FORBIDDEN ROMANCE: A film about love between a mortal and a witch explores the meaning of agency and sacrifice. PHOTO BY JOHN BRAMLEY. © 2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Supernatural romance

The film Beautiful Creatures, based on a young adult novel by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, opened in theaters on Valentine’s Day, staking its claim as the supernatural romance of the post-Twilight era. It’s the story of a mortal boy, Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), and a girl who is a caster (or witch), Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), whose love is doomed by an ancient curse that forbids pairings between mortals and casters. To complicate matters, Lena is approaching her 16th birthday, when her nascent powers will reach full bloom and be claimed for dark or light. Presumably, she has no choice in her “claiming.” Her hidden “true nature”—in the book it’s like a magic toss of the coin—will decide for her. Lena’s own mother, Sarafine (Emma Thompson, committed to her role with almost delirious delight), “went dark” and is on a mission to take Lena with her.


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