“Cinderella”, Disney’s 2015 remake of the much-remade story, is actually not bad. Although there are parts of the film that are obviously for children and pre-teen girls, adults who remember with fondness the animated Disney film of the same name will find some happy memories here.
Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) makes it possible for this live action film to incorporate visual magic.
The list of delights found in this film version of the classic fairy tale would have to start with the CGI transformations of the mice, lizards, and goose into the horses, footmen and driver of the gorgeous pumpkin carriage. The mice that Ella talks to throughout her life, are real mice enhanced to cuteness through the magic of CGI. Another aspect of this version is that the stepmother and stepsisters slowly evolve into their cruel treatment of “Cinderella.” They are not evil from the outset.
Visually, this is a pleasing film. The opening scene of the baby Ella with her loving parents is tinted gold like the Disney tales of old (Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, for example). The castle and Ella’s country manor are architecturally perfect. Some interior scenes in the palace were filmed in Buckingham and Hampton Court. And the costumes for the ball are colorful and imaginatively designed.
Movie poster for ‘Cinderella.’ Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
Two actresses in the film will be familiar to those who faithfully watch Downton Abbey: Lily James (the Grantham’s young cousin Rose) plays the lead as the grown up Cinderella; Sophie McShera (Downton’s young cook Daisy) expertly plays grasping stepsister Drisella. Cinderella’s stepmother is played, with chilling precision, by Cate Blanchet; her outfits are fantastic, as well!
Helena Bonham Carter has a smallish part as Cinderella’s fairy godmother; but be sure to stay through the credits to hear her sing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song).” You also will see Derek Jacobi as the king and Stellan Skarsgård as the Grand Duke. Two other actors may be familiar to those who watch Game of Thrones: Richard Madden is the Prince and Nonso Anozie is his advisor, the Captain.
If you’ve been wondering if Cinderella is for you, it is. Your interest is peaked, so you should see it. It is rated PG so you can take the kids or grandkids, if you need them as an excuse to go. (“Parental Guidance” is probably for the treatment you see Cinderella getting from her mean stepmother and cruel stepsisters.)
This is an entertaining and visually stunning Disney film. It may not end up as my favorite Cinderella film of all time, but I really enjoyed it.