How many times has this movie been remade? There just seems to be a fascination about this story, like none other. I think the more wicked the stepmother and the bigger the revenge at the end, the better the movie. Cate Blanchett makes one of the best evil, wicket, mean stepmothers I’ve seen to date. She just seems to wallow in her meanness. The two stepsisters, Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) were equally as mean. What hatred they displayed throughout the movie. In this version of Cinderella, mom knew her daughters were dumb and dumber. She also knew they were not eye candy, which made her all the more jealous of her step daughter, Cinderella. She also admitted to her anger over the fact that she had now loss two husbands and is left to fend, financially, for herself. As for Cinderella, she was the biggest push over of all but always happy and cheerful. Before the evil step family came into her life, Ella, as she was called then, (Lily James) lived with her parents (Ben Chaplin and Hayley Atwell), on their estate and were quite well off and happy. She had relationships with all the animals and a very special one with her beloved father. As we all know, nothing last forever. Ella’s mother fell ill and passed on leaving Ella and her father alone to deal with their grief. After many years, Ella’s dad decided it was time to start enjoying life once again by taking on a wife. Ella agreed and so her father’s new wife moved in with her two daughters, making Ella’s life a living nightmare. Not too long after, while on a business trip, Ella’s father took ill and died, leaving his daughter in the most horrific situation. Ella’s name was changed to Cinderella and she was relocated to the attic and to save money, the entire staff was dismissed. She was given leftover scraps from the table to eat and no new cloths to wear. All chores were carried out by Cinderella while the others did nothing. The only friends Cinderella had were the animals. I believe everyone knows the rest of this story so I won’t elaborate any further. I’ll just say, to my surprise, Cinderella became strong and revenge was sweet in the end.
This version of the classic fairy tale was very well done. The costumes were beautiful and the acting was superb. Cinderella is available on DVD, so no loss if you decide to rent it.
[CINDERELLA is nominated for Costume Design]