Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, Hayley Atwell, Nonso Anozie
Directed By: Kenneth Branaugh
Sometimes I wonder if Disney is just trying to remake their films into live action, without any thought of “why” or what new things they could bring to it? Unlike the Alice In Wonderland reboot that offered a new perspective, as well as the Maleficent perspective, Cinderella has no new perspective. It’s basically a more serious take on the animated film, without talking mice or songs. In many ways, it’s a less fun version of a Disney classic.
What did work for me, though, is Lily James, who I thought was incredibly likable as Cinderella. The whole film rests on her inherent charm. She lifts the film where Cate Blanchett can not. She’s a a perfectly fine villain, but she’s not on Maleficent’s level. Madden is a fine Prince, but is pretty marginalized. The whole film is just how amazing Ella is. Helena Bonham Carter’s odd fake teeth distracted me from her performance as the Fairy Godmother. I don’t understand why they put weird teeth on her.
I’m sure if you have kids, and you’re looking for something to do, they’ll enjoy it. It’s not a bad film, it’s just kind of a pointless one. It did make me really appreciate Lily James, and the film has a ton of amazing costume design that should be remembered come Oscar time. It looks like The Jungle Book is going to offer new perspective. I think Disney, if it plans on remaking everything, should really make sure it offers a new take on its films going forward, instead of just a “live action remake” of their classic. That’s what makes all the difference.
FINAL GRADE: B-