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I also know that Emma Watson, formerly of “Harry Potter” fame and now the star of the live-action version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” she has one or two as well.
I finally saw the movie, and for all of the critics hollering its praise, I was really disappointed. It was slow, the CGI animation looked, well, animated, the sets were no different than what you’d find at a Disney-themed outlet store, and the only actor who really seemed to fit the role he was given was Luke Evans as Gaston. I liked him. He was cool. And I absolutely adore Ian McKellen, although his dialogue as Cogsworth was boringly silly, and as an actor, he was incredibly underutilized in the film.
But back to Emma Watson. One of that poor girl’s crosses appears to be that she only has three character emotions she can pull from her acting bag.
The first is an angry tantrum bearing the look of disgust while shouting something like, “Ron Weasley, I really like you a lot, but after eight movies you still you can’t seem to figure it out!” or “I’ll never marry you, Gaston!” The second is the slight smirk of sensitive surprise she offers alongside words such as, “Oh, the Beast is so sweet out there in the snow with that horse. I just never noticed that side of him before.” And the third is a blank stare—which is the same look she uses while singing an emotionally rich song on a hillside overlooking her town, or in a darkened forest being chased by wolves while trying to escape the Beast’s castle, or in a fantastically ornate room conversing with objects that should be inanimate but aren’t.
One of Emma Watson’s crosses is acting. Another is the posable “Belle” doll that Disney fashioned for sale from her likeness. I sure hope Emma, who is very pretty, doesn’t ever see this thing. It is shockingly hideous. See for yourself.
It almost looks as though three different people designed the thing—that is, one designed the clothing, another crafted the body from the feet to the neck, and still another designed the head. But while the clothing and torso designers were on the right track, when they put the whole thing together, they realized that the guy who made the noggin was working with the measurements from when they planned to make the doll a little larger. The head is not only too big for the rest of the doll, but it actually makes Emma look like a man with thick brows and a Frankenstein’s Monster-sized cranium.
For her sake, I sure hope that Disney fixes this, because even my doll-aged daughter said it looked scary. And when a seven-year-old girl won’t let you buy her a Disney doll of her favorite character from a movie that she really liked, that’s a cross.
Now remember, I said I have several crosses to bear, too. If you keep with Angels’ Portion in the least, then you probably know a few of them. But this time around, the burden is an agreeable, blended Scotch called “Oak Cross,” and it’s fashioned from three distinct single malts and delivered by way of American and French Oak barrels from the master storytellers at Compass Box.
The nose of this tale spins on sturdy legs and sings an enthusiastic song of spicy citrus—mainly mandarins and cinnamon. And as it comes back down from the hillside for a dip and a taste in the stream at its base, there is a fresh flowing of vanilla, citrus, and a peated barley run-off from an adjacent field.
The finish is short and just as clean as the whisky’s beginning, offering a parting coolness that’s almost equal to any of its possible warming qualities. What I really liked was the surprisingly strange sense of peppered-dashed limes.
In all, the Oak Cross is an expressive dram well worth exploring—just like acting classes or the pile of applications on your desk from eager but unemployed doll designers.