Synopsis: When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden
Release Date: 26th March 2015
Cinderella can be viewed as the biggest pushover of the classic Disney heroines. She allows people to walk all over her, obeying them mindlessly, until she meets a prince who sweeps her off her feet and marries her. Great songs aside, there is not much that can be gained from watching Cinderella. In the latest of the Disney live-action films, Kenneth Branagh has been able to breathe some fresh air into the stiff and outdated story. Though it still baffles me as to why Cinderella, or Ella, stays with her wicked step family, Branagh and Lily James have done a remarkably good job of making Cinderella a somewhat stronger, more dimensional character.
Unfortunately for Lily James, she is completely outshined by the flawless Cate Blanchett who plays the wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. Blanchett is awesome and delectably evil as the jealous widower who will stop at nothing to make sure her own two daughters success over that of her dead husbands daughter. She is the highlight of the film.
Unfortunately for James, Blanchett also gets the better of film’s costumes, designed by Academy Award winner Sandy Powell. Powell’s costumes are intricate and beautiful but unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to hit the nail on the head in regards to Cinderella’s iconic pale blue ballgown.
Richard Madden plays Prince Charming and from what we remember of the classic tale, the Prince doesn’t really say or do much for most of the film. While he certainly gets more to do in this interpretation, what he does in not all interesting.
This new, slightly more progressive interpretation of a classic fairytale is a sweet, though cheesy, family film that can be enjoyed by all ages.