Cinderella (Family Movie Review)
"This is perhaps the greatest risk that any of us will take, to be seen as we truly are." ~ Cinderella
I wanted to see the 2015 film version of Cinderella when it was released in theaters last March, but trying to convince two middle-school aged sons to accompany me was a lost battle. However, in the comfort of our own home, guess who BOTH sat down to watch this film with me?
Based on the folktale by Charles Perrault published in 1697 and later made popular by the 1950's Disney animation feature film, this live-action version of the story will delight most family members. What stood out to me was the set design, the costumes (the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design), and a few key performances by Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (the evil step-mother) and Helena Bonham Carter who played the fairy Godmother. Carter's performance offers comic relief and the transformation of the animals into horses, footmen, and a coachman is sure to bring smiles to all viewers.
We all know the premise behind the story. Ella (Lily James) is born to loving and happy parents but soon learns that sorrow can come to even the happiest of homes. After the death of her mother, Ella's father marries Lady Tremaine who, along with her two wicked daughters, Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera), turns Ella into nothing more than a servant in her own home. Things only worsen for Ella after the death of her father.
Yet, despite all her misfortune, Ella, who her stepsisters nickname Cinderella because of the ashes she is covered with due to cleaning, never loses sight of her mother's greatest lesson, "Have courage and be kind." Even more so than the animated version, this film captures the essence of Cinderella's beautiful heart. It also brings insight into her stepmother's pain and motivation. There is also an unexpected tender scene between Prince Charming (Richard Madden) and his father (Derek Jacobi) that ended up being one of my favorite scenes.
"Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic." ~ Cinderella
I didn't want to fall for this sappy fairy tale, but it really was spectacular to look at, and, well, charming. Despite what many believe, this story isn't about a young maiden being rescued by a prince. In fact, Ella falls for the prince without knowing who he is. It is a story of forgiveness and one young woman's fight to keep her heart hopeful during even the most trying of circumstances. This clip portrays the overall message wonderfully.
Watch Movie Clip
Filled with all the splendor and glamour of all Disney fairy tales, Cinderella is sure to please even the youngest of viewers. The film is rated PG for mild thematic elements and is suitable for the entire family.
Watch Official Trailer
Read more of my Family Movie Reviews.