The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.
Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”
When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden) and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King (Derek Jacobi) summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress.
Meanwhile, the calculating Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård) devises a plan to thwart the Prince’s hopes of reuniting with Ella and enlists the support of the devious Stepmother. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
My Review: I have seen almost every version of Cinderella out there and always love the idea of the story however far fetched it may seem. I went to this expecting to feel the same way. I love the classic original Disney animated version the best as Cinderella's friends are all animals thus lending to the sweet factor of her. This film was spectacular! From the amazing images of the kingdom to the magic that was in the air...it made me want to believe. I saw this with an eight year old girl and her review was speechless....this is not common for her. She loved it and decided to sleep in her Cinderella gown tonight as she felt the magic so much. I also love the clear message that was pumped into kids and parents alike at this film: Have courage and be kind. I was delighted to also see that Lily James attended this Toronto Premier in all her grace and poise and excited the little ones with her presence. Richard Madden and Lily James were excellently cast as Prince Charming and Ella. Richard portrayed the goodness of his kingdom well and I was honestly astonished when he curled up on the kings lap...what a moving moment in the movie for me! I intend to purchase the blue-ray of this movie when it comes out to add to our family collection of classics.
I easily give this film a rating of 5 out of 5 and may even see it in the theatres again. Well done!!
Views expressed are those of Two Children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway. A ticket was supplied for review purposes only and no compensation was received for this post.