Cinderella (2015)

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking with a good cast

Pretty straight forward adapation

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cinderella

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance/Family

Release Date(s):  February 13, 2015 (Berlin)/March 13, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

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Baz Luhrmann would have had them breakdancing to the Beastie Boys…

Ella (Lily James) lived a happy life until her mother (Hayley Atwell) passed away.  Ella’s father (Ben Chaplin) decided upon marrying again…leading Ella to have a stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera).  When Ella’s father tragically passes away while on a journey, Ella finds herself at the mercy of her stepmother and stepsisters.  Ella is dubbed “Cinderella” and finds her only happiness with her animal friends.  A chance encounter in the woods with a man named Kip (Richard Madden) leads Cinderella on a magical adventure that could turn her life around.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Cinderella adapts the classic fairy tale.  The movie mostly takes its basis from Charles Perrault’s 1697 version of the story (though the Cinderella story existed before his writing) and also adapts Disney’s own 1950 classic animated version of the film.  The movie was released to mostly positive reviews and a strong box office return.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.

Disney’s new thing is to make live action versions of their animated films.  In some cases this has felt a lot like Wicked in that the movies twist the stories or tell them from a different perspective like Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Maleficent (2014).  I wasn’t a huge fan of either of the previously mentioned movies, but I will say Cinderella probably is the best of the live action adaptations.

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The Wicked Stepmother and sisters are always the real stars of the film

Unlike Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella is pretty straight forward in its adaptation.  The story is still told from Cinderella’s perspective (unlike Wicked’s author Gregory Maguire’s Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister) and it doesn’t really try to modernize the tale like Drew Barrymore’s Ever After.  Instead, you still get the mice, the pumpkin, and the glass slippers.  The ending of the story is changed up slightly and more political intrigue is (unnecessarily) added.

The cast is good.  Lily James is a perfect choice for Cinderella with her wispy and slender look (some thought she had been digitally thinned down).  Cate Blanchett always plays cold people perfectly and attempts to humanize the character through her backstory worked somewhat.  Helena Bonham Carter fell out of a Tim Burton movie into Branagh’s movie and Stellan Skarsgård and Derek Jacobi were fairly wasted.  Sophie McShera is almost unrecognizable from her Downton Abbey Daisy character as one half of the wicked stepsisters with Holliday Grainger playing the other sister.

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So the Fairy Godmother also felt Cinderella’s mother had bad taste and that the dressed needed to be changed

The movie does look great.  The style and magic episodes work best and the transformation and dress have a lot of style.  I never pictured Cinderella living in a country estate however and felt that it should have made it easier for the Prince to find her if that had really been the case (I mean he did meet her in the woods…shouldn’t he have searched around there first?)

Cinderella is a much more welcomed addition to live action Disney films.  The movie doesn’t try to change things up a lot so viewers will either like that or hate that since they could have watched the musical animated version in its place.  With Cinderella’s success, I’m sure more live action versions of Disney’s animated films are coming.

Related Links:

Cinderella (1950)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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