When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.
I have seen this movie, no joke, 5 times. Every single time I see it I get blown away.
Right from the start you realise that this movie is going to be different from the original animated movie we know and love. First of all, we’re shown Cinderella’s life with her parents! We see her relationship with her father (and how sweet it is), and we see the utterly beautiful and kind mother (who’s played by the very lovely Hayley Atwell). We feel an emotional connection for these characters even if they’re not the main ones.
Lady Tremaine is absolutely ruthless and intimidating as Cinderella’s stepmother. She’s cunning and manipulative, yet seems so sweet and charming at first. She even has a backstory that makes you wonder where the line between “good” and “evil” really is. However, it is clear that Cinderella was emotionally abused by both her stepmother & stepsisters. It’s heartbreaking how she takes it all in stride because of how kind she is.
The only thing I disliked about Cinderella as a character was how compliant she was. I guess if I were in her situation I would probably react the same (as a result of the years being emotionally abused and pushed aside), but it was still pretty jarring seeing her just accept everything that was thrown at her. I would’ve liked a little more spunk in her character, like we’ve been seeing lately with the newest Disney movies.
Nevertheless, Lily James acts exactly like what she is: a princess. She really embodies Cinderella for both her beauty and personality, and I loved seeing it on screen.
The prince… Oh goodness the prince! It’s no secret that I love Richard Madden
(Robb Stark how I love you so) , but seeing him as the Prince really made the movie a million times better. We get a backstory from him too, we see why he likes her, and we finally get a name from him! I had heart eyes the whole movie because the Prince soooooo charming.
Also, this movie takes the instalove topic and completely rips it to shreds in one scene!
Prince Charming’s Father: “You sound as if you were the first fellow ever to meet a pretty girl”
Prince Charming: “She wasn’t a ‘pretty girl’. Well she was a pretty girl but there was so much more to her.”
PCF: “How much more? You’ve only met her once. How can you know anything about her?”
All those questions/innacuracies of the original animated movie are answered, too. How can no one recognize it’s Cinderella at the ball? How does the shoe only fit her? Did the Prince only love her because the shoe fit?
I honestly loved this movie so much. It was whimsical, magical, and romantic. It took a beloved (yet outdated) character and gave it a much needed upgrade. This is definitely one of my favorite live-action Disney movies.