Posted March 21, 2015 by editor in Film Reviews

Cinderella Review


Disney brings to life another colourful and traditional telling of the tale of Cinderella. Ella (Lily James), renamed Cinderella by her nasty step-sisters, is forced into a life of servitude at her own family home after the loss of both of her parents. First her mother in youth, and then her father shortly after he remarried her now Step-mother (Cate Blanchett).

Fortune smiles on her each day as she tasks her way through the house with her cheery disposition and kindness to anyone, and by chance meeting in the forest she runs into the Prince (Richard Madden). Sparks fly – and soon we are set on that familiar road with belated visits from fairly godmothers and glass slipper dancing at the ball.

The film tells no lies. It is clearly marked as Disney’s Cinderella – and that is by and large what you get. Anyone familiar with the cartoon will spot many a thing taken from that romantic adventure (particularly the cat and mice – although they have a much smaller role here).

Cate Blanchett is perhaps far too : Sigourney Weaver (Snow White: A Tale Of Terror), Julia Roberts (Snow White), Angelica Houston (Ever After), Susan Sarandon and so on. Houston is of particular note here as it is the same role she played in Ever After (which is a superior film to this sugar fest).

Cinderella is well cast, well shot, and fairly well told by more than capable director Kenneth Brannah. Particular praise must go to our two romantic leads for actually having some chemistry together. But there is far too much artifice on screen for it to ever truly grab hold of your emotions. What should come to life in three dimensions is all very two dimensional. Villains of the piece in particular perhaps for the sake of the target audience should be fairly two dimensional in their exploits, but it never truly gels together. It’s perhaps a saving grace that Helena Bonham Carter doesn’t ruin the whole affair with the type of acting she’s been getting away with around Tim Burton and Johnny Depp of late.

It’s as big budget as pantomime is likely to get. It won’t offend anyone, but there are better versions available. Instead what we end up with is a film that will simply do for now.

Steven Hurst