Breaking Dawn, The Movie

[Warning: strong opinions and spoilers below….]

I finally got to see the movie Breaking Dawn, Part I, and with the excuse of having a related blog, I thought I’d take a minute to express some opinions about it to get them off my chest as much as anything. I loved it, actually, and will undoubtedly see it a dozen more times. The highs in the movie were exceptional, but unfortunately, so were the lows.

Overall, I found it emotionally dramatic, riveting, especially the wedding, Bella’s pregnancy, and the birth. Kristen Stewart gave a subtle and emotional performance. For perhaps the first time, I really felt what she was feeling in this movie…love, lust, shyness, fear, and determination, and often, she expressed these feelings only in facial expressions and body language. Wonderful job.

Robert Pattinson’s performance should have been as good, as it always is (though he talks too fast), but I had the irritating feeling that the director or perhaps the film editor cut him off just when the camera should have been panning in and pausing. The wedding and birth scenes gave him better range, but the honeymoon scenes felted chopped and abbreviated, frustratingly so. I don’t know whether it was the direction, the film editing, or excessive censoring by the movie board (or the book’s author). More Edward, all the time! That’s my preference, in general.

The romance and sex were largely disappointing. This movie is where all of that build up should have hit its peak and been fulfilled, but the scenes seemed excessively edited, conservative, and lacking in sexual tension, which is a crime for this movie! I’m guessing that the scenes were filmed satisfactorily, but then were edited down to a G rating. I hope that an extended version will be released on video that is at least rated PG-13, but preferably R. For one thing, Edward should have been taking his shirt off all over the place and he didn’t once. (He had it off to swim and once in bed, but he never took it off. Big difference in a film.)

The wolves were given some delightful scenes, though once or twice they felt visually a bit cartoonish. The wolves were not large enough except in extreme closeup. Eclipse got the scale right; Breaking Dawn undersized them. I really enjoyed Jacob in this film. Taylor Lautner got to show some range and his acting gets better and better.

The script was wonderful. Melissa Rosenberg deserves a lot of credit for turning all the books into enjoyable movies. It’s not an easy job, especially for such beloved novels, and she hit all the right points in condensing them to two-hour movies. She’s my hero.

What the heck happened with the wigs and makeup? And how could anyone have made Rosalie and Carlisle less than stunning? During the hunger scenes at the house, I was very disappointed that just looking at the Cullens wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been. Sure, they were thirsty, but they should never look unattractive…

The music was wonderful and tied into the first Twilight movie beautifully. The costumes were excellent, too, and the set decoration. I could go on, but I’ll stop here, except for the long lists below of my favorite and least favorites elements of the movie.

No matter what, you have to see it.
PAL
p.s. Feel free to express your own opinions!

Wonderful Surprises:
Edward in the 1930s
Wedding toasts, especially Charlie, Jessica, & Emmett
Alice’s wedding cake scene
Wolf scenes
Seth’s paws
BooBoo Stewart, in general
Wolves attacking Esme & Alice
Ohmigod, the Dress!! (two dresses, actually)
Edward in his wedding tux
Kristen Stewart’s emotional performance
Visual depiction of Bella’s burning!
Swimming and waterfall scene
Screenplay
Alice & Jasper dancing
Edward resisting the lingerie
Edward spread-eagled across the headboard!
Newlyweds’ shyness before bedtime
Wedding setting, filming, set decoration
Filming of Bella starving, exceptional makeup–it was horrifying!
Charlie & Billy’s competition for Sue’s attention
Kaura
Denalis (needed more differentiation & screen time for Tanya, though)
Beautiful boating scenes, Isle Esme’s beauty, funky Rio street scene
Jacob’s screen time

Disappointments:
G-rated romance
Too-abbreviated love scenes
Cullens were not beautiful, esp. Carlisle and Rosalie! Hair colors were wrong!
Wigs & makeup looked phony (sometimes)
Way too many clothes on the honeymoon
A different actor for Sue!
Author’s cameo appearance
Bella & Edward didn’t dance
50% too short (I know…wishful thinking)
Bella’s bruises
Edward never takes off his shirt!

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About PA Lassiter

P.A. Lassiter is a multi-published author currently writing a series of novels set in rural Kentucky. Late at night she impersonates Edward Cullen at Twilight: The Missing Pieces.
This entry was posted in Breaking Dawn, Honeymoon, Jacob, Melissa Rosenberg, Movie, PG-13, Sex, Stephenie Meyer, Vampire Bella, Wedding and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Breaking Dawn, The Movie

  1. Danielle says:

    I am so with u on all your thoughts of the movie i was very disappointed on the honeymoon and Edward too many clothes I also was hoping for the phone conversation between Bella and Rosalie that was something I have always wanted to hear just to know how they finally found their friendship and the movie was too short there is still way too much to put into part two I thought they would at least show the first hunt or reunion with her daughter now there is way too much that will be cut out of part two

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  2. asunder73 says:

    Visual representation of imprinting for the fail. Honestly, the only reason SM pulls off imprinting on a child/infant in the book series is that the readers are expected to believe that when a child is imprinted on, the desire of the wolf is decisively NON-SEXUAL. The movie depicted Renesmee going through age-progression from baby to an attractive teen, making it seem like she is indeed an ADULT in Jacob’s mind, thus undermining the workaround the taboo of Jacob changing the diaper of the woman he has sexualized in his mind. Am I over-thinking?

