Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Beautiful Creatures

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images, and some sexual material
Profanity:Some strong language, crude insult
Nudity/Sex:Some sensual/sexual images and implications, teen kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Supernatural images, violence, peril, characters injured and killed, references to loss of parents
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2013
DVD Release Date:May 20, 2013

In a small Southern town that feels far from everything, where everyone is “too stupid to leave or too stuck to move,” a teenage boy named Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) dreams every night of a girl he has never seen.  Ethan has recently lost his mother.  His father is never there.  He is about to start his junior year in high school “so insanity’s inevitable.”  But his mother’s best friend Amma (Viola Davis), the local librarian, looks out for him.  There are books that he loves.  And the dream feels very real and somehow comforting.

Suddenly it is real as Lena Duchannes (Alice Englart) comes to town to live with her uncle, Macon Ravenswood (Jeremy Irons) in a creepy old mansion. Ethan feels an immediate connection, but Lena seems reluctant to talk to him or to make any friends in her new school.  Some of the other kids in the class feel the same way.  There are rumors that the Ravenswoods have strange powers.

The rumors are true.  “You know how some families are musical and some have money.  We have powers,” Lena explains.  She is a witch or, to use the term her people prefer, she is a “caster.”  She is 15 and on her 16th birthday she will be chosen for the light side or the dark.

No one wants Ethan and Lena to be together.  But the love they share is stronger than any caster powers from the dark or the light.

The storyline is fairly basic but touches of self-aware humor help to hold our interest.  And it is fun to watch Irons swan around in ascots and smoking jackets, striding past the swooping banister-less staircase in his mansion.  Thompson and Emmy Rossum clearly relish the chance to chew scenery with Spanish moss hanging all over it. They revel in the Southern gothic setting, tossing off Dixie-isms like “Slap my ass and call me Sally!” and “She looks like death eating a cracker.”  Viola Davis does what she can stuck with an exposition role that includes a completely random Nancy Reagan reference.  It is also buoyed by the lushy imaginative settings from production designer Richard Sherman and goth-glam costumes from Jeffrey Kurland and an entertaining assortment of literary and popular culture references, from Slaughterhouse Five and poet Charles Bukowski to the “Final Destination” series, Bob Dylan, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Jane Austen.  Most important, writer/director Richard LaGravenes creates a world where strange things seem both wonderful and normal.  The various transformations, expanding powers, and sense of alienation seem like a tangible reflection (and only mild exaggeration) of the experience of adolescence.

Parents should know that this film includes themes of good and bad magic, some disturbing images, characters in peril, and sad deaths.

Family discussion: Who makes the choice for the casters?  What makes Lena different?  What do you learn from the sacrifice in the movie?

If you like this, try: the series of books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the books read by Ethan and Lena in the movie, and the “Twilight” films



Previous Posts

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.