Surprised: Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ Is Great

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I know, I’m extremely late to the party here. Director Kenneth Branagh has made a live-action version of Cinderella for Disney and I must be the last guy chiming in on it. Why you ask?

Well for starters, I haven’t seen much of any of the marketing for it. I knew of a Cinderella film coming out, but I had no idea that it was live-action and even more I didn’t know that Kenneth Branagh, a director known for making classic Shakespeare film adaptations, was heading the production.

But all of this positive word forced me out of the house and into the local cinemas to check it out and see what all of the fuss was about. And boy was I pleasantly surprised with what Branagh and his more-than-talented cast and crew have managed to do.

Cinderella is yet another example of Disney knowing exactly what to do with a property. Branagh wisely takes an age-old tale and a classic to most and spins into into a live-action film, keeping the story true to its roots, while still making it feel fresh and new. I assure you that Cinderella plays out exactly like you’d expect, yet it is in that same familiarity that it excels as a film, full of life and love and a great message for all ages.

And yet I still don’t exactly know how Branagh managed to do it. I was never a huge fan of Cinderella growing up, which is probably why this latest adaptation flew completely under my radar, yet sitting in the theater and watching the story unfold in front of my eyes put a giant smile on my face.

Cinderella works both as a film for children and adults. It’s a surprise dose of Disney magic that hits all of the familiar beats just right and it’s delightful.

It’s fun and sad and tragic and yet warm and enduring. Star Lily James gives Cinderella her unbreakable honesty and truth and good nature. Her dialogue is so proper and just and the way she carries the film is remarkable. Cate Blanchett and the rest of the supporting cast definitely even out the film’s characters, but James steals the show and brings the magic alive, with the help of Branagh’s stylish and classic direction.

I’m not here to review Cinderella in full. Instead, I’m here to tell you that it’s a great film and that you need to see it despite what you may or may not already think about the character and previous adaptations. Kenneth Branagh‘s Cinderella is a magical experience that strikes directly at the heart and soul of what Disney and their magical stories are all about.

Let me be the first to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised with it and that’s coming from someone who isn’t exactly the biggest fan of Disney‘s classic animated titles. I’ve always stuck to their live-action and Cinderella fits in perfectly as a modern telling of an age-old classic story.

*Oh and Frozen Fever will definitely satisfy the die-hard fans patiently awaiting Frozen 2. It’s short and sweet, but exactly what the Frozen junkies are craving.

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