Enchanted Rose Crystal Necklace Tutorial from Beauty and the Beast
I have a confession to make: the live-action Beauty and the Beast disappointed me the first time I saw it.
That being said, I DID like it. I bought it (and the Beauty and the Beast Tea Set 😬 along with it) when it came out on DVD. After watching it a second time, the feeling was markedly more amiable toward the earth-shattering blockbuster.
Why was I disappointed the first time? Why do I like it SOOO much more after the second viewing? Pondering these questions while washing dishes this afternoon, I’ve come to the conclusion that “Beauty and the Beast 2017” hit some beautifully pitch-perfect notes in its creation, but other notes went sharp, while others fell flat. This serves, I suppose, as my humble review of the newest rendition of the “Tale as Old as Time.”
If you’d like to just get to the craft tutorial, feel free to scroll, but I’d love a discussion in the comments about these points! Am I the only one who feels these things?
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Sharp note: Singing ALL THE THINGS!
Going into the movie, I did not realize this was going to be a musical. I wanted (and expected) a more nuanced, evolved movie much like its predecessors: Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book. All 3 movies had some classic songs “revamped” in some way or a new background song sung in the same style as their stories. This added a richness to those films that was enough to invoke nostalgia, but not “break the spell” of the story.
Say it with me, “don’t do a musical unless your name is Rogers, Hammerstein, or Sondheim.”
I don’t think Bill Condon realized he was making a film for nostalgic, Disney-loving adults more than for our children. There were even additional musical numbers in Beauty and the Beast, but frankly, it needed far LESS singing than the original. The music was part of what gave the cartoon its swagger and magic, but it does not translate to live-action, because those songs and vocal performances will never live up to our romanticized memories of the originals. I can’t tell you how much the music pulled me from the magic of the rest of the film.
Gaston and Lefou really blew the tavern song and hunting song out of the water though. Their relationship is so thoroughly enjoyable. Honestly, I’d watch this duo in a spin-off Every. Single. Day. Of the week.
(Update: After watching the film a few more times, I’ve come around to the idea of all the music-it’s not what I wanted or expected-but I still love it for what it is.)
Flat note: The Yellow Dish Rag-I mean-Belle’s Gown
Okay, “dish rag” is a little harsh, but while the rest of Belle’s ensembles were rich in texture, shape, and patterns (gah! LOVED the wedding dress AND her floral print peasant looks) the yellow gown irritated me the moment I saw it in a promotional photo. In a world of rich costumes, most of which pulled heavily from historical influence around the time the actual fairy tale was written (the cusp between Rococo and Empire), Belle’s dress stuck out like a bloody, sore, boring thumb.
One of my college friends, who was in the fashion design department, currently creates costumes for a living, and posted this article on why so many people found Belle’s iconic gold gown to be such a let-down (and why, conversely, Cinderella’s watercolor painting-like dress was so perfect).
It pretty much sums up my personal issues with the gown. In short: lack of structure, totally wrong fabric, inappropriate translation from 2-D to 3-D, no ties to the historically heavy influence apparent in the rest of the costumes, and the focus of liberating Belle’s femininity through her wardrobe instead of through her dialogue were all problems.
Two things that WERE lovely about the dress were: the silk top layer of the skirt flowed beautifully while dancing, and the scene where the gold trim is added by the Enchanted Castle is quite magical.
Pitch-Perfect: My eyes can eat for days (sets, props, costumes, general stylization)
Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite movies. In addition to the nuanced telling of the private life of one of Europe’s most famous monarchs, the freaking STYLE is amazing. It’s like my eyes eat dainty macarons and sumptuous pastries for 2 hours, every time I see it.
Beauty and the Beast has its own unique style, but the visual *purrs* PLEASURE is there. Curly-cue crown molding, gilded trim, lush fabrics, pastel colors, so beautifully Baroque-the attention to detail is nothing short of stunning. Being somewhat of an artist myself (and a highly visual learner) I’m a sucker for stylish movies.
