Kenneth Branagh directs this by the book live action retelling of the Cinderella story.

For those that don't know the story, and there can't be many out there who don't, Ella (Lilly James) is a young woman who stays with her mother and father (Ben Chaplin). When her mother dies, Ella's father remarries and Ella's new wicked stepmother (Kate Blanchett) moves into the family home with her two daughters. When Ella's father dies suddenly his inheritance falls to his new wife who seeing Ellla has a hindrance moves her into the attic and starts to treat her like a servant. Spending most of her time covered in dirt she gives herself the name Cinders.

When Prince Charming announces that he is to hold a ball the evil stepmother and her two daughters make plans to attend. On the night of the ball they lock Cinders in the attic. Needless to say Cinders, with some help from her fairy godmother (a wonderful turn by Helena Bonham Carter), makes it to the ball. Unfortunately the spell that her fairy godmother cast finishes at midnight forcing Cinders to flee from the ball before Prince Charming can declare his undying love.

Cinderella, the film, not the character, certainly looks gorgeous with some wonderful colourful set pieces and costumes, Cinderella's carriage is astonishing whilst the grand ball is magical. The cast in general are excellent with Bonham Carter and Blanchett particularly standing out.

The one weakness is that the whole thing feels overly familiar, whereas Disney's Maleficent was a modern re telling of the story of Snow White, Branagh's Cinderella sticks pretty rigidly to Walt Disney's 1950 animated version.

Disney is pretty good at making films aimed at young girls, Frozen and Tangled being two recent examples, Cinderella whilst not a classic will certainly keep many aspiring little princesses happy.

Talking of Frozen, Disney has added a bonus before Cinderella begins, Frozen Fever is an animated short that proceeds the main feature, bringing back all the characters from Disney's mega hit young ones might find this worth the price of admission alone.



Cinderella (U)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring:Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgard, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi, Helena Bonham-Carter


UK Release: Friday 27th March 2015


disney.com