Trailer Review: Cinderella

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As a young girl my least favorite Disney movie was Cinderella. I loved Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. But I only watched Cinderella once or twice. There are no fun songs, no cool animals, and worst of all Cinderella herself is incredibly boring. She seemed so dull and too goody two shoes. She didn’t make any mistakes or any daring choices. She didn’t seem to have much of a desire to do anything other than attend some stupid ball. She just put up with abuse and never said anything against it because Cinderella is a ‘good girl.’
My apathy for Cinderella persists to this day and this new live action adaptation starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, and Stellan Skarsgård does nothing to change that. Cinderella has the misfortune of coming out the year after Maleficent, which was a generally good re-telling of a classic Disney fairytale. Maleficent also had the great advantage of an interesting protagonist (played wonderfully by Angelina Jolie). Cinderella instead centers on boring Ella, played by Lily James. Lily seems fine in the role, but she doesn’t have any charisma to engage an audience (at least not from this trailer).
I really hate the narration of Ella’s mother about how good she is, etc. *yawn* I hate how the trailer is hammering the viewer over the head with its message. And I like my characters to be real and flawed, not perfect. All the Disney films I listed that I like have flawed characters. They all do something that may be wrong, but they also learn something. Cinderella just leaves the party a little late. Which is plain old dumb.
There are a few things I like about the trailer. First of all, the cast. Cate, Helena, and Stellan are some of my favorite actors. The whole time I watched this I kept wondering, what drew such great talent to this project? Whatever it was, I don’t see it (other than maybe a big paycheck). Cate’s costumes are wonderful, just amazing. Visually she is the most striking of anyone, more so than Cinderella. Cate was great as a villain in Hanna, one of my favorite action films (see it if you haven’t!) So it will be fun to see her being evil once again, she does it so well. Aside from Cate’s I don’t like any of the other costumes, the step sisters in particular look silly. Helena Bonham Carter brings some fun and humor to the trailer. She looks like she had a blast playing the Fairy Godmother.
I forgot that Kenneth Branagh is directing this film. Now that I remember that I feel so disappointed. I think he is a talented director and actor. But this feels generic and totally unoriginal. This adaptation feels unnecessary and doesn’t look any different than the animated classic. I’ll be skipping this one when it comes out March 13, 2015. If I want to hear “Kindness is magic” I’d much rather watch Ricky Gervais’s TV show, Derek, again.

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