Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 American musical romantic fantasy film directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Mandeville Films. The film is a live-action/CGI-animated remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name, itself an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century fairy tale. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the titular characters with Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson in supporting roles.
In Rococo-era France, an enchantress disguised as an old beggar woman offers an enchanted rose to a prince in exchange for shelter from a storm, but he refuses. For his arrogance, she places a spell that transforms him into a monstrous beast, turns the servants into anthropomorphic household objects, and erases the castle from the villagers’ memories of loved ones. She gives the Beast a magic mirror that shows faraway events and leaves him the enchanted rose. To break the spell, the prince must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the rose’s last petal falls, otherwise he will remain a beast forever and his servants will lose their remaining humanity.
Years later in the village of Villeneuve, a young woman, Belle, lives with her father Maurice, an artist and tinkerer. Gaston, a celebrated former soldier, seeks her hand in marriage, but she is repulsed by his arrogance and narcissism. On a trip to the market to sell music boxes, Maurice and his horse Philippe lose their way in the forest and are attacked by wolves. They seek refuge at the castle, but Maurice is imprisoned by the Beast as penance for taking a rose from the garden. When she realizes her father is missing upon Philippe’s sudden arrival, Belle ventures into the forest in search for him, and finds him in the castle’s dungeon. The Beast confronts her and accepts her offer to take her father’s place.
Belle befriends the servants in the castle. She eventually wanders into the forbidden west wing and finds the rose. The Beast, enraged, frightens Belle into fleeing into the woods. However, he later rescues her from a pack of wolves. A friendship develops, and the servants tell her she may be the one who can break the curse. The Beast develops feelings for Belle and allows her access to his library. However, Belle remains uncertain of her feelings due to her imprisonment. The Beast shows Belle a gift the enchantress gave him, a book that could take people wherever they wanted. Belle uses it to bring the Beast and herself to the attic of an old windmill in Paris, where she used to live with her parents as an infant. Upon finding a plague doctor mask, Belle learns that she and her father were forced to leave her mother’s deathbed as the latter succumbed to the plague.
Meanwhile, Maurice returns to Villeneuve but is unable to convince the others to rescue Belle. Gaston agrees to help Maurice, but when he reveals that he only agreed to help Maurice in order to win his favor to give Belle to Gaston in marriage, Maurice refuses. In response, Gaston ties up Maurice in the forest to be killed by wolves. Maurice is rescued by a hermit, Agathe, and accuses Gaston of his crime, but Gaston convinces the townsfolk to send Maurice to the local insane asylum.
After sharing a romantic dance with the Beast, Belle discovers her father’s predicament using the magic mirror. The Beast releases her to save Maurice, giving her the mirror to remember him with. At Villeneuve, Belle proves Maurice’s sanity by revealing the Beast in the mirror to the townsfolk. Realizing that Belle loves the Beast, Gaston has her thrown into the asylum carriage with her father and rallies the villagers to follow him to the castle to slay the Beast. Maurice and Belle escape from confinement and Belle rushes back to the castle.
During the ensuing fight, Gaston abandons his companion LeFou, who sides with the servants to fend off the villagers. Gaston attacks the Beast in his tower, who is initially too depressed to fight back, but regains his will upon seeing Belle return. He corners Gaston but spares his life before reuniting with Belle. However, Gaston fatally shoots the Beast in the back before falling to his death. The Beast dies as the last rose petal falls and the castle’s servants become completely inanimate. Belle professes her love to him, then Agathe reveals herself to be the enchantress and undoes the curse, restoring the Beast’s life and human form. The servants’ humanity and the villagers’ memories are also restored, with several villagers recognizing some of the servants as their relatives. The Prince and Belle host a ball for the kingdom, where they dance happily.