I also enjoyed many visual nods to Jean Cocteau’s 1945 La Belle et La Bete. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor, and do so. It was the end of WWII and France—nay the world—needed a little magic. Cocteau used state-of-the-art camera work, visual effects, and storytelling that were all ground-breaking for the time.
For example, there’s a tense part of the movie when Belle is running through the castle in slow motion. If I am not mistaken in my limited classic film education, this was the first use of slow-mo as a suspense builder on camera. The eternal winter, Maurice picking (stealing) the Rose, sitting down to a table where he is tended by animated housewares, the lamps and lanterns being held by animated hands and arms-all come from the 1945 film. It’s beautiful, lyrical, and timeless. Thank you, Disney, for acknowledging this old school version!
I can’t say enough GOOD things about the visual work done in the new Beauty and the Beast across all departments, say nothing about the Stupid-awesome CGI as well (though using real, trained dogs would have been better visually and likely more cost-effective during the wolves scene, and using make-up and real fur for Dan Stevens’ Beast costume would have been more believable).
Sharp Note: Gandalf, Hermione, Obi-Wan, and Matthew Crawley
Star-studded casts can be problematic for this reason. When an actor is part of a pop-culture franchise, it’s difficult for them to blend seamlessly into a different, huge movie. It’s certainly not their fault, regardless, it happens.
This was another thing that pulled me from the magic of being enchanted into the film. As wonderful and talented as these actors are, it’s hard to become ensconced in a different story, when they were so pivotal in others.
I enjoyed their performances. Emma Watson came off a little too indigent in some scenes (just thinking from a survival stand-point), but it was nice to see a female lead in a fairy tale not cry about everything (which seems to be an update with all of the new live actions- YAY!). Dan Stevens, in particular, did well with the crazy equipment he had to wear in most of his scenes and his vocal work.
Regardless of their abilities and talents, Cinderella and The Jungle Book excel with talented actors who had previously made smaller debuts. It only took a few scenes to get past Rob Stark and Rose from Downton Abbey sharing scenes in Cinderella. The actors’ chemistry and beautiful writing transformed them into Ella and Kit. The spell was recast, but in Beauty and the Beast, it was hard to turn off my brain’s recognition of other characters.
Other well-known actors (Angelina Jolie, Kate Blanchet) are chameleons and fantastic actresses, but have an advantage that Watson and McGregor don’t—single films.
Jolie and Blanchet have stayed away from trilogy and serial films, meaning that it’s easier to accept them as different characters, where someone like Watson spent an entire decade playing the same (wonderful) character. Blanchet WAS in Lord of the Rings, but she was heavily costumed and only appeared briefly in one film—if you don’t count the Hobbit movies.
Flat Note: Let’s make everything 3-D-except the story
This is probably my biggest complaint with the film. I wanted more. I expected more. The dialogue and story suffered a great deal due to time constraints that could have only been created from the excessive music.
I wanted to see and hear Belle and the Beast fall in love. I wanted the quips, the flirting, and the mutualism to shine in the dialogue, against the splendid, baroque background. Alas, we only get to see a few gems of what could have been.
The few extra scenes that were added were lovely. The magical book-traveling, the snowball fight, the Greek jokes, the musings over which Shakespeare is best-I wanted that to comprise much more of the movie than it did. Somehow, although it’s shorter and has about the same amount of singing, I felt the cartoon actually had more character development in this area, but maybe that is my rosy-tinted nostalgia talking.
Either way, I loved these moments and definitely felt like there weren’t enough of them.
Pitch Perfect: Character development of secondary characters: Lefou, Madame De Garde-Robe, Cadenza, and Plumette
Audra McDonald (Madame De Garde-Robe) has had my respect as an actress since Private Practice (which was the first thing I saw her in) and she did anything but disappoint in Beauty and the Beast! She gave what could have been a stunted, rigid role, life and empathy, that contrasted beautifully with the rest of the cast. I was particularly impressed with her voice-work (after seeing her in multiple musicals, I’m not surprised) and her characterization. She gave eccentricity, warmth, and exasperation to her role. “The fat laaaady is siiingiiinnng!!”
