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A KINGDOM FAR AWAY — We’re on the precipice of the summer-movie season, and we’re starting to get some of the big studio films in the theater.
This week sees the release of Disney’s live action “Cinderella.”
“Cinderella” is the latest in a push from Disney with remaking some of their classic animated features into live-action films. Last year they gave us “Maleficent,” and the company is currently in pre-production on a live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.”
While “Cinderella” isn’t the best thing studio has ever released, it has its bright spots and is without a doubt one of the most magical films we’ve seen in a long time.
Blanchett is a phenomenal actress, and it shines through in the deplorable Lady Tremaine. Thanks to her acting and director Kenneth Branagh’s keen eye, the audience finally gets a better understanding into the psyche of the infamous stepmother. It doesn’t make us condone her actions, but it does at least shed light on her despicable behavior.
Something else that is really beautiful about the film is the message.
There weren’t any major changes to the story we remember and love, but its message is really drilled home, and it’s something that is really wonderful for youngsters to hear. The film encourages us to dream, just as the 1950 original did, but it also urges us to be kind and courageous in all that we do. In this version Cinderella is no longer a damsel in distress just waiting to be saved, but rather a sincere and kindhearted young woman who strives to do the right thing while setting an example of courage and kindness. It may sound a bit cheesy and heavy handed, but it’s actually a sincere and beautiful message that both kids and adults can benefit from.
Other small changes include things like shifting the terminology of “Ugly Stepsisters” to the idea of beautiful young women who are just as ugly on the inside as they are beautiful on the outside. There are just certain small changes like that that really helps add the charm and magic to the film.
The movie itself has beautiful visuals and magical settings that little girls across the world will fall in love with. The little boys on the other hand may not be quite as keen on it. That’s not to say that little boys will hate the movie or that some won’t even fall in love with it, but this is definitely geared toward girls.
As an adult I was intrigued with the stunning visuals, thanks to Branagh and the incredibly fun Fairy Godmother sequence. But all in all, I may have been bored at times while watching it had it not been for one very specific thing.
My 4-year-old daughter.
I took my daughter with me, and she was dressed in her Cinderella dress and her hair pulled up into a bun on the top of her head, thanks to her mother. Every time I found myself getting a little antsy waiting for something to really grab my attention, I’d glance at my daughter who was absolutely enthralled. Her eyes glimmered and her mouth was left agape for the entire 112 minutes.
This is not to say that I would not have enjoyed the movie had I not been with my daughter, but it elevated “Cinderella” from a fun movie to an enchanting tale.
“Cinderella” is possibly the best live-action adaptation from Disney in this new era, and it’s just magical and entertaining enough to make it well worth your time.
“Cinderella” is rated PG and will officially hit theaters on Friday.
John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories. John is an alumnus of both Utah Valley University and BYU. He, his wife and their two children call Salt Lake City home.