Cinderella ****

CINDERELLA

 

 

Run Time: 105 mins            Cert: U

Synopsis: Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the movie provides a live action twist on a classic fairytale.

Ella (Lily James) lives on an estate in a quiet kingdom with her parents. Following their deaths, she finds herself living with her stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) and her two daughters. Although they treat Ella badly, she remembers her mother’s advice to always be kind and accepts her life until a chance meeting changes things.

Lily James is very pleasant to watch and makes the title character both likeable and interesting. She works well alongside Richard Madden, who plays the prince and they are quite believable as a couple. While Cate Blanchett is more attractive than previous incarnations of the wicked stepmother, her dialogue and facial expressions make Lady Tremaine both entertaining and deeply unlikeable.

The supporting cast also give strong performances, particularly Helena Bonham-Carter as a rather quirky fairy godmother and Stellan Skarsgard as the manipulative duke.

The film is nicely shot and makes good use of CGI. In particular, Lucifer looks very realistic and is a worthwhile addition to the movie. The  transformation scenes have also been well designed and look great on the big screen.

The costume designs used in the film are also impressive, with Cinderella’s blue dress in particular being both flattering and beautifully designed. While Anastasia and Drisella’s outfits are hideous, the designer deserves credit for the imagination used in creating them.

While this version does not really add anything new to the story, “Cinderella” is a very pleasant film that will appeal to viewers of all ages.

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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