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On The Sofa Cinderella

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay)

Stars: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden and Helen Bonham Carter

Plot:  Based on the popular fairy tale, made famous by the Brothers Grimm.  The story follows the traditional fairy tale about Ella (James), who is a kind child.  Ella's mother passes away while she is young, and reminds Ella to keep her kindness.  As Ella grows up, she and her father are very close and her father chooses to remarry believing he has found happiness once again.  Her new stepmother (Blanchett) and stepsisters are cruel and rename her Cinderella, and when Ella’s father passes away, all seems bleak for her.

Review:  In recent years, fairy tales have become popular to change from animated to live action films, usually it is done with a twist – like Maleficent (2014, starring Angelina Jolie) and Mirror Mirror (2012, starring Julia Roberts) for example.  Although Cinderella follows the traditional story, Weitz has expanded it to include more characters so there are a few surprises.  I think this film has surpassed the previous fairy tale films, it is brilliant.  James was an interesting choice for the lead role, I have seen her in Downton Abbey before, but never in the title role.  She did a fantastic job, and her chemistry with Madden on screen was good.  Branagh did a great job as director, his other films include Thor and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  I enjoyed Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, her performance was fantastic.  The stand out performance for me was Cate Blanchett – especially with her fabulous costumes, for me she stole the show.  One of the next fairy tales planned is Beauty and the Beast, with Emma Watson taking the lead role of Belle, in 2017.  It will be interesting to see if it has a twist and can top Cinderella.

Rating: A solid 8 out of 10.  A film aimed at adults, as well as children (it has a U age rating).

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