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The most famous rags-to-riches fairy tale gets a wonderful Disney makeover under director Kenneth Branagh, using a light touch with elaborate stylisation, stunning chocolate box production values and ravishing costume design. Front and centre is the striking contrast between beguiling fantasy and key psychological truths adding potency and delightful resonance for a new generation unfamiliar with the 1950 animated classic. Lily James is perfect as Ella, breathing touching, credible sweetness into the role. Her transformation from fireside servant to princess-in-waiting is an enthralling sequence of elated wish-fulfilment and Cate Blanchett is exceptional, too, as her sumptuously outfitted, vindictive stepmother - think Bette Davis does Cruella De Vil. With respectful links to the original (Lucifer the cat, a rendition of "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo") and storybook tweaks to add freshness (including a pre-ball encounter and the glass slipper being made a more powerful symbol of change), it's an opulent, magical, timeless enchantment in its own right.
An orphaned girl is treated as a servant by her cruel stepmother and her two daughters. Her life is changed for ever by the intervention of a kindly fairy godmother, who gives her the opportunity to attend a lavish royal and win the heart of a handsome prince. Romantic fantasy, starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden and Helena Bonham Carter.
Cast & Crew
Helena Bonham Carter
DVD and Blu-ray
27 Mar 2015
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