Monday, March 16, 2015


Cinderella 2015 by Kenneth Branagh
If the shoe fits
Yesterday my Disney-crazed brother Marlon invited me and Sarah to the Belgian premiere of Cinderella in Bruges.

The fairy tale event - which included an enchanting reception at the City Theatre (famous Flemish people alert!) and a screening at the Liberty movie theater - was organized to perfection by Disney BE. There were delicious treats, a wonderful Disney soundtrack setting the mood, and the official annoucement of Frozen 2.

Frozen Fever, the movie's forerunner, is a lovely little short film that does a great job of building hype for the sequel.

dry banana hippy hat

And now for the main attraction.

As I have stated before, live-action fairy tale adaptation generally do very little for me. Just like with Maleficent, Disney's Cinderella was only vaguely on my radar, and I probably would have never checked it out if it weren't for my brothers invitation. Not that there's anything wrong with fairy tales (I practically grew up on Disney movies!), but a nice superhero movie is just more my cup of tea.

The skinny

Ella (Eloise Webb) lives with her parents in a beautiful estate in a peaceful kingdom. Her loving family instills in her the belief in the presence of magic. Her life is perfect until her mother suddenly passes away. Years later, Ella's (the beautiful Lily Jamesfather (Ben Chaplin) reveals that he has chosen the widow of an old acquaintance as his second wife. When 'Madame' (Cate Blanchett) and her two daughters, Drizella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger), move in, Ella's courage and kindness is tested more and more, especially after her father's death.

The review

If you're looking for fresh, modern take on the 1950 Disney animation, keep looking. If you're looking for a colorful, yet conventional, spectactle about loss, resillience, courage and kindness, Cinderella fits like a glass slipper. Director Kenneth Branagh (you might remember him from such films as Thor and Hamlet) delivers a gorgeous production, Lily James is a wonderfully lovable actress, Cate Blanchett is great in everything she does, and Helena Bonham Carter is outstanding as the lead's Fairy Godmother. Add it all up and you get an elegant and enchanting 112-minute retelling that contains tons of Disney magic, but little else.

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