London Life

Film Review: Cinderella (2015)

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A Sunday morning at the cinema with your line manager and her family may not sound like great fun to you, but that’s probably because your line manager isn’t Mokuska and her family isn’t awesome. So when Moksuka offered me a pre-release screening ticket to see the live action version of Cinderella on Sunday with her family, I wasn’t about to say no!

Here’s what happened on the day, and what I thought of the movie…

Photo by Mokuska

Photo by Mokuska

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Photo by Mokuska

Photo by Mokuska

Photo by Mokuska

Photo by Mokuska

Processed with VSCOcam

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First things first – how cute is Mokuska’s wee one, R? When I arrived at the Odeon at Leicester Square at 10am on Sunday for the 11am screening, R was inside with Mum taking a photo with the prince and my heart totally melted because awwww. From there we gathered together to check out the rest of the pre-show entertainment, including green screen photos holding a wand (the printed version made it look like you were in the movie) and nail painting.

Activities completed (and seriously – how cool that they had activities?!) we all headed into the cinema where we found popcorn (yum!) on each of our seats and a water bottle in the drink holder. I wasn’t expecting that, but I thought it was a really nice touch.

Now, for the movie itself –

This version started with more of the family back story than I remembered from the cartoon version I watched as a kid, but that’s not a bad thing. I imagine that as a child that’s the type of thing I would have glossed over, but as an adult it gave me a bit more understanding for character development and depth/dimension on the part of Cinderella.This back story gave me a reason to understand why she’s being so kind/forgiving to people who are so obviously so awful to her.

As the story progressedI found myself sympathising with her and cheering on her unrelenting positivity and hope, the latter of which is something many children tend to have in abundance and we lose (or perhaps ‘ignore’ or ‘forget’) as we approach adulthood. And I’m far too cynical to have felt that way sans character development/back story.

For me, the real wins were with the language choices surrounding relationships and consent. For example, when the prince’s men are searching for the girl whose foot will fit the glass slipper (i.e.: Cinderella) they say something along the lines of: the prince requests to marry her, but only if she wishes. More language expressing consent comes up again later on, and I wanted to clap for these small conversations showing mutual consent in a relationship. The best part? Those dialogues didn’t feel forced/awkward.

I also absolutely loved the costumes and set design – they were absolutely stunning, and really did make the characters’ world appear magical and wonderful in a way that I wasn’t sure a live action movie could do justice to. Even the ‘ugly’ bits were wonderful to look at.

The only downsides, for me, was that there wasn’t enough of the Fairy Godmother (she was brilliant!) or the step-sisters (who were hysterical) and that some of the scenes were a bit long. Also, I wished Cinderella spoke with a bit more confidence, and a little less breathily, because she would have had much more impact and still would have been totally believable.

But overall I loved it and would like to watch it again with my nieces when I’m back in the USA this spring! Will you be watching Cinderella when it hits cinemas?

You can read Mokuska’s review over on her blog here.

Cinderella is on general release in the UK from 27 March.

Disclosure: The kind folks at Disney UK gifted screening tickets to Mokuska, who shared one with me. Of course, all views expressed here are my own.

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