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Cinderella Review


And so, Disney's trend of remaking their animated classics continues, and while previous examples, like Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent took liberties with their cartoon source material, director Kenneth Branagh takes a more traditional approach to the latest effort, Cinderella, keeping much of what we remember of the 1950 original in tact. There are slight tweaks here and there (the duke is a lot more slimy and weaselly this time round, and the step sisters are "ugly on the inside"), but it's with the choice to stick so rigidly to the source material (though it drops the musical elements), as well as sprinkling a liberal dose of Disney magic upon the production, that Branagh's vision of the classic fairy tale shines, essentially bringing the cartoon to life in the real world.

I don't have to explain the plot, do I? It's all there: put upon heroine, wicked step mother, handsome prince, fairy god mother, glass slipper. The usual This adaption does shed some light on life before the fairy tale usually begins, showing Cinderella's (Lilly James) life before forced servitude, where her mother and father dote upon her and each other, and little Ella is taught to see the magic in the everyday. It is a tad heavy handed and sugar coated, but serves to open the oft told really well. Once Kate Blanchett's deliciously wicked step mother Lady Tremaine enters the scene that the story becomes what we know, and tradition takes over.

I can't stress enough how this feels like a live action cartoon, from Ella's CGI mouse friends to the fact that every scene pops with colour. It will never overshadow the original, it is a classic after all, but it is a fine companion piece, and the visual cues both share are undeniable. Everything about this movie is beautiful, from the sets to the impressive costume design (take a bow Sandy Powell). There is a real sense of magic to the whole affair, and that is long before Helena Boham Carter's ditzy Fairy God Mother shows up. The use of CGI, especially in the movie's big transformation set piece, is impressive, from lizards becoming footmen, horses with giant mouse ears, to carriages transforming back into pumpkins piece by piece, just one part of a rousing chase sequence. But the effects never take away from the story, and it's the adherence to tradition that makes Cinderella unbelievably charming.The movie passes by at a brisk pace, taking a no nonsense approach to storytelling, and very rarely does it lose you.

Lily James is perfect as the ever bubbly Cinderella, filled to the brim with a palatable sincerity, making the character instantly likable. Never does she step over the mark and become completely insufferable, and when she threatens to, James pulls it back nicely. The surrounding cast compliment her perfectly, with the once time Robb Stark, Richard Madden, providing enough chemistry to make sure their romance seem believable. But it's Blanchett who blows everyone out of the water, stealing every scene as the wicked step mother. Wonderfully two faced , and just down right despicable, she is a great foil to James' heroine, and you can see the actress relishes every scene.

Sticking to what made the original a classic, Cinderella never gets lost in the beauty and splendour of it's colourful wrapping, delivering a delightful fairy tale like only Disney can.

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The Movie Bit: Cinderella Review
Cinderella Review
The Movie Bit
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