2015 gave us yet another remake of the classic tale hit our cinema's in march, mostly made famous for the fact that Frozen Fever short was to premier before the movie. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, screenwritten by Chris Weitz.
Storyline stays pretty true to the original idea. Ella's mother (Hayley Atwell) dies when she is a child, after a number of years her father (Ben Chaplin) remarries bringing the household a new mistress (Cate Blancett) of the house and two step sisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger) for Ella (Lily James). Her father goes on a long trip for work and never returns. The household falls into debt and ruin without his earnings. Leaving Ella's stepmother almost penniless, dismissing the staff before making Ella nothing more than the hired (and not to mention unpaid) help. That is until the prince holds a ball inviting all the ladies of the kingdom no matter their station to attend, leading Ella to adjust one of her mother's old dresses to attend. Her step mother does not approve of this, ruins the dress, bans her from going to the ball. Until a little magic comes Ella's way giving her the chance to change her future.
Although the story is well known to all of us, it is shown in a slightly different light to most remakes. It goes back a lot more into Ella's past, showing more of her family life before her stepmother. It also shows a much more fragile and human side to the characters. Such as Ella being scared to go into the ball, not knowing what to expect. The Prince (Richard Madden) just wanting to be normal, calling himself an apprentice at the castle. That human side makes all the difference.
What really steals the movie for me are the powerful performances from the female cast. Cate Blanchett is a very believable truly wicked and cruel step mother, a refreshing change to her usual 'good' characters. Helena Bonham Carter is a stunning fairy godmother, slightly blonde and clueless, yet just about getting the job done. As for Lily James, she is truly the star of the movie, shining as a very human, innocent Cinderella. A princess you can completely believe in, a girl who does nothing but stand in front of a man being nothing but her real self. A powerful empowering moment for all young girls watching.
One final message to leave you with from the film, a message that would bring a much better selfless world if we all followed it:
Have courage and be kind.