I went to see Cinderella and walked out smiling. What a great movie! Yes, I highly recommend it. There are spoilers behind the cut, or at least spoilers for a story most people know, heh heh, but there were a few scenes added in.
The settings and clothing are gorgeous. Well worth going to see on the big screen. This movie took its cue from the 1950 animated Disney film (my favorite animated film of all time!), and while I consider the gown Cinderella wore to the ball the most beautiful I’ve ever seen (it looks like it’s made of starlight), they did a good job with this particular gown. It’s a dreamy blue with hundreds of Swarovski crystals, and the glass slippers are exquisite! CGI helped with the slippers as it’s difficult to wear real crystal!
Details are given here at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella_%282015_film%29
I thought the dress could have used a showier tiara and maybe a necklace, but they were possibly going for elegant simplicity in the midst of so many fancier gowns and jewels. The waltz was graceful and romantic, as was the walk in the garden during the ball.
They added a scene in which Cinderella and the Prince meet in the woods long before there is any mention of a ball. He doesn’t tell her his true identity and she doesn’t give him her name, but they connect in a very well-written scene. While I prefer the ‘love at first sight’ dynamics of them first meeting at the ball, I can live with this. I suppose the producers thought there had to be some sort of connection between them, because heaven forbid an instant chemistry occurs! Modern audiences just don’t buy it.
But the film itself is very traditional. This Cinderella does not tote a gun or wield a crossbow, and the Prince does save her from a life of toil, but it works. What Cinderella was instead was a woman of inner strength, who adhered to her mother’s admonition of “Be kind” despite dreadful treatment.
And if you think this is all sunlight and roses, don’t forget that Cinderella loses her mother at a young age, then her father years later and is left to the not-so-tender mercies of her stepmother, whose daughters mock and humiliate her while she drudges as a servant in her own house. However, nothing goes over-the-top.
We even get some insight into the evil stepmother. She loved her first husband (though the narration indicates she was not exactly grief-stricken) and married for the sake of her daughters the second time around, and was painfully aware of Cinderella’s father still strongly attached to the memory of his first wife. Still, that is no excuse for her cruelty, but at least you can understand her motivations as she schemes for herself and her awkward daughters. Unfortunately Cinderella takes the brunt of that scheming.
Did you know that the actress (Eleanor Audley) who voiced the stepmother in the animated film played Mrs. Billings on The Dick Van Dyke Show, the woman who always tricked Rob into directing the PTA show every year? ;) They used her facial expressions, too. Very eerie!
The coach that takes Cinderella to the ball? Absolutely stunning, and even more elegant than the coach that took Diana Spencer to marry Prince Charles in 1981.
The characters come across as realistic. I could buy not only a sweet, genuinely good Cinderella but a Prince with a good heart (animal-lovers will like the outcome of the stag hunt). And, as mentioned above, even the villains have their complexities.
Another element from the 1950 film: the mice! Probably CGI, but Cinderella had a real connection with them, and they managed to help her sew a dress for the ball before her stepsisters tore it.
You could take your young daughter or niece to this film and not worry about ‘gross-out’ moments (there was one but it was more humorous than disgusting), bad language, or disturbing violence. This is not Snow White And The Huntsman or Hansel & Gretel. I highly recommend it, and if your budget is limited to a handful of movies to view in the theater instead of waiting for Netflix or cable, go see this one. The sweep and grandeur of the sets and costumes are worth seeing on the big screen. Enjoy!