying forms? Do you have a favorite Romeo and Juliet? Let me know!

 

Downton Abbey Meets Beauty and the Beast!

Ok my lovelies, I’m trying not to hyperventilate right now but I just read online that Dan Stevens (Matthew from Downton Abbey) is in talks to play the Beast in the new Disney live-action Beauty and the Beast starring opposite Emma Watson!!!!!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

 

OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE!!!

Admittedly, I’ve never thought of Dan for this role but that’s mostly because I’ve been preoccupied with the notion that Chris Hemsworth was perfect for it, but I would so love to see this happen! I was less than thrilled when it looked like Ryan Gosling was going to star as my favorite Disney guy, (just no) and Hemsworth was always a longshot considering he’s already in another fairytale franchise (as the Huntsman from Snow White and the Huntsman), so PLEASE let’s see my favorite Downton guy play my favorite Disney Prince! How awesome would that be?!!!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

What do you guys think, would Dan make a good Beast or are you in the enemy camp of Ryan Gosling? Or are you still dreaming of the fantasy of Chris Hemsworth or another man of your choice? Let me know! 😀

*(Urgent update my lovelies: IT’S OFFICIAL, HE’S BEEN CAST!!!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

It’s that time again my lovelies and this time the challenge is Minimalist! So here we go 😀

This little guy was crawling across some steps one day and I thought he was just too cute with his unbelievable bright orange shell!

Marmaduke snail

We ended up naming him Marmaduke Phteven Sunrise (and that’s what happens when you ask three vastly different people to agree upon a name lol).

snail

And just a day or two later I stumbled upon the cutest heart shaped leaf sitting there waiting for me…and it was orange! Have you guessed yet that orange is a favorite color of mine?

leaf

In other news: I’m writing up a storm for NaNo, though I’m about 1200 words behind since I took the day off a few days ago, but I needed a chance to chill and collect my thoughts. I’ll catch up eventually (hopefully this weekend). I try to write for a few hours everyday but even when I’m on a roll, I’m far from a fast writer (especially when my brother decides NaNo month is the perfect time to watch Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and all my other favorite movies! I mean come on, this is the perfect time to watch all the Fast and Furious films or something, but not my movies!!!) 😀

So Harry Potter, Aslan, Aragorn, and I…

Yesterday’s Daily Prompt caught my attention my lovelies and even though I’m a day late, I just had to write up a post for it! You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there. See what I mean, it’s just too good to pass up! But deciding on just one movie is pure craziness — I mean right?! — so I have a few (and one TV series that still totally counts) that I’d like to spend a lifetime day in.

Image From Facebook.

Image From Facebook.

So in no particular order, here are my top picks:

1) Harry Potter (the whole series because again, picking just one would amount to unimaginable craziness) — Stepping into this series (movie or book) I would instantly make sure that I became the fourth bestie of the Dream Team, maybe I could be Harry’s long lost cousin from America (I think it could work). I’d get my own wand, learn a few spells, explore Hogwarts to my heart’s content (which will take a lot longer than one day but that’s beside the point), and hug all of my favorite characters. I’m looking at you Sirius Black. Then I’d have a serious (lol) heart to heart with Snape, tell the Weasleys how much I love them, and ask McGonagall how she became such a bada**!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

2) Narnia (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe/ Prince Caspian) — I’d hug Aslan. Nuff said.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

3) The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit — Why yes I am combining all of those movies together, how nice of you to notice! Ok, first of all I’d go and give Samwise a hug, because really he freaking deserves it (and wow I just realized I plan on hugging ALOT of people…). Next stop is Rohan (where I like to think Faramir and Eowyn are living) for a nice chat and to check if Eomer needs a Queen because I am completely available and qualified for that role in life. Really. Queen Tara has a nice ring to it don’t you think? And after stopping in Gondor to visit Aragorn and Arwen I’d go back in time and chill with Gandalf, wink beckoningly at Thorin, and subtly maneuver Tauriel out of the equation because if Kili has a thing for tall women I am pretty much perfect for him.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

And finally…

4) Downton Abbey — I would warn Matthew not to get in that freaking car!!! And tell them to take Sybil to the hospital ASAP!!! I’d slap Strallan for being an idiot, go dancing with Rose, and then I’d take tea in the library with the Dowager, the Countess, Isobel, and the Crawley sisters, thank you Carson.

Image From Google

Image From Google

What about you my lovelies? What movies would you step into and what would you do? Let me know!

Monday Movie: The Young Victoria

I’ll have a new Monday Movie next week!

moonstonemaiden

Hello my lovelies, it’s time once again for Monday Movies and this week I’ve chosen the incredibly moving and cinematically beautiful gem: The Young Victoria, starring the beautiful Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, and Paul Bettany. The film showcases the early struggles of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, from her youth as a overprotected and stifled young woman, to the dangers of her first turbulent years and Queen, as well as the touching romance with her husband Prince Albert. With its dazzling mix of danger, power struggles, court intrigue, political unrest, romance, and above all: life — the realism of beauty, frustrations, and pain of life — The Young Victoria is nothing short of sheer perfection!

Image From Google Image From Google

Emily Blunt’s portrayal of a young and newly empowered young woman is stunning, she adds layer after convincing layer of realism to a woman who inspired an entire era. She artfully displays the impetuousness of…

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Idina Sings It All!

Hello my lovelies 😀 In case you didn’t hear, Let It Go, from Disney’s Frozen (which I still haven’t seen, but I will buy it as soon as it comes out on DVD!) won an Academy Award last night and considering I cry every time I hear this song, I think it was definitely well-deserved! Idina Menzel seems to have a way of picking the best songs (Let It Go, Defying Gravity) that touch your heart and leave you with a sense of hope and tears in your eyes! So for all of you who love this song as much as I do or haven’t heard it yet, or who love the incredibly talented songstress Idina Menzel here you go:

Did you cry too? (Sniffle)