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Breaking Dawn, Part 1: Saving the Best For Last

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It seems they are saving the best for last in the Twilight series. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is the film version of the first half of the last book. The other half will appear on screens in November 2012. This first half is what Twilight fans have long been anticipating as it is the most romantic and engrossing of all the movies to date, and is sure to be a huge box office success.

This movie concerns the marriage of Edward and Bella. Yes, the vampire and the human are finally getting hitched and it is all presented just as grand and gloriously as you could want. Bella (Kristen Stewart) has never been so beautiful and Edward (Robert Pattinson) has never been as handsome. The only flaw is that she is not marrying both Edward and Jacob (Taylor Lautner). That is the only way everyone could have been satisfied.

But Jacob fans can rejoice. He is a major part of the storyline and Lautner has never been this emotionally involved with his role. He completely forces his other movie this year, Abduction, out of our minds and reinforces the belief that he does indeed have a chance at a career after Twilight is over.

Even though this movie only tells half the story of the last book, it seems complete. You are not left at the end feeling as if you have been clumsily set up for what comes later and with nothing resolved. This is as good an ending as could possibly have been had for this chapter in the lives of Bella, Edward and Jacob.

The movie is rated PG-13 due to sexual situations and a gruesome birth scene. This film is definitely not for the younger kids as it will give rise to questions about sex and childbirth. Still each sequence is handled in good taste.

The movie is beautifully photographed with lush settings taking over for the rain soaked greenery of Washington state. Director Bill Condon is focused on the romantic elements of Melissa Rosenberg's screenplay while still staying true to all of the basic plotlines developed by novelist Stephanie Meyer.

Some will dismiss this movie out of hand as being one of "those" movies that is not worth watching. They will be wrong. This film provides a compelling story, supported by strong acting. Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner are completely absorbed by their roles and are at ease in the relationships they have to enact. They have a history together now and it pays off. There is also a strong supporting cast who are totally familiar to the audience by now and who slide comfortably back into the skin of the characters they portray.

If you have never seen a Twilight film then this is a good one with which to start. If you are already a fan of the series, this is the best movie adaptation yet. It totally entertains while it is setting up the story for the final chapter. It will be a long time to wait for the conclusion but this film will be worth watching over and over in the interim.

I scored Breaking Dawn, Part 1 a rising 7 out of 10.