Cinderella

Did the world really need another remake of a classic, oft-told fairy tale? Apparently we did. I didn’t know it until I saw it, but I did. This one offers up convincing reasons for its existence, fitting itself into a uniquely shaped niche we didn’t know how desperately we wanted filled.

What is it: Live action but not Disney.

Who’s in it? Camila Cabello stars as Cinderella, but the entire cast is stacked: Idina Menzel as the wicked step mother; Pierce Brosnan as the King and Minnie Driver as his Queen; James Corden as the voice of one of Ella’s mouse friends; the venerable Billy Porter as the extra fabulous fairy godmother; and then there’s the lesser known but equally talented Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince. Well done all round.

What does it look like? While the exact time period is hard to pin down, costumer Ellen Mirojnick embraces the sumptuous silhouettes of the roughly Victoria era using rich fabrics and a bejeweled colour palette but she isn’t boxed in by them. Short hemlines and asymmetrical necklines are clearly anachronistic but who cares, everyone looks great, the mood is magical, the gowns sparkle, the choreography is light but on point. What’s not to love?

What does it sound like? Divine. Of course there’s the obligatory radio bop, an original song for the Cinderella soundtrack called Million To One, which we revisit if not repeatedly, then at least frequently. And there’s a couple of songs sung by the town crier that have to be written for the movie as they’re far too specific, referencing not just movie plot points but also random crowd activities. But many of the songs you’ll not only know, but I’m quite certain you’ll sing along to: the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, and perhaps the greatest needle drop in a decade, Salt-n-Pepa’s Whatta Man. Practically perfect in every way.

Who had the balls to make this thing? Kay Cannon of course, as both writer and director. This is only her second film (after Blockers), but she does have some bona fides producing the Pitch Perfect movies. She’s got an eye for style, a keen ear for talent, and she writes a script that actually makes Cinderella relevant again. This Cinderella is going to be content being a wife and princess. She wants more. She wants a career. She wants fulfillment. She wants more comfortable shoes.

Should you watch it? Absolutely, without reservations. This isn’t a major piece of cinema or a must-see blockbuster. It’s just a well-executed musical that’ll put a little lightness in your heart. And who doesn’t need that?

11 thoughts on “Cinderella

  1. 2loud2oldmusic

    Wow! I totally didn’t expect this to be good. I might have to get the kids and watch it. I don’t know if my one daughter will watch as she loves Shawn Mendes and hates Camila for stealing him from her – LOL!!

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  2. StephLove

    We watched the live action Cinderalla with Brandy when Noah was about nine and he kept saying, “She’s so beautiful she could be a robot” and I remember thinking he’d need to work on his pick up lines when he got older.

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    1. dr bob Jantzen

      We just saw this last night and it was delightful, a bit slow to get started but then captured a bit of the excitement of the movie musical In the Heights. The feminist twist was a big plus. This is my impression, if I am permitted to give an amateur NONreview here:

      dr bob movie critic NOT, admits to loving fairy tale movies like
      Cinderella (2021)
      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10155932/
      A delightful movie musical brightly illuminated by Camilla Cabello and a collection of well cast quirky characters. A little slow to take off but then it just barrels right along towards the expected happy ending which turns out to be a pleasantly twisted variation of the usual Cinderella theme appropriate for times where empowering women to realize their potential blows away the old story line.
      Nicholas Galitzine does the prince justice, while Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver do the parents, Pierce hamming it up as only he can do. Billie Porter, what a spectacular fairy godmother, and Doc Brown as the town crier, a perfect spirited role. The stepmom, the step sisters, there is love to go around a bit for everybody, and the spectacular group dances with seemingly hundreds really impress. And so many actors of color! Did I forget the princess Gwen? Well done, Tallulah Greive, but writer director Kay Cannon made it happen. We need more women in the film industry.

      Liked by 1 person

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