The day has come that we have been waiting for: Disney's live-action version of the classic fairytale Cinderella is out in theatres! Before the movie, you'll be able to see the new short Frozen Fever, too!
If you read my interview with Director Kenneth Branagh, you know that I'm a huge Kenneth Branagh fan. I've loved everything he's ever done. And Cinderella didn't disappoint…quite frankly, it's another Kenneth Branagh masterpiece. I loved that they tried to stay true to the spirit of the original Disney animated classic while still making it something new and fresh. Lily James is impossibly perfect as Ella, and Cate Blanchett is perfectly malign as Lady Tremaine, the Wicked Stepmother.
I loved that the message of Cinderella is new and modern, that Ella is not a girl who's sitting around waiting for a prince to come and save her. As Lily James said in her interview, ‘She’s got this unbelievable strength, and it doesn’t come from fighting. It comes from within. The strength is her courage and her kindness and if she has that, she can deal with what life throws at her. By being this person, she’s being the best version of herself. With such an open heart, when she does meet the prince not knowing who he is, he falls for her because she’s a strong, powerful, beautiful from within woman. That’s the idea.'
That's such an incredibly powerful message for young girls this day in age. As the parent of four children, including three young girls, it's one that resonates with me. It's not just another princess and fairytale.
I also loved the nods to the original animated classic. In the wedding scene for instance, the hair is how Cinderella wears her hair at the ball in the animated version, so that is a nice little echo. Other echoes include some music in the score and the mice having their own story line/scripts, much like the animated version.
While there are nods and similarities to the animated classic, there are plenty of deviations, as well. The movie as a whole held my attention and I loved every moment, and not just because I got to see it at the El Capitan during the Red Carpet World Premiere. I loved getting to know Ella. I can't wait to take my daughters to see it. The cast is incredible (Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, among others) so you know it's going to be grand. And with award winning costume designer Sandy Powell behind the look, you're in for a treat. I mean, have you seen the dress?!
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CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere today, March 13th!