THE GREAT ESCAPISM
CINDERELLA ★★★ ½ Dieected by: Kenneth Branagh Staeeibg: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden Sceeebibg: March 26 Reviewed by: Julian Wright animated classic, Kenneth Branagh’s version is not so much a reimagining, as it is a recreation. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
After her mother passes away, Ella’s (Lily James) father remarries, to an attractive but aloof woman (Cate Blanchett), who has two rude, obnoxious daughters – Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger).
But when her father dies, Stepmother relocates the delightful young woman into the attic, fires the staff and makes Ella do all the housework.
A chance brief meeting with the Prince (Richard Madden) leads the handsome man to host a ball for all the villagers to find her again, an event that Stepmother forbids Ella attending.
Enter Ella’s fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter).
Gorgeously realised by director Branagh, this sweet-natured fairytale fleshes out its characters, explores their motivations and offers more detail to the back-story before the Stepmother appears.
In remaining faithful to the tale, there are few surprises – there are no modern twists shoehorned into this version for new audiences.
One simply basks in the escapism; sometimes that is all we dream for at the cinema.
Lily Ja@es as the e:oby@ous chaeactee ib the live veesiob of Disbey’s Cibdeealla.