I do love a happy ending. Don’t you?
Lunar Drive-In, 29/03 7:45pm
Running time: 113m
Country: United States
Release date: 26/03/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 6.5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 4/5)
Lily James stars in the title role in this 2015 Disney remake of the classic fairytale, directed by Kenneth Branagh. It tells the story of Ella, a young girl who, after the death of her beloved father, is left at the mercy of her wicked step-mother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) and two step sisters (Sophie McShera and Holiday Granger). Ella is ill-treated as their servant and earns the spiteful nickname ‘Cinderella’ after she must take to sleeping next to the fireplace rather than her draughty and cold attic room. When the ailing King decides to hold a grand ball to find a wife for his only son Kit, also known as Prince Charming (Richard Madden), he agrees to invite all the maidens in the land. Although forbidden to attend by her step-mother, with the help of her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), a pumpkin, some mice, a goose and a couple of lizards, Cinderella too is finally able to go to the ball…and then her life is set to change forever.
There are no surprises in this film and, thankfully, no dark twists or sub-plots are introduced to ‘modernise’ the story. Lily James presents an innocent, kind and beautiful Cinderella who (spoiler alert) falls for the dashing Prince Charming. Cate Blanchett (despite a propensity to over act…quite a lot) is wonderfully evil and malicious as the step mother. Helena Bonham Carter plays a charmingly bonkers Fairy Godmother and is a standout in this film, despite her all too short appearance. Although this film will never win an award for original screenplay, the costumes and sets and use of computer generated imagery are magical. Indeed, if somehow you are unfamiliar with the story of Cinderella, this movie contains many magical elements and requires the suspension of disbelief and the engagement of your imagination, making it a delightful experience. There is something very comfortable about this version of Cinderella, so children and adults alike will find much to enjoy. (DP)
88th Academy Awards
2016 BAFTA Awards