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Film Review: 'Cinderella'

Andie Furber |
February 28, 2015 | 10:15 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Lily James as Cinderella (Twitter/@AFrugalFriend)
Lily James as Cinderella (Twitter/@AFrugalFriend)
Disney’s new live-action adaptation of "Cinderella" sparkles with stunning art direction, gorgeous costuming, and a fresh-faced cast of newcomers who breathe new life into the timeless story. 

Staying true to the 1950 animated classic, "Cinderella" tells the story of Ella, a kind-hearted young girl left in the care of her wicked stepmother after the death of her parents. Left to serve as a scullery maid for her stepsisters and stepmother, and dubbed “Cinder-ella,” she dreams of a better life.

After a chance meeting with the prince, she ventures to the royal ball with the help of her fairy godmother, played by Helena Bonham Carter. There Cinderella falls in love with the prince in a dazzlingly directed sequence. After she flees at midnight, losing just a shoe, the prince commences a search across the kingdom to find his dream girl. 

As is to be expected when actors are required to act like cartoon characters, some of the film’s dialogue sounds childish when said out loud. Seeing adult actors attempting to capture the wide-eyed Disney glow is often a little ridiculous, but unavoidable.

Regardless, Cinderella’s cast of newcomers is perfect. Its almost completely unknown cast (with Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter bringing just the right amount of star power) makes the timeless, sweet story the focal point of the film. Lily James shines as kind-hearted Ella, creating a brand-new role model for children everywhere and encouraging them to “have courage and be kind.”

Additionally, costume designer Sandy Powell has definitely put herself on the short list for an Oscar in 2016 with her dazzling costumes in "Cinderella." She costumes the ugly stepsisters and evil stepmother in obscenely bright, elaborate ball gowns, emphasizing their ridiculousness perfectly. But it's Cinderella’s iconic blue ball gown that steals the show, embellished with tiny butterflies and glass slippers to match. Powell says that she was inspired by watercolor paintings when creating the stunning gown, wanting Ella to look like she was floating as she ran away from the ball. The gown’s incredibly blue hue and stunning details created the perfect princess look for Ella, which will no doubt inspire millions of matching gowns on little girls everywhere. 

With this brilliant adaptation, director Kenneth Branagh has revived one of the most beloved Disney films of all time, introducing it to an entirely new generation of Disney lovers. Encouraging people to “have courage and be kind,” the film has won a spot in my heart, and no doubt in the hearts of millions of people everywhere. 

Reach Staff Reporter Andie Furber here.



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