FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - The ageless fairy tale is perfect material for yet another timeless Disney animation full of lively action and eye-dazzling visual technique, not to mention a production number in the grand Busby Berkeley style. The fantasy will delight young and old for generations to come. Only the finale is a bit of a letdown, pulling out too many stops to achieve a happier-than-happy ending. Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. (Rated G)HEARING VOICES Delicately filmed drama about the relationship of a gay man and a woman with a physically and psychologically troubled past. Erika Nagy gives a moving performance as the heroine; the male actors are less persuasive, overemphasizing the most self-pitying aspects of their characters. Directed by Sharon Greytak from her own screenplay, which treats difficult sexual and emotional issues with tact and sensitivity. (Not rated)

PROSPERO'S BOOKS John Gielgud is a masterful Prospero in Peter Greenaway's revisionist version of "The Tempest," which surrounds Shakespeare's verse with a flood of flamboyant and often outrageous images. Some sequences have the power of an indelible dream, while others are as self-indulgent as a high school pageant gone berserk. Sacha Vierny did the vivid cinematography; Michael Nyman composed the pulsating music. (Rated R)

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