When I first saw the trailer for Cinderella I shook my head. The trailer basically told the entire story of the movie, a story that has already been told countless times before. The cynic in me took over and I thought that Disney was falling into its old patterns of making substandard movies that should have gone direct to DVD.
But then I started reading some reviews of Cinderella. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, which piqued my interest. I gave into that interest and saw Cinderella this weekend. It was great.
Kenneth Branagh is best known at The Christian Nerd for directing the original Thor. I really liked Thor and how it was a smaller and more intimate super hero movie. Branagh, who had mostly directed Shakespeare movies, brought the intimacy of a stage play to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With Cinderella Branagh captured the magic of the 1950 animated classic while adequately updating and expanding the story. Branagh’s hit all of the beats of the animated movie and hit them so well. Cate Blanchet was extremely wicked as the wicked stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter was magical as the Fairy Godmother and Richard Madden was captivatingly charming as Prince Charming.
Cinderella did well with what was expected and created different layers with the plotlines it added. Adding Cinderella’s mother to the story provided a lot more depth to Cinderella’s character. Also, adding the relationship between the prince and his father to the story made the prince more than just a pretty face.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching the movie. Continue reading