The story of Cinderella has never really been my favorite. I feel so terrible for Cinderella the way her step-mother treats her. Remember the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore? It is a great movie but I cannot watch it because of how the step-mother treated Barrymore it drives me insane! Oh my god I go crazy thinking about that poor girl and how she was so awfully treated. I just really hate seeing characters in an unjust situation where they are treated like dirt for no reason. Now I do like the cartoon Disney version to some degree. I am not all up on the Disney princesses except for Belle I love Belle. I was not a girly girl when I was little and Cinderella was really girly. So why, you may be asking yourself, did this silly blogger go see the live action Cinderella? How could I pass up a movie where Cate Blanchett plays the evil step-mother and Helena Bonham Carter is the Fairy Godmother? And also Hayley Atwell plays Cinderella’s mother at the beginning and I am girl crushing so hard on her at the moment.
I am hoping we all know the story of Cinderella from our childhoods when we watched the cartoon version. If you have never seen the cartoon Disney version your life was an unhappy wasteland. Google it if you don’t you uncivilized person!
There are however a few differences. Much more was added to Cinderella’s story such as her background with her parents and their home and why Cinderella did not just leave when she was suffering so much abuse. The house had been in Ella’s (Lily James) father’s family for two hundred years. Her mother and father loved her very much and created such a wonderful fairytale-like childhood for her. Her father was a merchant who sailed around the world. Wherever he went he brought home gifts for Ella and she cherished them unconditionally. Their beautiful home was filled with beautiful objects from his travels all over the world. Her mother becomes sick. She tells Ella to be brave and courageous and to always be kind no matter what.
Over the years Ella’s grief and pain over losing her mother become memories. Her father tells her he would like to move on and marry someone else. The father brings her new Stepmother (Blanchett) and two stepsisters to the house. All three of them hate it because it is in the country surrounded by animals. The Stepmother immediately begins to invite her friends over for parties. The father is constantly away. His latest parting is bittersweet for Ella. He tells her he always thinks of her and her mother and their home whenever he is away.
Months later a note comes to Ella that her father has died of an illness away from home. With no money coming in the Stepmother relieves all the servants of their duties and places the duties onto Cinderella as Ella is now called. One day Ella becomes furious and rides away on her horse. She comes across a hunting party. The party belongs to the prince (Richard Madden). Ella does not recognize him as the prince so using his real name, Kit, he tells her he is an apprentice at the castle. They part ways without Ella ever having told him her name. After their meeting, Ella is all Kit can think about. His father wants him to marry a princess. Kit comes up with the idea for a party where princesses will come as well as the common people so he can find Ella.
So if you do know the story you know what happens. But here there is another added storyline with the Stepmother finding the glass slipper and making a deal with the Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgard) that she will be made countess and her daughters will marry into nobility if she keeps Ella out of the way.
As much as I hate Disney sometimes for how much money they make and throw around money for their movies they always have amazing, top notch casts. Lily James deserves so much credit for her Cinderella. She was perfect. She is exactly how I would picture a real Cinderella to be. I am just going to say that Cate Blanchett is Queen of the Universe. Well, in my book she is one of several Queens of the Universe but right now because of this movie she is Queen of the Universe. I hope she is somehow nominated for some awards next year. I do not mean an Oscar but for like a Golden Globe. Blanchett just did a bad, scheming, conniving woman too well to not be recognized. Helena Bonham Carter actually narrated the movie. If life was fantastic I would want Helena Bonham Carter to be my Fairy Godmother like she was in the movie. What type of character doesn’t this woman make her own and dominate? For the few minutes Hayley Atwell was in I adored her. As I said I have a raging girl crush on Atwell right now. When she died in the movie I was like “no Peggy Carter come back!” I was not too crazy about her being a blonde with horribly dyed eyebrows. I will say that the casting of Atwell and the actor who played the father and James as their daughter was great. Good job Disney casting. Richard Madden as Kit… hot damn that man can be my Prince Charming any day! That man is gorgeous!
The costumes need a major mention. They were beautiful. The colors in every costume just popped and fit the characters so well. Sandy Powell was the costume designer. She is one of my favorite costume designers. Powell is most noted for her many collaborations with Martin Scorsese. The mark of a good costume designer is when their clothes they created add more the characters on screen. That is exactly what Powell’s costumes did: they made the stepsisters looks eccentric and out of their minds, they made the Stepmother look regal and 1930/1940s glamorous, they made Richard Madden’s beautiful blue eyes glow and also added warmth to Kit. I would love for there to be a book written about the costumes for this movie… if someone who make something like a book about the costumes in Cinderella happens to read this MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
I really enjoyed this live action version of Cinderella. It was just perfect. Every character gave you the feels in some way (if you do not know what “the feels” are then obviously you have never been a true passionate fan of anything in your life. How can your life be that sad? Do you not like anything?), they moved you either into feeling sad or happy or annoyed or angry. Even the sets were moving they were warm, loving, and inviting. What I liked about this Cinderella was that, yes I was angry with how unjust Ella was treated by the Stepmother but the story did not drive me crazy like Ever After. I guess because one, it is a Disney movie and the characters cannot be totally evil and two, how on earth can I ever hate a character Cate Blanchett plays? She is just was to amazing as the Stepmother to hate the character. Hell, I do not even dislike her, Blanchett was that good.
I absolutely recommend going to see Cinderella in theaters. It was so wonderfully and creatively made all around.