Cinderella 2015 Movie Review


Cinderella retreating from the ball

Karen Danner, Staff Writer

“I have to tell you a secret, that will see you through all the trails that life can offer. Have courage and be kind,” Hayley Atwell, the actress portraying Cinderella’s biological mother, said with her dying breath, “Ella, you have more kindness in your little finger than most people have in their entire body.”

The 2015 Cinderella movie is a recreated version of the original Disney classic that brings a real-life spin on the tale. The story of Cinderella follows a girl and the unjust trials she faces during her life, from loss to torment. Before passing away, Ella’s mother makes her promise to have courage and be kind, no matter the situation. While it is hard at times, Ella keeps her word and shows everyone kindness, whether they deserve it or not.

The new Cinderella movie was better than the original Disney version on many points, a few being the dress, the portrayal of an actual female character, and giving the characters more depth.

At a young age Ella loses her mother, then her father remarries. To top it off, her father passes away and she’s stuck living with the cruel step-family. Over time the house staff is dismissed and Ella becomes the family’s maid- Cinderella. While in the woods, she meets a charming man, Prince “Kit”, who’s in the middle of an elk hunt. After asking him to leave the elk alone, they part ways. The prince then throws a ball, inviting all the ladies in the kingdom to attend, in hopes of finding Cinderella once again. With the help of her fairy-godmother, Cinderella arrives to the ball and has a magical night that shudders to a stop at midnight.

Cinderella was directed by Kenneth Branagh who has directed 17 other movies including Thor. The producers, David Barron and Simon Kinberg, haven’t worked together before. Barron has produced 27 movies and television shows, including six of the eight Harry Potter movies. In the past he’s worked with Branagh on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Hamlet. Kinberg’s produced a total of 12 films including the X-Men movies. The writers, Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz, worked separately in the past. McKenna writing a total of 11 motion productions including two movies and six screenplays. Weitz has written a total of 9 motion pictures including the Nutty Professor II: The Klump. Cate Blanchett’s been in 59 movies including the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring movies. Lily James has been in 13 movies including the Downton Abbey TV series. Richard Madden’s been in 17 movies and is best known for his role in the Game of Thrones television series. Helena Bonham Carter’s been in 86 movies including Hamlet, Fight Club and some of the Harry Potter movies. The other big name actors and actresses consist of Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Stellan Skarsgård, Derek Jacobi, Nonso Anozie, Hayley Atwell, and Ben Chaplin.

About the only part of the dress that stayed the same as the animated version, is the color. In the new version, the dress is wider and allows for a wider circle while spinning in circles, the top and sleeve style are different and the dress has way more sparkles. It still stands out while at the ball and all eyes are on the mysterious girl that wears it. Unlike the other dresses in the room that are wild looking, Cinderella’s gown looks more simple and relaxed, but stunning nonetheless.

In the original version, Cinderella wasn’t much of a female character. She was female, and she did the chores, but she didn’t strike anyone as a heroine. In the new version, she comes off as a strong woman, ready to defend herself and her opinions, and yet she still came off as just the right amount of girly.

In the original disney version, the characters were one dimensional, they lacked the history that made them who they were. Whereas the new Cinderella movie gave characters a backstory that made them come to life. In this one, all of the characters had emotions and a personality or the purposeful lack of personality.

The new Cinderella movie draws in the whole family like never before giving a new spin-off to the age old tale. From showing women and girls all over that girls can be strong to a magical dress to a new depth and understanding of the characters, the new Cinderella movie brings the fairytale to life. I’d give the movie a B+ due to the recreation of a great story, all the special effects involved in making the movie and the cast’s effort along with the new understanding it brings about the characters.