Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Cinderella" (2015)

I have seen this twice now, and can definitely say that this is a movie I enjoy wholeheartedly.  I'm not quite ready to say it's a favorite, but it may become one in time.

I went to see this on opening weekend, and then last weekend, I took both my girls to see it.  Sarah is 5, Tootie is 3, and they love princesses.  The animated Cinderella (1950) is the first princess movie they ever saw, and remains one of their favorites, so they were beyond excited to see a new version of a story they knew with "real people in it!"  Not only that, but they had only ever been to the movie theater once before (two years ago, to see Planes), so getting to go to that place Mommy goes to a lot was also a special treat.  (Sam declined to go, partly because he's "not that much into princesses," and partly because he really dislikes the animated Cinderella because of how mean the stepmother and stepsisters are.)

I think what I like best about this movie is that it's a straight-forward retelling of this well-known story.  There's no twist.  It's not about the villain, it's not filled with sly winks to how cute such an old-fashioned story is, it's not sexed up.  It's not modernized in any way, really.  And while I really like Mirror Mirror's cheekiness, and I hear Maleficent is cool, it's very refreshing to me to see a fairy tale treated as if it's worth telling for its own sake, not for what someone can make out of it.

And who is more trustworthy for giving us a good story well told than Kenneth Branagh?  From Shakespeare to superheroes, he's showed us time and again that he will take a story seriously, will tell it for its own sake, while still getting us to see and understand that story and its characters better than we had before.


I was going to add a bunch of pictures to this, but I've done so many picture-heavy posts over the last week that I think I'm going to leave this the way it is.  If you want to see some amazing production stills, I highly advise you go here and just keep clicking on the pictures to see more and more and more.  This is a sumptuous production, every frame filled with exquisite detail, and I have to admit I'm kind of tempted to go see it on the big screen one more time to drink it all in.

Oh, and I bought the soundtrack because I love Patrick Doyle.  It's awesome!

Is this a family-friendly movie?  Yes.  There's a bit more cleavage on display than I would be comfortable showing myself, and there's one mildly scary moment where a carriage almost goes off a cliff, but there's zero bad language or truly frightening things.  I felt perfectly comfortable letting my 3- and 5-year-olds see it, and I'm pretty sure we'll be buying the DVD and watching it over and over and over too.

16 comments:

  1. Loved this film! It's the kind of timeless fairytale we fairytale addicts adore! It's a lovely film for a whole new generation to discover. I liked the messages, the deeper thinking and the "look" of the film as well. Definitely something to add to a collection - like you, I will also buy it. :)

    Glad you enjoyed it, Rachel.

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    1. Yes! I like that it has a message and some deeper themes, but isn't at all dark or "mature." Glad you enjoyed it too!

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  2. I finally made it to the theater yesterday with my sister to watch it. And it's as cute and darling as I anticipated! Like you, I really appreciate that they didn't change up the story that much! They added to it in certain places, like making the king ill (LOVE Derek Jacobi), but the plot really worked, especially having Ella meet the prince before the ball. It was so sweet and innocent and lovely. I saw it with no misgivings and loved it for what it is, a true homage to one of Disney's most popular princesses!

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    1. Derek Jacobi! Is he ever NOT delightful? Such a stalwart, enjoyable actor. I loved all the character development for both Ella and the prince, too, and that they had some actual conversations rather than just dancing around wordlessly and gazing into each others' eyes.

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  3. I love this movie, and I love this review! Your third paragraph perfectly describes what is so great about it. It doesn't need any twists or modernizing things to be a wonderful experience to see! And I think it's great how it's deep enough for adults to enjoy, but still appropriate for little kids. :) Kenneth Branagh really knocked it out of the park, didn't he?

    I need to see it again too -- I've only seen it once!

    Great review Hamlette! :D

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy you liked my review :-) And so glad that you agree!

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  4. This is the movie I want to watch the most right now. :-)

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  5. I'm not huge into Disney princesses, but I keep hearing such good things about this movie I think I'll just have to watch it! Plus Lily James is a friend from Downton Abbey, and I think she'd make a darling Cinderella. And the music is Patrick Doyle?! Okay, now I really must see it. :-)

    ~Emma

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    1. I'm not hugely into princesses either, and I spend a lot more time talking about them and playing with them and reading about them now than I ever did when I was little. But this story has always resonated with me, and I really identified a lot with this particular incarnation of Cinderella, so I am definitely a fan.

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  6. I'm slowly wanting to see this more and more...Maleficient was a huge disappoint (plus a missed opportunity to give more insight to a already glossed-over princess.) I'm still a little "meh" about it because I'm not sure if the visuals will be able to interest me in a story I already know backwards and forwards...but it sounds like that is a plus to this movie. Anywho, it's nice to read your thoughts on it. :)

    ~Jamie

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    1. If I didn't have two daughters and wanted to see it with them, I probably wouldn't have gone. And that would have been sad, because I really did enjoy it so much.

      DKoren found it slow in places and didn't like it as much as I did, so it's not universally appealing, I know that.

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  7. I am so glad you reviewed this one, Hamlette! My mom wants to take my sister who is turning eight to see it for her birthday! Thank you:-)

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    1. Oh my goodness! An 8-year-old would love it! If she likes fairy tales, especially. I hope she gets to see it -- and you too?

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  8. Yay! I am going to see it tomorrow! And we are keeping it as a surprise birthday gift: for her)
    Thanks again for the review!

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    1. Oh my goodness! A surprise! That sounds so completely fun :-) I hope she loves it.

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