ByJames Wood, writer at
Unabashed Transformers fan. Man crush on Tom Hardy. Avid fan of Tommy Wiseau's cult disasterpiece The Room.
James Wood

Earlier this year, I had no idea that a live action reboot of the classic tale Cinderella was out until my flatmate introduced me to YouTuber JonTron who made a video that featured a skit about a mispronunciation of the name Cinderella, calling her “Cillerenda”. After seeing this I thought maybe I should see if there are any plans for a live action version of the animated film. I googled it and stumbled upon Kenneth Brannagh's reboot, starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett. Strong reviews from critics and audiences peaked my interest further, and now I’ve seen it and I’m pleased to say it’s a terrific reimagining with quality sparkling round every corner.

You can’t really go wrong making a movie about Cinderella, with such a simple story, and thankfully very little goes wrong with this film. My only problem is the opening five minutes that follows young Ella, who gallops through meadows and sings and talks to animals in an overly cutesy voice. Obviously this film is perfect for kids, so scenes like this would be magical for young viewers, I’m 21 and to me it felt so soppy and childish. However, as soon as Ella’s Mum pops her clogs, the cuteness fades away and once again, Ella loses her Dad, and her wicked stepmother and stepsisters enter. From then on, Cinderella turns into a marvellous adventure with a lot of imagination, wonder, some darker scenes and tone, as well as beautifully crafted sets and CGI.

The visuals are lavish, unlike anything I’ve seen this year. Watching a pumpkin grow and grow until it explodes and turns into a carriage is fascinating, animals morphing into humans is very amusing and the shots of Ella’s dress and shoes magically appearing is truly amazing to watch, the way Kenneth Brannagh seamlessly integrates CGI and practical effects works like magic. The landscapes great kingdoms leave you in awe, this is a grand film.

Lily James is faultless as Ella, she plays the part with earnest, immense likability and she looks the part, she’s a talented actress and I’m glad she landed a lead role in such a big movie. Cate Blanchett is on fine form as always, you can tell she’s having a blast playing the evil Stepmother, she nails the cruelty, cunning personality and the dirty laugh she lets out delivers some big belly laughs. Helena Bonham Carter is a blast, considering she has a smaller part in the film, she is memorable and very funny! The performances in Cinderella are all top notch, no one over eggs it which honestly was my worry before watching. I highly recommend this version of the tale, ideal family and film night viewing.


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