The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 had its world premiere in theaters across the country on November 20th, 2011. It was a gorgeous, heartfelt ceremony, and a huge moment for the fans and the film studios behind it!
The final installment of the Twilight Saga is a powerful story of love and survival, and a fitting swan song for the characters from New Moon, Eclipse, and the original Twilight. Breaking Dawn is a fitting end to a series so rich in lore and mythology, and it solidifies director Bill Condon’s status as one of the world’s greatest living film directors. (Just watch the movie to see what we mean!)
Bill Condon’s Crafty Film Making
We couldn’t put this in the subtitle because it’s too exciting to spoil! One of the things that makes Bill Condon’s direction so special is his ability to keep the audience guessing as to what’s going on even when things seem straightforward. On the surface, Breaking Dawn—Part 2 seems like a perfectly logical conclusion to the Twilight Saga and a fitting end to one of the most popular movie series of all time. But that’s exactly what makes it such a delight to watch!
There are a lot of twists and turns in its story, and many surprising turns of events. It starts off with a bang (no pun intended) as we find out that Bella has given birth to a baby girl, Esme. And not just any baby, but a vampire baby! As the movie opens, we see a very emotional Bella cradling her newborn daughter as she stares unblinkingly into the camera. If only this were a still from a PG film!
While in human form, Bella is an absolutely stunning, confident creature. But all that changes the second she becomes a vampire. Suddenly, she blossoms into a stunning, confident creature and takes on a whole new persona. The sexier the better, as far as Bella is concerned!
This sequence is a reminder of how integral the whole transformation process was for our favorite Twi-hard. Even as early as New Moon, we knew that Bella was a completely different person inside, and that transformation represents a major turning point for her character and her journey as a vampire. The opening sequence is a great example of how cinematically and artistically Bill Condon brings Bella’s metamorphosis to life.
As if this weren’t already enough to make you think twice about going into a movie theater, the director throws in another amazing twist! The Cullens, the family of wolves who become increasingly enamored with Bella, are revealed to be descendants of Vlad the Impaler, better known as ‘Vlad the Vampire,’ or ‘Vlad Tepes.’ (If you’re really a fan of the lore, then you’ll have to look this one up. It’s a real twist!)
What follows is an extremely satisfying and emotional climax to one of the most popular and important sagas of all time. We’re reminded often throughout of how important it is to love and respect yourself. It’s an important message for young people struggling with body image issues or who simply want to find the confidence to be themselves. It’s something that all three of the leads embodied in this final installment of The Twilight Saga bring to the forefront, and it drives home the message that being different is never a bad thing, so long as you know how to respect yourself and those around you.
Luminous Blue Skies And A Cinematic Wonderland
When we think about the work of cinematographer Greig Fraser and his gorgeous, ethereal photography, it’s hard to picture anything else other than an elegant, old-school movie theater with thick velvet curtains and a flickering glow from the screen. In some ways, it feels like we’re falling back into an era when people went to the movies just to be entertained, and not distracted by their phones or iPods. (Although, the rise of social media and online forums certainly didn’t hurt either.)
Fraser has been responsible for some of the most iconic images in movie history, from Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. And as if that weren’t enough, his work on The Twilight Saga is nothing short of breathtaking. (You’ll find many comparisons to be made between Fraser’s work and that of ASCENT’s Christian Houle, which is definitely a compliment!) Here’s a quick example of what you might see if you were lucky enough to catch a matinee of Twilight in theaters back in 2008:
Or, if you were even more fortunate, you might see this:
Or even this:
Or, if you were really, really lucky, you might see any of the above! It’s no exaggeration to say that these are some of the most iconic images ever put to film. (Not to mention the most meme’d!) And that’s just one of the many reasons why The Twilight Saga—Breaking Dawn—Part 2 is such a special film.
An Important Message For The Industry
While we were lucky enough to experience the wonders of Fraser’s cinematography firsthand, we mustn’t forget about the significance of his work here. Not only is it an incredibly beautiful and cinematic accomplishment, but it also has a very important message for the film industry. (And for the record, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a PG-13 movie!)
This is a big movie for the studios behind it, and for Bill Condon, who’s been waiting a long time for this particular project. He’s been working night and day to bring this one to life and make it as good as possible. And for a film that was supposed to be a simple, safe bet, he’s really pulled off something special!
The key to making any film great is the talent of the people behind it, and the legacy that they leave behind. As much as we loved Steven and Cathie’s baby, our hearts go out to Ellen and Chris as they prepare to say goodbye to their daughter. (And yes, we’ll have to wait until next year to see Ellen give birth to another baby!)
But regardless, Twilight—Breaking Dawn—Part 2 is a triumph! An important film that will be cherished for years to come. We can’t wait to see what the next generation of cinematographers has in store for us. (Let’s hope it’s even half as good!)