This live-action reimagining of the classic fairytale – directed by Bill Condon – sticks closely to the original story and animated version, bar some extra padding to increase its running time well beyond the two hour mark. Emma Watson delights as Belle, the strong-willed bookworm who falls for the Beast (Dan Stevens), turned so by a witches spell to teach him a lesson. The magic is retained, mostly through the musical numbers and affectious vocal turns from the likes of Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor. Condon’s warm direction is matched by sumptuous production design and visual effects that are technically impressive but more refined in some areas than others. The film is perhaps stolen entirely by Luke Evans’ scene-stealing performance as Gaston; his ruggedly handsome appeal marrying well with his comic timing. It’s not wrong to say this update lacks bite in a way that would have set it apart further from its animated counterpart, though there’s plenty to charm audiences of all ages.