“Cinderella” is the latest live-action Disney reimagining on the big screen after “Alice in Wonderland,” “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and “Maleficient.” This movie is, at once, a slight reimagining while also staying true to the spirit of the original source material.
Once upon a time, Lily James plays the title character, a young girl who loses both her parents and now lives with her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera). At first, they treat her like one of their own, but then start using her as their personal servant.
The three get invitations to attend a ball for the prince of the kingdom (Richard Madden), who is getting ready to choose his new bride. They leave Cinderella out of the equation but, little do they realize, she has help in the form of her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter). Carter’s version of the iconic character looks like if Lady Gaga were to play her.
The fairy godmother uses her magic to transform a pumpkin into a carriage, four mice into horses, two lizards into footmen and a goose into the driver. Last, but certainly not least, she also gives Cinderella a pair of glass shoes.
“Cinderella” is not just another Disney fantasy re-imagined for contemporary audiences. It’s also a marvelous-looking film where the visuals and the special effects all add to the atmosphere instead of simply calling attention to themselves.
Credit director Kenneth Branagh for providing a fantasy world filled with beauty and exquisite detail, and the cast is uniformly superb, especially Blanchett’s malevolent tone and presence.
There’s also a great deal of humor and heart to the film and the simple moral message of anything is possible if you just believe.
(Rated PG for mild thematic elements.)
Hall is a syndicated writer who lives in Southeast Georgia.