In keeping with the traditional story, but different enough to surprise and delight throughout, Cinderella is exactly what it should be.
With enough magic, mice and geese to keep children (and some adults) entertained, and enough humour and emotional backstory to keep the adults engaged, Cinderella bridges the gap for child-adult entertainment.
This film had something for all (except those who perhaps turned up at the cinema for Fast and Furious 7 and walked in the wrong screen), and maintained the magic of the 1950 Disney animation, to the delight of the fans of the classic.
Lily James’ (Downton Abbey) portrayal of Cinderella or Ella as she is mostly called throughout the film, is handled with such care and elegance that you truly believe this character is as resilient as she is fragile.
Taking the advice of her late mother to “have courage and be kind”, Ella manages to battle through her hardships and looks for the best in people. Cinderella reiterates this positive message throughout the film sending home a great message for children watching the film.
Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings, Benjamin Button) pulls off the character of the wicked stepmother with an ounce of humanity, and the added dimension of a difficult past, which both make the character entirely believable and more understandable in her treatment of Cinderella. Both jealous and in awe of Cinderella’s beauty, courage and kind heart, this slightly different take on the character of the stepmother is very well executed.
The most predictable part of the film was the casting of Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd) to play the Fairy Godmother. Perhaps an actress with a little more motherly warmth would have suited the role better, but we all know Bonham Carter is the go-to actress for oddball characters, and she didn’t do the film any damage.
Other notable actors in the film were that of Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) who played Prince Kit (or Prince Charming) and was, well, charming enough, and his on-screen father Sir Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, The King’s Speech), with whom he shared a heart-warming scene.
In a nutshell, this is the classic fairy tale story – done pretty perfectly.