Movie Review
Cinderella (2015)
Cinderella (2015) poster
By Greg Ward     Published March 30, 2015
US Release: March 13, 2015

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter , Cate Blanchett , Stellan Skarsgård

PG for mild thematic elements
Running Time: 112 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $200,287,000
Disney has done it again with this illustrious adaptation that will be cherished by generations of children and families to come.
The story of "Cinderella" is perhaps the most well-known fairy tale of all-time, one that most people can tell in their sleep. There have been countless film versions of the timeless tale, as well as a Broadway musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Perhaps the most well-known adaptation is Walt Disney's animated version from 1950. Beloved by children and adults alike for years, this has been the "Cinderella" that everyone has always referred to when the "best" version comes up in discussion. Until now.

Disney's new live-action adaptation is a glorious treasure of a film. With excellent acting, a brilliantly written script, and stunning visuals, audiences will feel as if they are witnessing a story never told before, brand new. This version creates moments of suspense for what will happen next, even though we all know this tale ends happily. I laughed, I cried, and I sat in wonder as if I were a child. The magic of this new movie is contagious, floating off the screen from one scene to the next.

As Cinderella, you simply cannot find a better actress to play the adored princess as flawlessly as Lily James. She glows in each frame, encompassing the famed heroine. As we embark on her journey from cherished daughter to despised stepdaughter/servant, we root for her to succeed with her motto of "Have courage and be kind," and it is all the more believable due to her truly convincing performance.

You can honestly see that Cate Blanchett is having a ball (no pun intended) playing the wicked stepmother. The vicious look in her eyes, her envious mannerisms, the cruel way she delivers remarks to Cinderella to show her hatred and jealousy-you don't want to cross paths with this Lady Tremaine. Believe it or not, as monstrous as the stepmother was in the classic animated version, Blanchett's Tremaine manages to be one step above while being surprisingly human. Although we certainly feel no remorse for her, some of her feelings are understandable and perhaps even relatable.

When I found out that Helena Bonham Carter was cast, I thought, "Wow! What a great choice to play the wicked stepmother! Cate Blanchett is going to be the perfect Fairy Godmother." Then I found out that she was cast as the Fairy Godmother, and I thought, "That should be interesting." Carter further proves just how versatile she is as an actress as she portrays the character with excessive energy and an endless supply of humor. I loved watching her play this role.

If you are looking for a truly magical film experience that you can either enjoy with your children (as I did), or if you are looking for something to make you feel as giddy as a child (as I also did), this new version of "Cinderella" is for you. Disney has done it again with this illustrious adaptation that will be cherished by generations of children and families to come.
Greg's Grade: A
Greg's Overall Grading: 25 graded movies
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