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Published On: Sat, Mar 14th, 2015

‘Cinderella’ Review: Disney sticks to basics, succeeds in a big way

Disney’s best live-action adaptation to date comes with few surprises, no strange, untold backstory or lazy CGI effects. No, Cinderella is big, bold and beautiful with a story faithful to the animated classic.

Cinderella (Lily James), “Ella” as the story begins, is orphaned, but embraces her dying mother’s advice to “have courage and be kind” as she ultimately must endure the evil Stepmother, played brilliantly by Cate Blanchett, and two moronic stepsisters.

Cinderella_-_Ella_and_PrincePrince Kit, played by Game of Thrones star Richard Madden, is not just some pretty face, but shares Cinderella’s values and the pair truly conveys a real chemistry.

Director Kenneth Branagh doesn’t try some gritty or more realistic version of the fairy tale (like Alice in Wonderland) and never strays too far from the story which little ladies admire so earnestly.

Praise needs to go to production designer Dante Ferretti and costume designer Sandy Powell for the incredible sets, detailed costumes, bright colors and the ball scene is perfect – just watch the eyes of every female in the audience.

There is some CGI, the transformation scenes of course, but they blended well with the practical effects and most importantly, never distract from the journey to romance which is unfolding on screen.

I was no fan of Helena Bonham Carter’s Fairy Godmother and Stellan Skarsgård was pretty bland in the role of Grand Duke, but focus stays right where it belongs: on James and Madden falling in love with a disapproving and meddling Blanchett.

While James is no warrior, she is a stronger female role model than the bland, meek version in the 1951 animated film.

Cinderella is the best live-action so far from Disney, but there are plenty in the works (Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast, a sequel to the Alice film and many others), as they make a traditional film, but move towards modern themes.

Cinderella receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Cinderella-Ball-dancing with the PRince Cinderella-Meeting-her Prince Lily James Richard madden

Cinderella_-The_Wicked_Stepmother

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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