17 October 2016


Cinderella 2015
  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Based on the fairy tale and Disney film
  • Cast: Lily James, Cate Blanchet, Helena Bonham-Carter, Richard Madden, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgård, Sophia McShera, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Lily James – Downton Abbey
    • Cate Blanchett – Robin Hood, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I’m Not There, Notes on a Scandal, Babel, Little Fish, The Aviator, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Heaven, The Shipping News, The Gift, The Man Who Cried, Elizabeth, Elizabeth the Golden Age
    • Helena Bonham-Carter – Les Misérables, Great Expectations, Life’s Too Short, Harry Potter, Toast, The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, Absolutely Fabulous, Enid, Terminator Salvation, Sweeny Todd, Corpse Bride, Conversations with Other Women, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Fight Club, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Twelfth Night, Frankenstein, Howards End, Hamlet, A Room with a View
    • Nonzo Anozie – Brighton Rock, Happy-Go-Lucky, Atonement
    • Stellan Skarsgård – The Railway Man, River, Mamma Mia, Melancholia, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur, Dogville, The Glass House, Dancer in the Dark, Amistad, Good Will Hunting, Breaking the Waves, Den enfaldige mördaren
    • Sophia McShera – Downton Abbey
    • Holliday Grainger – Jane Eyre, Merlin
    • Derek Jacobi – Vicious, Last Tango in Halifax, My Week with Marilyn, The King’s Speech, Doctor Who, Nanny McPhee, Peter Ackroyd’s London, Gosford Park, Gladiator, Hamlet, Dead Again, Henry V, Hamlet, Richard II, I Claudius
  • Why? Kenneth Branagh
  • Seen: 14 October, 2016.      

       If this wasn’t Branagh I would never watch it. I was upset when I read that he was directing a Cinderella film. My immediate reaction: ‘Do Shakespeare!’
       And then it got quite good reviews. So here we sit, Hal reluctantly, me grudgingly. I want Shakespeare.
       I’ve always found Cinderella to be unbearably sweet and good. Branagh is too skilful to portray her so shallowly – surely?
       But no. Cinderella is dreadfully sweet and good. The evil stepmother and stepsisters are nastily evil. And the prince – anonymously handsome and bland.
       But it’s lavish and colourful and the costumes are imaginative (although her ball dress is traditional and absolutely hideous; I wouldn’t be caught dead in it). It has humour and Bellatrix Lestrange is all in white instead of black and scatter-brained and kind instead of instead of murderously villainous. She makes a fabulous fairy godmother and it’s worth watching all the saccharine just to watch her. Stellan Skarsgård is fun too and Cate Blanchett clearly enjoys vamping it up as the wicked stepmother.  Kindly Daisy of Downton Abbey as one of the stepsisters adds spice. The transformation from magic carriage etc.  back to pumpkin etc. is amusing and exciting. It actually gets quite dramatic at the end.
       So, all right, it’s worth seeing.
       But really. I mean it, Sir Ken – Shakespeare! Now!

3 * of 5.  

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