HOLLYWOOD—We all know about the classic fairy tale known as Cinderella, but when was the last time you recall seeing a live-version of the film. Hmm, takes a while to think about it doesn’t it. This new telling helmed by Kenneth Branagh is an enchanting tale that will warm the heart and further reiterate why so many of us love this Disney classic.
Tackling the role of Cinderella is none other than “Downton Abbey” alum Lily James who brings a level of sincerity, poise and empathy to a woman whose life is forever changed with the passing of her mother.
She is forced to live a torturous life thanks to her wicked step-mother played with delicious cruelty by Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett. Blanchett can act, but what she does with Lady Tremaine is so much fun to watch on the big screen. To be wicked is no easy task, and Blanchett does so in a way that you love and hate her at the same time.
During a chance encounter in the woods, Cinderella meets Kit (Richard Madden), who is smitten by her beauty and outlook on life; of course she has no idea he is a prince, and is soon to take the realm as his father is ill as well.
The rest of the story is no different than what we’ve ready in the books and seen in films from the past. The addition, of Helena Bonham Carter as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is a nice touch, which sets the stage for the epic ball, where Cinderella makes her entrance like the princess that she is.
I will admit I thought it was a nice touch to have glass shoes to elevate the level of sophistication for the film. When the clock strikes 12, she flees in a flurry to prevent further chaos from ensuing only leaving her glass shoe behind for the prince. This is where things take a bit of a detour that I enjoyed. Both Lady Tremaine and The Grand Duke portrayed by Stellan Skarsgard devise a scheme to keep the two lovebirds apart in their quest to get what they want.
There is a level of charm to the narrative in this live-action tale that just warms the heart and takes many back to their childhood days where they read the tale of Cinderella, the wicked step-sisters and the evil step-mother. Furthermore, it just highlights the power of forbidden love. No matter how hard one person or a group of people attempt to prevent two people from being loved, two people destined to be together will be together.
While at times, some kiddies might find the performance of Blanchett a bit scary, her wickedness is nothing compared to that of Jolie in “Maleficent.” “Cinderella” is a movie that not only kids will love, but the adults will adore as well.