With the success of Maleficent, it was only natural for Disney to continue to roll out the live action princess wagon for audiences. Next up for the Mouse is maybe the most famous of all the Disney Princesses considering Walt Disney built her castle as the focal point in his Disney parks. The girl with the glass slipper Cinderella is back with her own live action film helmed by director Kenneth Branagh. Mr. Shakespeare seems like an odd choice to direct by some, but Branagh has made one gorgeous film in Cinderella.
Now thing you must know about Cinderella is it's a simple story. Don't expect a giant flip like in Maleficent with Cinderella becoming a warrior princess who decapitates her evil stepmother and stepsisters at the end of the movie. It's a basic, but effective story we are all familiar with. A girl named Ella (Lily James) gets mentally abused and is forced to wait on her wicked Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and Stepsisters hand and foot. They even give her the nickname Cinderella. After a chance meeting with Prince Charming (Richard Madden), Cinderella gets all fancy with the help of her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) and heads to the ball in her glass slippers. The film does expand on Cinderella's parents, which we never have never seen before from the Mouse and Prince Charming's relationship with his father. It adds to the plot, which helps give the ordinary fairy tale some extra depth.
I can't say enough about the casting in Cinderella. Everyone does a great job and seems to relish in the role their playing. Blanchett is absolutely perfect as the wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. She chews up every scene she's in and has a wicked stare that will make you grab a broom and start sweeping in the theater. The cute as a mouse Lily James and princely Richard Madden have great chemistry on screen and provide more sexiness (staying within the Disney parameter of course) than anything I saw in that Fifty Shades of Grey silliness movie. Add in Helena Bonham Carter as the quirky Fairy Godmother and you have a cast that rises above the material to make it better.
Cinderella is a cute and nostalgic trip down memory lane. I definitely enjoyed Maleficent more, but this isn't a film geared towards me. It's made for the Disney Princess Mafia who will go crazy for this film and why shouldn't they. Cinderella is beautiful film that makes you believe in happy endings.
Overall, I give Cinderella 3 out of 4 cute stars.
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