When I first heard that Kenneth Branagh was coming on board for Disney’s re-telling of Cinderella for the big screen, I expected a twist on the classic, but was a little disappointed to find there wasn’t one.
Lily James was cast well as Ella; elegant and charming, with an enviable figure, James did a wonderful job of playing an orphan searching for her happily ever after. But the real star of the show was, in my opinion, Cate Blanchett who brought a cruel tongue and dominating presence to the role of the wicked stepmother. Her outfits were fantastic and her scheming ways kept you entertained throughout, but sadly, I’m afraid, the sickly sweet ‘Disney touch’ was slightly nauseating at times and I wished the plot had been refreshed a bit more for a 21st-century audience.
We all know the story of Cinderella, but it would have been nice to have been treated to something a little different from the norm. Perfectly twee, but lacking umph! *** (3 out of 5 stars)
That said, there were some laughs and surprising moments along the way, particularly when Helena Bonham-Carter shows up as the Fairy Godmother. A brilliant character actress, she injected some ‘drama’ and comedy with her pumpkin, lizard footmen, mice horses and glass slipper creations, not forgetting a heart stopping dress which all little girls secretly desire.
Not the best film in the world, but also not the worst, thanks to some good casting. I was also very impressed to see quite a few men in the audience when I went to watch it, clearly not a film just for the ladies 😉