Disney’s CINDERELLA Review

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We pretty much all know the story of Cinderella and many of us grew up with childhood fantasies of wanting to be her!  Now, there is a new Disney revival with the live-action Cinderella and even more so does it make you wish you could live in a land of magic and fairy tales.  What I love so much more about this new film is the way we can all relate to Cinderella.  She lives her life just trying to be the best person she can be, following her mother's guidance to have courage, and be kind. I was thrilled to get a sneak peek at this movie this past week and to share it with you now!  


The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.

This is one of my favorite scenes of the movie.  We all know the Fairy godmother transforms the pumpkin and the dress and the shoes and the animals, but watching the awesome CG affects in the film makes it so real and fun!  Bonham Carter is playful and witty, and the dress transformation scene is one of any girl's dreams!  When she adds the final touch, completely real glass slippers, you can't help but be happy for Cinderella who, at this point, has suffered through much!  


Cate Blanchett portrays Lady Tremaine with an evilness that crawls right under your skin.  She and the stepsisters do an excellent job of rounding out this whole b2ap3_thumbnail_c4.jpgcast! Their extravagant dresses are impeccably made and wonderful to look at!  The director, Kenneth Branagh very much lets this story tell itself, while adding in reverie and heroism among the characters.  

A live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.  Ella, as she is known throughout most of the film and her down-to-earth Kit, played by Richard Madden as Prince Charming, are such a great pair! 


Directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh (“Thor,” “Hamlet”) and starring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “Elizabeth”), Lily James (“Downton Abbey”), Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech,” “Alice in Wonderland”), “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Elysium”), Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) and David Barron (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) with Tim Lewis (“Goldeneye”) serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Chris Weitz (“About a Boy,” “The Golden Compass”).

There were many children in the theater and it was appropriate for those I would say older than maybe 6.  It runs a little under the 2 hour mark.

Rated PG


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