When you think of Sir Kenneth Branagh, the first thing you say he has acted in films like Much Ado About Nothing or directed adult films. But directing a Disney live action film, is unheard of. To be honest, I didn’t know he could direct at all.
Lily James as Ella.
Today, I went back to the cinema and saw Cinderella. My cousin and I were very keen to see this one; for months and months, we wouldn’t stop talking about it. We also were excited about Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett being in the film as the Fairy Godmother and Lady Termaine. But, never, ever did I expect to be really good.
I pretty imagine everyone knows the story and has seen the 1950 animated film. If not, I recommend watching it before seeing the modern version. The 2015 version does have some parts and lines from the 1950 film, the others are based on the orginal fairytale by Charles Perrault. It’s not a hundred percent remake but it’s nice to see bits of the original film in there.
I liked the storyline; Ella’s story was very beautiful and emotional. So was the Prince’s. I couldn’t help but cry for and with them. Somehow, it gives me a sense that their feelings and emotions can relate to the audience. And not many films do that. I praise and give Cinderella a standing ovation for this. I was in tears at the sad moments and the end. I won’t give the plot away but I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you are looking for tear-jerker.
The cast are – OMG – amazing! My favourite actors in the film were Downtown Abbey actress Lily James plays Ella (or Cinderella), Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. James’ portrayal as Ella is enchanting. I really, really like her; I couldn’t get enough and I wanted more of her. I like her smile, personality, etc. She’s the prefect actress to play a Disney princess. Blanchett’s portrayal as Lady Termaine is spectacular; I was scared of her when she tore Ella’s dress and broke her glass slipper. I have a feeling Blanchett did some research by watching the 1950 version because Termaine, in both films have a striking resemblance based on personality. Blanchett has recreated a master villain that will remembered for generations to come. Although she is only on screen for about ten minutes, Carter’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother is sweet, warming and really funny. More funnier than the 1950’s character. Even her transformation from an elderly, penniless lady to a younger woman is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed her performance. I also give her cerdit for her beautiful narration.
James with Cate Blanchett as Lady Termaine.
The one thing that stood up for us were the costumes. Sandy Powell, an Ocsar winning costume designer was reponsible for them. She confessed that she wanted to design 19th century clothes but I think she went further than that. The costumes my cousin and I admired the most were Ella’s blue ballgown and wedding dress. We loved the petticoats underneath the ballgown, the glass slippers and the cominbation of multi-coloured flowers around the bridal dress and vail. I also loved the Fairy Godmother’s silver dress. It stands out from the rest of the costumes, as it reminds me from the Elizabethan era. Very unique and astounding.
Ella’s beautiful wedding dress, one of my favourite dresses in the film. I must confess, I really, really want a dress like this. 🙂
The music is pretty cool too; it’s Rachel Portman with Hans Zimmer. But it’s not them. The composer is Patrick Doyle and he does a good job. Lily James’ version of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is truly beautiful. My eyes are filled with tears everytime I hear this; she has a beautiful operatic voice.
In conclusion, I appulade Sir Kenneth Branagh for directing Cinderella and the cast for their amazing portrayals. Is it better than the original? Absolutely. This film is definitely a must-see, especially if you have little girls. You’ll be pleased to take them, as they may want to dance to the music at the end. That certainly happened when we came out of the cinema and I can’t imagine it’ll be the same. Smile, cry and dream with this live-feature film.
James and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.