11 Aug 2011

Emma Watson in 'Beauty and the Beast': a BFF to Three Amigos?

The blogosphere is still buzzing, three weeks later, over the announcement that Emma Watson is attached to a new "Beauty and the Beast" thanks to producers Guillermo del Toro (director of such fantasy masterworks as "Pan's Labyrinth") and Denise Di Novi (who is busily promoting her current hit "Crazy, Stupid, Love.")
But no one I've read has made the obvious cinematic connection. Del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu ("Babel") and Alfonso Cuaron ("Children of Men") are the internationally acclaimed Mexican directors known as "The Three Amigos" -- and Cuaron directed Watson, wonderfully, in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," another movie about transfiguration, hinging on a werewolf who can't help transforming from man to monster by the light of the full moon.
I always thought of "Azkaban" as Kipling's "If" reconfigured as a black-comic round for Harry and Ron and Hermione. These three Hogwarts amigos must keep their heads while all about them are losing theirs -- or transforming into someone or something else.
"Azkaban" was the first film to show Watson coming fully into her own as a heartbreaker-in-the-making. A celebrity website I ran across reported (without citation, naturally) that Watson's "dream directors" are Cuaron and del Toro. If all goes well, even if del Toro produces "Beauty and the Beast" without directing it, she'll have collaborated with both her fantasy auteurs within the space of a decade and before she turns 22 or 23. 

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