Last night I went to see the new live-action Cinderella and it was beautiful. The whole way home I just KNEW I needed to write a blog post on it. I also have some left over movie popcorn which makes writing this even better!
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from the movie, but I think part of me wondered if it was going to be similar to Maleficent in that Disney sort of tweaked their animated movie to add in some twists. Surprisingly (or maybe not?), they didn’t. Everything was pretty much true to the animated movie, minus the singing mice.
One thing that I simply loved about this movie was the colors. They were brilliant. It’s been many, many years since I’ve seen the animated Cinderella, but one thing I remember from it is the specific colors the characters wore. Anastasia and Drisella mainly in their pinks and greens. Cinderella in her specific shade of blue. Disney kept their characters in these colors and they actually POPPED on the screen. The whole movie was filled with color that were so clear and sharp that it was visually stunning.
A while ago I did one of my Featured Fairy Tales on Cinderella. According to the original tale we’re all familiar with, the “take away” morale of the story is that in the end, Cinderella forgave her stepsisters. When I read this part of the story I realized just how cheated we were of this lesson with the animated version. As we came to the ending and the shoe fit, I found myself silently BEGGING Disney to have included this. The focus of the movie was on the lesson Cinderella’s mother taught her, to have courage and be kind; it felt like the perfect set up to have her forgive her. I was definitely starting to feel disappointed when, all of a sudden, Cinderella turned and said “I forgive you,” and I inwardly cheered. Kudos, Disney, for showing a character who exudes true graciousness and kindness.
The ONLY disappointment I had is that they changed the animated ending where Cinderella goes to try on the shoe and Lady Tremaine trips the Duke and the shoe shatters. I LOVE that she’s like “Oh, it’s cool, because BAM! I have the other shoe. Suck it, stepmom!”
In the animated version we don’t get to know the prince very much. I don’t even know if he has a name? Does he? I really enjoyed that they gave him more of a personality and a role in the movie. He wasn’t your typical Disney prince, the kind who comes in and saves the day or is tough and strong. I loved that he had vulnerabilities, that he was being forced into something (marriage), that he was aware of his heart. There was just something… I don’t know… sweet about him. I just really liked him.
I honestly don’t remember Lady Tremaine being “evil” in the animated movie. Like I know she was and I know she was mean to Cinderella, but she always seemed more sly and composed, not really one for confrontations but rather sneaky and watching her daughters be cruel. The stepmother in the live-action though? Man she was AWFUL. She was overly cruel, petty, vindictive… it was pretty heartbreaking to watch her treat Cinderella the way she did. There were times when I felt she might have been over the top with her cruelty, but I guess it was done that way to make sure that we, as the audience, didn’t feel any sort of caring towards her.
The two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drisella, were mostly there for comic relief, but I almost felt bad for them. Like I pitied them because even their mother thought they were completely stupid. And I pitied them because they actually were, to be honest, completely stupid.
So, on to Cinderella. She’s never been my favorite fairy tale character, but I actually enjoyed Lily James’ portrayal of her. She was genuinely kind, despite the harsh life she lived, and I loved that even though her circumstances would have defeated the kindness in most others, she managed to hold on to it. I also loved watching her struggle with courage, seeing her admit her fear and then remembering her mother’s words as she’d straighten her shoulders and turn to face her challenges.
Finally, the fairy godmother. Seriously, is there any role Helena Bonham Carter CAN’T play to perfection?
Overall, this movie was sweet. It was filled with heart and kindness, heartache and love. I’ve seen many renditions of Cinderella and honestly, I think this one is now my favorite. Have you gone to see it? What did you think! I’d LOVE to chat about it more!