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'Cinderella' offers enough magic and beauty to become a classic
Lily James in Cinderella (2015) - photo by John Clyde
A KINGDOM FAR AWAY Were on the precipice of the summer-movie season, and were starting to get some of the big studio films in the theater.

This week sees the release of Disneys live action Cinderella.

Cinderella is the latest in a push from Disney with remaking some of their classic animated features into live-action films. Last year they gave us Maleficent, and the company is currently in pre-production on a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

While Cinderella isnt the best thing studio has ever released, it has its bright spots and is without a doubt one of the most magical films weve seen in a long time.

Some of those bright spots include Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. Truth be told, Bonham Carter may have been born to play that role.

Blanchett is a phenomenal actress, and it shines through in the deplorable Lady Tremaine. Thanks to her acting and director Kenneth Branaghs keen eye, the audience finally gets a better understanding into the psyche of the infamous stepmother. It doesnt make us condone her actions, but it does at least shed light on her despicable behavior.

Something else that is really beautiful about the film is the message.

There werent any major changes to the story we remember and love, but its message is really drilled home, and its something that is really wonderful for youngsters to hear. The film encourages us to dream, just as the 1950 original did, but it also urges us to be kind and courageous in all that we do. In this version Cinderella is no longer a damsel in distress just waiting to be saved, but rather a sincere and kindhearted young woman who strives to do the right thing while setting an example of courage and kindness. It may sound a bit cheesy and heave handed, but its actually a sincere and beautiful message that both kids and adults can benefit from.

Other small changes include things like shifting the terminology of Ugly Stepsisters to the idea of beautiful young women who are just as ugly on the inside as they are beautiful on the outside. There are just certain small changes like that that really helps add the charm and magic to the film.

The movie itself has beautiful visuals and magical settings that little girls across the world will fall in love with. The little boys on the other hand may not be quite as keen on it. Thats not to say that little boys will hate the movie or that some wont even fall in love with it, but this is definitely geared toward girls.

As an adult I was intrigued with the stunning visuals, thanks to Branagh and the incredibly fun Fairy Godmother sequence. But all in all, I may have been bored at times while watching it had it not been for one very specific thing.

My 4-year-old daughter.

I took my daughter with me, and she was dressed in her Cinderella dress and her hair pulled up into a bun on the top of her head, thanks to her mother. Every time I found myself getting a little antsy waiting for something to really grab my attention, Id glance at my daughter who was absolutely enthralled. Her eyes glimmered and her mouth was left agape for the entire 112 minutes.

This is not to say that I would not have enjoyed the movie had I not been with my daughter, but it elevated Cinderella from a fun movie to an enchanting tale.

Cinderella is possibly the best live-action adaptation from Disney in this new era, and its just magical and entertaining enough to make it well worth your time.

Cinderella is rated PG and will officially hit theaters today.
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