Once upon a time, young Rosaleen was dreaming of an Arcadian past when Granny would tell grim tales of once upon a time when little girls should beware of men whose eyebrows meet in the middle and who are hairy on the inside... And in those dark days, fear accompanied desire and beauty was wed with the beast... The characters in Jordan's film of Angela Carter's story inhabit a magical, mysterious world of cruelty and wonder, rarely seen in cinema. In tales within tales within tales, dream is reality, wolves are human, and vice-versa. Rarely has this Gothic landscape of the imagination been so perfectly conveyed by film; there is simply a precise, resonant portrayal of a young girl's immersion in fantasies where sexuality is both fearful and seductive. Like all the best fairy-tales, the film is purely sensual, irrational, fuelled by an immense joy in story-telling, and totally lucid. It's also a true original, with the most beautiful visual effects to emerge from Britain in years.
Cast and crew
Angela Carter, Neil Jordan