Film Review: ‘Cinderella’ Finds New Magic in Old Fairy Tale

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – In the years since “Shrek,” the fractured fairy tale has become Hollywood’s default approach. We’ve been treated to so many irreverent and increasingly labored treatments of storybook characters, that Disney’s new live-action “Cinderella” comes off as relatively fresh by comparison.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

There’s just enough overblown CGI special effects to keep young audiences entertained, especially once the fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) shows up, but not so much that they overshadow the story at the center of things. This is a straight-forward adaptation of the classic fairy tale that treats it as more than just kids stuff. It’s undoubtedly for kids, but director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz highlight the sort of aristocratic skirmishes you might find on Downton Abbey – and they’ve raided the prestigious British drama for some of its cast too.

Lily James plays up Cinderella’s sweetness while fleshing out some of her other qualities. She’s undoubtedly an ideal of innocence, but James never gives off a whiff of naivete. She’s a woman who doesn’t have to take the abuse that’s heaped upon her, but rather she chooses to be kind to those who refuse to be kind to her.

“Cinderella” opens everywhere on March 12th. Featuring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger,  Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, Nonso Anozie, Rob Brydon and Alex Macqueen. Screenplay by Chris Weitz. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Cinderella”

Lily James
Lily James as the Title Character in ‘Cinderella’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Cinderella”

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