Will the slipper fit? A beautiful maiden, a dreamy ball, Prince Charming, and the shoe of a lifetime. We all know the classic of the Frenchman Charles Perrault (then “Cendrillon”), but Disney seems to have outdone itself in the latest rendition of the classic, starring Lily James as Ella, Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. (What’s more, Kenneth Branagh directs.)
Wait, “Cinderella” again? It’s true, Walt Disney Animation Studios already produced an unforgettable 1950 animated version, starring the voice of Ilene Woods. So this latest remake spurred much online outrage – but the detractors may be surprised to see this is no ordinary retelling.
Whipping together dazzling colors, a formidably enchanting ensemble, and worthy symphonic accompaniment, Disney seems to have truly created the stuff of dreams. One would buy a ticket for merely the lights, scenery, and gowns. Admittedly, it’s not easy to make a bunch of cynical movie punks disintegrate into drool; but that’s just what happened when my friends and I went to see “Cinderella.” Casting also excelled, which is hard to accomplish following a golden animated predecessor. Cate Blanchett, I will not hesitate to say, gave the grand villainess a fresh shine with her catlike elegance. Lily James and Richard Madden adorn the spotlight in idealistic perfection.
And it’s true, “Cinderella” gets a little picturesque with slightly unoriginal dialogue and overplayed romance. But this film has a modern heart, something I applaud Branagh and scriptwriter Chris Weitz for. It’s not easy to reason the convenience of a charming (and even more conveniently well-off) prince, nor magical midnight balls to an increasingly global audience. Yet this innocence and romanticism is saved within a golden core.
The film talks of courage, kindness, and forgiving with startling grace, characteristics that never tarnish in relevancy. Thus, every child and childish spirit can leave the theater in dimensional fulfillment after discovering the slipper truly does fit.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.