3.24.2015

Cinderella REVIEW

It must have been a year ago or so when I first found out that a live action version of Cinderella was going to be made. Cinderella never was among my favourite Disney classics, but I liked the idea of a live action version. By the time Disney released a first trailer in late November, it had become one of my most anticipated films of 2015. With a cast including one of my all-time favourite actresses, the lovely Cate Blanchett, as well as one of Downton Abbey's stars, Lily James, there was no doubt for me that this would be great. And so it was.


One of the great things about this adaptation is that it is in fact just the story we all know from Disney's animated classic. There are no twists to the story, no unexpected changes and no 'truth' behind the story we thought we knew. As much as I liked recent Disney films Frozen, Maleficent and Into the Woods, which benefit from those twists and turns, I was happy that Cinderella was actually completely predictable. It is the ultimate fairy tale with a beautiful princess, a handsome prince, just a little bit of magic and a happily ever after. Gorgeous gowns and costumes, scenery and music are of course all included.

This being a film aimed at a very wide audience, including very young children, the film and its acting often were not too subtle. It didn't bother me one bit though and I definitely think it was for the better. Lily James was lovely as the ultra lovely Cinderella, Richard Madden was cute as the Prince determined to choose for love and Blanchett was wonderfully cruel, but elegant as ever as the wicked stepmother. The latter especially brought something to the film and to the story, with a layered potrtrayal of a Disney villain that never seemed so interesting to me. Maybe the fashions play a part in this as well, but Cate's Lady Tremaine has the same quality Glenn Close's Cruella de Vil had in 1996's 101 Dalmatians. And may I remind you, she got a Golden Globe nomination for it.  

The one complaint about this film I keep reading and hearing and that I myself completely disagree with, is that it would be 'anti-feminist'. If the fact that über-feminist Cate Blanchett does not seem to think so is not enough for you, then please go see the film and form your own opinion. You might disagree, but you will most certainly be enchanted like everyone else.

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