Disclosure: I was invited to a pre-screening of Cinderella by Disney Pictures. All opinions are my own.
I had the pleasure of having a girls’ movie night earlier this week and going to a pre-screening of Disney’s Cinderella with two friends. We had all been looking forward to this live action retelling for months, and it was a joy to be able to treat them to a screening before the movie’s release. Here are the top five reasons you should go see Disney’s Cinderella this weekend:
1. Brilliant talents including Lily James and Sophie McShera from Downton Abbey star as Cinderella and her stepsister Drisella, respectively (with Holliday Grainger cast as Anastasia, Cinderella’s other stepsister); Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter plays Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother; Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett owns the role of Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s stepmother; Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh directs.
2. The Transformation Sequence: The transformation scene, from the lizards as coachmen and mice as horses to the iconic pumpkin into an absolutely perfect golden carriage, and of course Cinderella’s rags to stunning ballgown, is Disney perfection.
3. The Prince. No more words needed.
4. It’s visually captivating: Ella tending to the animals, the kingdom’s landscape, the costumes, the sweeping staircase and chandeliers at the ball: Every aspect is breathtaking, perfect for the retelling of this timeless fairy tale.
5. It’s simply charming! Disney’s Cinderella does not try to reinvent or modernize the classic fairy tale. Why mess with a formula that works? It reminds us that it’s still okay to believe in magic and happily ever afters.
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.
Go see Disney’s Cinderella, in theaters now!
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