When the trailer for Cinderella came along it looked like nothing more than a generic retelling of a story I’ve known since I was a kid. The film did not catch my interest but then something strange happened, the trailer started to grow on me to the extent that I was actually looking forward to seeing it. I am getting soppy in my old age.
PLOT: After her father is killed Ella (Lily James) is left in the clutches of her Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and two stepsisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger). Ella is reduced to the role of an unpaid servant but after a visit from her fairy godmother....... grand ball…… pumpkin…… beautiful blue eyes…….clock strikes 12pm…… you know the rest. END PLOT
The plot of Cinderella is exactly what you would expect it to be and there were no twists thrown in to surprise the audience although the script did a decent job of fleshing out the Stepmother and the Prince. Cinderella is one of my least favourite fairy tales but despite the story being almost unforgivingly familiar I was never bored and I didn't feel the need to slap anyone.
Lily James was appropriately sweet as Cinderella but didn’t come across as the wet blanket she had the potential to be. It was nice seeing Richard Madden smile after his dour performance as Rob Stark in Game of Thrones and he does make for a wonderfully charming prince. Madden’s blue eyes became the most important part of the film.
The smile alone would have been enough to defeat the Lannisters had he but used it
The real star of the show was Cate Blanchett who was having a blast as the Stepmother. Blanchett stole the show and upstaged everyone in a performance that managed to be both cold and humorous without ever being over-the-top.
Disney didn’t scrimp on the magic and there was plenty of sparkle sprinkled throughout the film. The effects were charming and the sets and costumes were gorgeous. The entire film looked stunning.
Kenneth Branagh surprised everyone with Thor a couple of years ago and he has done the same thing again with Cinderella. I think we should all pray to the fairy godmother that Branagh was involved as if the film had been in the lessor hands of Tim Burton it could have been an absolute car crash. The thought of Burton's live action Dumbo fills me with dread.
Cinderella isn’t ground-breaking cinema by any stretch of the imagination but it has enough heart to get even the most cynical asshole through the running time. It gets 7.5/10. I am now ridiculously excited to see what Disney do with the live action Beauty and the Beast which is one of my all time favourite films.