If our obsession with Will and Kate’s royal wedding was anything to go by, we love fairy tales! Which is why there’s much to love about a live-action revival of a 1950’s animated classic.
“Cinderella” screenwriter Chris Weitz and director Kenneth Branagh tastefully transform a tale as old as time into a magical 105-minute picture.
Part of “Cinderella’s” charm lies with its lead, a good and wholehearted heroine that we can emulate. Lily James’s very likable and animated as Ella. She has a happy childhood with her father (Ben Chaplin) and her mother (Hayley Atwell) until her parents pass away. But as the story goes, she’s mistreated by her cruel and jealous stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and two gaudy stepsisters (played by Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger) while she bears a grin, talks to mice and lives by her mother’s maxim, “Have courage and be kind.”
Filmed by Haris Zambarloukos and edited by Martin Walsh, “Cinderella” is visually stunning and shows off Sandy Powell’s costume designs. There’s an ariel shot of Ella’s two stepsisters in bed surrounded by frumpy dresses. James looks gorgeous in blue — spinning in the prince’s arms. And Blanchett makes a pretty picture in a vibrant green dress that would make Scarlett O’Hara jealous (this one’s not made out of curtains).
Although Weitz and Branagh’s live-action version follows a safe and predictable script, it sweeps us off our feet in the same fashion as Kate Middleton’s real-life “Cinderella” story.
Prince Charming goes by the name as Kit (Richard Madden), and pretends he’s an apprentice at the castle. Courtesy of her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), Ella attends his ball dressed up as a princess. And they — like Prince William and Kate Middleton — lived happily ever after.
“Cinderella” was directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Chris Weitz.