Who doesn’t love a good redemption story? Especially one where the redeemed is such a likable person. And as most of us have seen Disney’s 1950 adaptation of Cinderella, we know that there are several gaping plot holes and improbabilities. It’s in the nature of the story. But it’s a folk tale that is meant for a higher purpose than to merely entertain–so we don’t worry about it too much.
However, these days most films are meant for us to enjoy, so we have to adhere to logical circumstance. And this version of Cinderella does just that. It may play a little bit too loyal to the Disney version, but every change they make is for the better. They manage to dodge most of the plot holes that we were anticipating and ease our minds about them.
The talent is really good all around, with the obvious standout being Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother. But Helena Bonham Carter is a nice treat as the Fairy Godmother, along with the under-noticed Stellan Skarsgard as the conniving Grand Duke. The characters have a bit more depth in this one as well, which ups the redeeming value in the end some more.
This film’s biggest fault lies in the first act. With a sloppy time frame and slow build we begin to think that this is just another ploy by Disney to get our money into their pockets. But it starts to prove us wrong about half way through the film.
I wouldn’t say that it’s an improvement from the original. Maybe it’s more detail oriented in the script, but the “original” took a classic tale and recreated it in a way that made it become synonymous with the story. And this film pays great tribute to the beloved classic.