Josh Gad’s work was equal parts lovable, laughable, and heartbreaking. His unrequited love was never melancholic. His goofiness was easily likable, and his crisis of consciousness throughout the film gave depth to an otherwise comic-relief character (I’m also a sucker for happy endings, and am glad Lefou got his <3).
I did not even realize Stanley Tucci was in this movie until the close-up at the very end of the movie! And I am a HUGE fan of his work! I loved the multiple love stories on which the live-action film focused. It gave more “layers of love” and what it looks like to different people, which is so important for a family film.
Gugu Mbatha’s (Plumette) French accent was the ONLY one I believed (and that is a high compliment from me, considering I’ve lived in France, have Cajun grandparents, am fluent, and majored in French in college). Her voice-work was alluring, without dripping of foreplay, and her animation was one of my favorites (plus I’m glad she had something to do other than flirt with Lumiere).
Pitch-Perfect: Warm, Fuzzy Fairy Tale-ing
This live-action certainly has watchability. The visuals, the familiarity, the costumes, the quips [“Hey this is France” *guillotines a ham bone*], the fun, the romance-it all lends to a film I can watch over and over again without getting bored (and makes me laugh on-cue every time).
While The Jungle Book and Maleficent were more nuanced, thoughtful renditions of the originals, I can’t watch them over and over. They make me think and feel too much. The Jungle Book has some heady themes that require tons of processing time, and as beautiful as the CGI is, there’s a lot of the same visual framework, i.e jungle.
In the case of Maleficent, there are some highly emotional, traumatically triggering scenes that make it too intense to watch often. Particularly the scene when Maleficent wakes up without her wings. It’s brutal. It’s heartbreaking. It’s painful for me to watch. Angelina Jolie is so haunting and dazzling in the role that I’m never struck from the magic of any of her scenes.
Beauty and the Beast has tense moments, but a love story about finding solace in isolating situations makes for a hopeful film. The “fairy tale” quality is there without too much anguish. This, along with the jam-packed visual interest, makes the film a joyful, comforting, entertaining piece that is well-accepted when there is so much horror and villainy in our real world, frequently blasted on the news and our Twitter feeds.
All in all, Beauty and the Beast was every bit the variable, visual feast I was expecting-the keyword being expect. I had expectations about what I wanted to see. The changes I wanted made, and similarities I wanted to see from previous live-action remakes, hurt my first viewing (and opinion) of the movie. After seeing it a second time, withOUT those expectations and preconceived ideas of what I wanted, I see the movie for what it is, and it delights me.
Would I have done things differently? Certainly, but since I am a blogger and not a Hollywood director, I guess I should just shut my trap. Taking such a beloved classic and trying to meet EVERYONE’s expectations is an impossible feat. I AM glad this was made. I am glad that it’s a fun movie to watch when I’m having a dark and twisty day, so in that sense: good job Disney. I can’t wait for Aladdin!
Now on to the tutorial! Inspired by the iconic “Enchanted Rose,” I wanted to invoke the icy elements of the eternal winter, so sculpted a “cracked” crystal shape to look like a shard of ice, with a petal “falling,” a hint of magical sparkle, and some sort of cap that would invoke the Baroque style of the film.
Since I am still learning polymer clay techniques (and I’m much more experienced with biological inclusions) I decided to use a real, dried mini rose as the Enchanted Rose. I grew this rose in my garden, and have offered a few more in my Etsy store for anyone wanting to purchase just one, instead of a whole bag of buds (plus they’re the right, dark red color).
This tutorial involves resin, so please read my “Safety and Tips with Resin” post if you’re new to epoxy-working.
This was so fun to make! I’m pretty passionate about fan art, so this was definitely a favorite! Feel free to ask any questions or clarifications in the comments and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Beauty and the Beast film 🙂