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I have been anxiously awaiting the March release of Disney's new live-action movie Cinderella since it was first announced. Way, way back. Back when there was speculation that Harry Potter alum Emma Watson had been asked to play the role of Cinderella in a Disney movie AND Beauty in a Guillermo del Toro production of Beauty and the Beast. She turned down Disney because she'd already said yes to del Toro, and probably only wanted to be a princess once. Ironically, this year, del Toro announced that his production wouldn't be moving forward as Disney announced they were adapting Beauty and the Beast for an upcoming live-action movie to be released in 2017...and starring--you guessed it--Emma Watson.
(I'm speculating that Disney embargoed del Torro's version because they've also embargoed the US release of 2014 French movie la Belle et la Bête...which I desperately want to see. I could easily if I lived overseas...or heck, even if I lived in Canada, where you can easily buy it with English subtitles! The price to import the Canadian version is astronomical, though. I AM SO UPSET!!! I would love it if the Criterion Collection was somehow able to get their hands on this, but if the rumors about a Disney embargo on all things B&B are true... ;_;)
ANYWAY, Cinderella! I'm really curious to see what everyone thought about this retelling. As I said before I got sidetracked, I've been anticipating this movie for a loooooong time. When the first teaser trailer came out and all you saw was the shoe, I got chills. When I saw the first trailer where it looked like Disney had literally brought the movie to life--mice and all--I got nervous. So what did I think once I actually saw it?
|The slipper teaser|
I liked it. I did!! But...I learned to love fairy tales again because of Ever After with Drew Barrymore and the novel ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine. I've read wildly different, dark versions of the tale such as SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott. I've read more and seen more retellings of Cinderella than the average human being. My expectations are astronomical. If you measured them, they'd reach the moon and back again.
I love that in this new movie, Cinderella meets the prince before the ball. I wished for a little more of that than what I got, though. But at least Disney tried. It wasn't a cookie cutter retelling of their animated Cinderella like I'd started to fear. There are enough new additions to make it worth seeing. For example, THE EVIL STEPMOTHER. I love a good villain backstory, and WOW, did Disney give the Stepmother some history. I loved, loved, LOVED that about the movie!!! And the scenes with the Godmother! Well! I won't spoil that for you...or any other changes!
But ultimately, the new Cinderella movie wasn't absolutely everything I wanted. It was still good, and I'll still buy it on blu-ray and watch it multiple times, but it's not my favorite retelling. It is, however, a LOVELY retelling. Absolutely lovely. In more than one definition of the word!