Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cinderella Movie Review

Like I mentioned in my last post, I went to see the new Disney Cinderella movie last Sunday. Besides feeling excited to finally see the movie I was also quite anxious about whether or not it would meet my expectations. Guess what? I had no reason to worry because the movie surpassed anything I had in my head. Cinderella was a beautiful, heart-warming, and fresh movie. A classic for all ages that I can't wait to see it again.

Growing up my family never owned the Disney animated version of Cinderella. We had a copy of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1965 musical that I loved very much (even though I was always bothered by Lesley Ann Warren's voice). I knew all the words to every song and would sing and dance along pretending that I was Cinderella. I also have good memories of watching the premier of the 1997 edition with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Besides those beloved classics, Ever After is one of my favorite movies of all time. So like I said, the new film had a lot to live up to.

Cinderella is a very well known fairy tale. The story has been retold so many different times it's hard to believe people can still come up with something new. Disney did a great job of keeping all the little things we love about the animated version while adding in certain details that made it feel more real. Unlike the animated version where all the characters were very much one dimensional, we finally got to see more of the character's humanity. There's a depth to each character that wasn't there before. I particularly loved the prince's interactions with his father, as well as the stepmother's confession to Ella that illuminated her past and certain feelings about the situation. The audience is finally able to see that the stepmother is not an "evil" person; she has her reasons for being the way she is, even if that doesn't justify her actions.

The film was really well cast and the actors did a phenomenal job. Not only did each person physically fit their role, they personified the little elements of each character that I love. Cate Blanchett killed it as usual. Helena Bonham Carter's quirky self was perfect for the role of fairy godmother. Richard Madden's smile actually made me blush and Lily James lit up as Ella. Even Jaq and Gus Gus were adorable as ever.

Seriously that man is ridiculously handsome with or without facial hair.

The movie itself was absolutely gorgeous from start to finish. From the costuming to the set designs every little detail was accounted for. That is one thing I love about Disney, they are incredibly meticulous about everything they create. The film was infused with a great deal of color without ever feeling overwhelming. Bursts of emerald greens, vibrant pinks, vivid reds and shimmering blues were all tied together with delicate gold details. Ella's dresses were stunning (even the rags). There's nothing more magical than the part when her dress changes from the torn pink one to the big beautiful blue one. Though that skirt definitely looked like it would have been difficult to dance in.

This is now the dress I want for my wedding. I mean seriously it's perfect. I'm so in love.

At it's core Cinderella is a story about love and kindness. The movie was able to highlight love in the familial sense as well as a romantic one. Ella had a beautiful relationship with her parents who taught her that having courage and being kind were the most important things to remember. "Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic." Being kind to other people, even when they're not so kind to you, is a great message. We should all be a little kinder to one another.

Besides being a more serious and at times sad movie, there was still a lot of fun and joy throughout the film. My heart felt a little lighter after leaving the theater. Watching Cinderella always reminds me to have hope in the future because you never know who you'll meet or when things might turn around.

It's hard to explain what the story of Cinderella means to me. Whether it was watching different movie versions of the story as a child or getting the chance to dance the part, the story holds a lot of my most cherished memories. Cinderella was the first ballet I ever attended with my grandma and I can still remember being in total awe of the dancers. Even though I was already taking ballet classes, after that performance I knew I wanted to be one of those girls some day. I was never the best dancer in the company but I really worked hard for that part. That ballet included some of my happiest moments and my greatest friendships. I don't think I will ever watch Cinderella without thinking about that time in my life. It's good to look back on those experiences with a smile, but I'm ready to make new memories to be reminded of every time I watch this movie. Just like the old fairy tale got a fresh update, my life also continues to change and improve.

The stories we hold close when we're young have a way of staying with us forever. Disney has introduced a whole new generation to the magic of Cinderella. Hopefully one that will grow up remembering to have courage and be kind. The new film was everything I could have hoped for and more. A joy-filled celebration of love and magic. Now I can't wait for the upcoming remake of Beauty And The Beast!

Yes I colored this three years ago. Coloring is the bomb and you're never too old for Disney Princess coloring books. 

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