Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

My Photo
Name:
Location: United States

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cinderella and Ever After

This week's movie rental was Cinderella ...

a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a screenplay written by Chris Weitz ....The film stars Lily James as Ella ("Cinderella"), Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (the Wicked Stepmother), Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Sophie McShera as Drisella, Holliday Grainger as Anastasia, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

The film follows the basic theme of the fairy tale. Ella is a happy child with loving parents and her mom teaches her "to have courage and be kind" ... she's especially kind with animals ...



Her mother dies and her father remarries, later dying himself and leaving her at the mercy of her mean stepmother and stepsisters. They treat her as a servant and she lives in the attic, her only friends a family of mice ...





One day when riding in the forest, she meets the local prince on a stag hunt and talks him out of hurting the animal, charming him. Later, when a ball is announced at which the prince will choose a mate, Cinderella hopes to go. You know the rest :)

I liked this version of Cinderella, especially the dress she wore to the ball - couldn't help but think it would be great for Sufi whirling :) But most of all I liked the emphasis on animals and the underlying moral imperative given to Ella by her mother ... I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage, and be kind. Ella, you have more kindness in your little finger than most people possess in their whole body. Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.

Here's a video review from Richard Roeper ...



Seeing this movie reminded me of another Cinderella movie that had similarities and difference - Ever After ...

a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, and Dougray Scott .... The usual pantomime and comic/supernatural elements are removed and the story is instead treated as historical fiction, set in Renaissance-era France. It is often seen as a modern, post-feminism interpretation of the Cinderella myth.

This one has no magic, but Danielle (Cinderella) is a more developed character and there's a mention of Thomas Moore's Utopia and Leonardo da Vinci makes an appearance :) Here's a clip from the movie. Leonardo da Vinci is trying out some boat shoes on the river and he runs across Danielle. The prince appears - he's met her once before and erroneously believes she's royalty, not just a commoner - and they have a conversation ...



Roger Ebert liked it and gave it 3 out of 4 stars in his review. Here's the beginning of it ...

"Ever After" opens with an old lady offering to tell the true story of "the little cinder girl," who was, she says, a real person, long before she was immortalized by the Brothers Grimm in the Cinderella myth: "Her name was Danielle. And this ... was her glass slipper." The movie that follows is one of surprises, not least that the old tale still has life and passion in it. I went to the screening expecting some sort of soppy children's picture and found myself in a costume romance with some of the same energy and zest as "The Mask of Zorro." And I was reminded again that Drew Barrymore can hold the screen and involve us in her characters.

The movie takes place in 16th century Europe, although it is a Europe more like a theme park than a real place, and that accounts for Danielle's remarkable ability to encounter the rich and famous--not only Prince Henry of France, but even Leonardo da Vinci, who functions as sort of a fairy godfather. It's a Europe of remarkable beauty (magnificent castles and chateaus are used as locations), in which a girl with spunk and luck has a chance even against a wicked stepmother.

Not that the stepmother is merely wicked. "Ever After" brings a human dimension to the story, which begins with Danielle living happily with her father (Jeroen Krabbe). He springs a surprise: He is to marry Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston), who will bring her daughters Jacqueline and Marguerite (Melanie Lynskey and Megan Dodds) to live with them. Soon after the marriage, the father drops from his horse, dead, and life changes abruptly for Danielle ...

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home