    It reminds me of this fic called “The Westermark Effect” which pretty much states that ANY adult that spends the first formative 6 years of the child’s life is perceived as a parent figure, so the mind would perceive sexual attraction to the individual as a taboo.

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    • palassiter says:

      The imprinting depiction bugged me a little because I didn’t feel much of anything and I thought it should have felt like a momentous event since we experienced it through Jacob’s eyes. I’m no filmmaker, though, and so I have no idea how one would convey the feeling any better.
      The incest angle didn’t actually bother me until you pointed it out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Watching the scene, I interpreted it as a non-literal representation of the feeling of imprinting which in the book was distinctly spiritual in nature. It might have bothered me more if I didn’t know the book so well. Mostly during that scene, I was utterly distracted by the CGI baby and how fake she looked.
      In response to your question…I’m thinking that you are over-thinking it… PAL

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  3. Edwardsgal says:

    I agree with almost all of what you loved and didn’t love. (Been a while since I stopped by the website. So happy to see Eclipse well underway!! Awesome to see how many people are getting to read and fall in love with your work. No one does Edward like you do!!) Anyway, after seeing the movie 2 times I have so many opinions. First, totally agree with the short honeymoon mess. Ugh, just when you think you are going to get a good love scene they cut to Bella’s funeral. Geeze talk about a buzz kill. RP said he really worked out hard for this movie…they needed to show us more of his hard earned body!!! I didn’t like the wolves attacking Esme, I felt like they made the wolves out to be bad guys instead of a group of people who were just as scared as everyone else of what this baby could turn out to be. I was very impressed with the script, so happy they pulled so many lines word for word!! Hope that continues to BD2. Loved the birth scene, although we didn’t get the toothy smile and if they were going to give us a digital baby why not give us the smile? Only those of us who read the book know that Reneesme bit Bella, if I had only watched the movie I think I would have been really confused when you just hear skin breaking and Bella say ouch. Ughh…I am rambling now….all in all loved the movie. Hated the Cullen’s new hair…but loved the movie!!

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  4. Sandy says:

    Dear PAL – thanks so much for your feedback on BD1 and I’m in agreement with you on just about everything. (And will be returning to savor it many more times ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kristen Stewart finally seems comfortable being Bella. I’ve never been fond of her portrayal, but in BD1 she really owns the role and gives Bella the emotional and mature range she deserves. Great direction to keep the camera on her and let her changing emotions play across her face with no dialog necessary.

    Did the director not like Edward / RP? No “burning man”, none of the intense emotions allowed to play out during the honeymoon and pregnancy scenes. Only cursory scenes with Edward instead of the strong developing emotions that are in the book and that we know RP can bring. Felt that the direction, script during the pregnancy scenes made him appear cold to Bella until the last minute; we know he was never cold to her, only distraught at losing her. The birth scene was great though and showed the focus and determination Edward needed to bring to that event.

    Loved the wedding! Felt like an honored guest. Billy Burke is always the best! and BooBoo couldn’t be more charming.

    Can’t figure out why the wolves were so poorly done in BD1 when they were spot on in Eclipse. Can’t be that there wasn’t enough $ in the budget or they didn’t know how to make great wolves already.

    Regardless, am so happy to see the book come to life on the screen. Know it will never be like the movies in my head while I re-read it once again!

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    • palassiter says:

      Great insights and I agree across the board. I’m wondering if Condon (the director) doesn’t quite “get it” with regards to why women are attracted to Edward. He missed several important aspects of the character. I appreciated Catherine Hardwicke’s portrayal of Edward in Twilight. It wasn’t perfect either, but she got closer with a much tinier budget. PAL

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  5. Ileana says:

    I am with you 100% also the birth scene with Edwards mouth with blood all over, I wished the made him wipe it off, he looks so bad at the fight scene. I loved Jacob imprinting on Reneesme with the exception of the baby being digitally generated to looks like Mackenzie Foy. The second time around was better.I still gave it two thumbs up!

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    • palassiter says:

      I agree about Edward’s bloody face and the “fakeness” of the baby in the imprinting scene.
      I’ve found with the other movies that I like them more the more times I see them too! I’m dying to watch it on video so I can rewind and really look at some of the scenes carefully. It all went too fast! PAL

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  6. beverly says:

    I loved tge wedding toasts! They were hilarious! But I agree. Not nearly enough love scenes. Should have been more like the book in that aspect.

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