This latest offering of Cinderella combines elements of nostalgic beauty that enchanted audiences in the classic 1950s animated version while adding comedic flair and a new age twist on an old fairy tale.
As with most Cinderella adaptations we start with Ella, a happy baby; a happy girl. With the passing of her mother she makes a promise to have courage and be kind. Years later her father announces that he is to marry again and Ella is overjoyed that her father will have new happiness and that she will gain a stepmother and two sisters. Soon after her new family moves into the cottage Ella is brought the news that her father has died overseas. Out of kindness Ella begins doing the housework for her stepmother who treats her with little regard and puts her in the attic. After meeting a mystery man in the forest and being invited to a royal ball, Ella must get past her Stepmother ‘Lady Tremaine’ and the villainous grand duke to get her happy ending.
I was pleasantly surprised by the film, finding it not to be just another rehashing of the old fairy tale. The story was filled charm, comedy and magic enough for the whole family to enjoy. Two of the standout performances came from Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother and Richard Madden as Prince ‘Kit’ Charming. Unlike usual adaptions, this Prince Charming actually had a bit of personality. Normally pushed to the background, audiences get insight into the princes own struggle between love and becoming the king his kingdom deserves. Cate Blanchett is perfectly poised dressed in the latest Paris fashion with beady eyes and a sickly-sweet smirk. The cute mice and ugly stepsisters Disella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holiday Grainger) are great supports providing the audience with lots of laughs.
The costuming is fabulous. The glass slippers, the blue gown and the princely garbs all meet the mark. For older audiences elements from Disney’s original Cinderella like Lucifer the cat an appearance. This movie is a definite must see for young and old.
Star Rating: 4/5
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Words by Sarah Clarry