Cinderella (2015)
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Cinderella (2015)

To employee a common colonialism, "the Walt Disney Studios have a license to print money". They began building this empire back in 1939 the release of the first animated feature movie, ‘Snow White’. Since then, they have been adapting stories from mythology, folktales, and fairytales into their own vast catalog of characters becoming an integral part of the most pleasant childhood memories for several generations. Just as we fondly remember the first Disney movie help parents focus to that experience will be handed down as our grandchildren watch a Disney movie with their parents, our children. Their roster is so deep and varied that they have managed to maintain a constant supply of heroes and villains for this successful television series, ‘Once upon a Time’. These stories have become so ingrained in our popular culture that they have reached the point of being on par with some of the traditionally great works of literature. As such each generation has the right to reinterpret the stories and characters through the lenses of their own sensibilities and experiences. That brings us to one of their most widely told stories, ‘Cinderella’. The various incarnations of this have included musical stage plays, adaptations for children, teens and adults. The latest release as a live-action film that is quite suitable for all ages. It is no surprise that the 2015 film ‘Cinderella ‘. This movie is not only an unqualified success is the latest offering for the ever-growing collection of ‘Princess Movies’ there was a major component of Disney’s fame, but it is simply part one of the best films to be released so far this year.

In this rendition of the beloved fairytale Disney has decided to go back to some of the traditional aspects of the back story. Ella (Lily James) is the daughter of the couple, privileged to live on an expansive estate located in a peaceful kingdom. She was very close to her mother (Hayley Atwell) would enthrall the young girl with tales of magic. Ella’s gentleness and belief in magic committee had to befriend many animals who lived on the estate. A mother becomes very ill and on her deathbed had Ella promise to always display coverage and kindness towards others matter what happens to her. Several years later of all the remarries and true to her promise and nature Ella welcomes a new stepfamily. Her stepmother, Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) is the riddle of an old friend of a father, two daughters of our own; Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger). They are unrelentingly mean to Ella demeaning and insulting her at every turn. One night after being forced to sleep in the basement Ella came up for breakfast with her face covered in cinders resulting in the evil stepsisters bestowing a new name upon, Cinderella. Not only of the sisters means to her but Ella has little pet mouse was constantly threatened by the appropriately named sisters pet cat, Lucifer.

Undoubtedly most noted that the prologue considerably more detailed than most of the times the story has been told. This is an exceptionally wise decision on the produce is part for several reasons. First, there is no way around the audience being familiar with the main story. It has been a beloved classic for many years and there is an exceptionally limited degree of freedom for any changes to be instituted. Easing the audience into the story in this matter several aspects of the story are explained. Besides the obvious, how she received the name Cinderella, but also why the stepsisters were invited to Royal all in the first place. As daughters of the Lord they would be considered suitable as potential mates for a Prince. Ella’s father was extremely rich which made him ideal as a second husband for a widowed Lady. It is also a nice touch that Ella’s belief in magic and ability to befriend animals is explained. This is much more satisfying from a narrative point of view the just having bluebirds constantly flying around the young woman’s head. In the transition from animation to live-action these little touches the ground the story to some degree almost welcomed. It also has the side effect of not diminishing the magical memories of those who remember the 1958 animation of the story. This is accomplished by basing much of the story upon the version of the fairytale penned by Charles Perrault and infusing several of the most treasured aspects of the original animated film.

There’s a rather decision made in casting the fairy godmother. The choice of Helena Bonham Carter is bold and did require one of the more drastic changes in a characters personality. Ms. Carter is generally associated with much darker roles such as the truly evil purveyor of meat pies in ‘Sweeney Todd’ or the sadistic Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter saga. Review is not versed in the exceptional range of this actor. But they see is that someone they associate with as a heinous villain is playing the completely good and kindhearted fairy gave Cinderella a chance to go to the ball. However, this does fit in ideally with the somewhat darker and more realistic stress material. Since most elements of the story are immutable finding places such as this to infuse a stamp of originality became absolutely necessary.

It is rare for a live-action remake of an animated classic include so many well-known stars such an unmeasurable talent. Cate Blanchett enfolds herself in the role of the stepmother. She creates a dichotomy between being beautiful to look at and dangerous to know. This Academy award-winning actress has never encountered the role that you could not master. Ms. Blanchet is able to make the character believable through the exquisite degree of control she is able to bring to her role. The traditional animated versions stepmother is usually portrayed as evil persona being reflected by a very unpleasant working façade. The route taken here is different, even diametrically opposed, but exceptionally effective. Dichotomy is created between the grace and beauty of the stepmother and her coal black heart. This extends also to the sisters were played by exceptionally beautiful and talented actresses. Young woman playing Anastasia, Holliday Grainger, is well accustomed to portraying a beautiful young woman harboring the intent. Previously she had played Lucrezia Borgia in the Showtime series ‘The Borges’. Many of the other cast members have previously appeared on the immensely popular BBC period classic, Downton Abbey. Sophie McShera and Lily James were both regulars on that series. You might also recognize the ruggedly handsome actor portraying the Prince, Richard Madden. He is currently best-known for his role as Robb Stark in the pop-culture phenomenon ‘Game of Thrones’. There’s almost a Shakespearean affect to this movie is only natural considering the man sitting in the director’s chair, Kenneth Branagh. While well-known for a variety of character portrayals his forte is undeniably the production of Shakespeare’s plays. Is performed in many of both stage and screen is always directing and producing various productions. His classic touch infuses this movie with the gravitas a more reality grounded presentation required while able to retain the nuances and wonder of a fairytale. This is not only one of the best presentations of Cinderella and quite a long time but it holds together as one of the better films of this year and something that should not be missed. Be a memorable experience for the entire family.

bullet"Frozen Fever" Theatrical Short
bulletA Fairy Tale Comes To Life: Filmmakers and stars reflect on Cinderella's enduring power.
bulletStaging The ball: Experience the making of the lavish Palace Ball sequence.
bulletAlternative Opening: Ella's Childhood - View added moments from Ella's childhood.
bulletElla's Furry Friends: See how the animal stars honed their memorable performances

Posted 09/14/2015

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