SYNOPSIS: Despite being bullied by her stepmother and stepsisters, a spirited Ella refuses to despair or retaliate choosing instead to honor her mother's last words: "Have courage and be kind". Then one day, she meets a remarkable, like-minded man in the woods and she resolves to take charge of her fate in hopes of seeing him again. Add a royal ball, a Fairy Godmother and an enchanted glass slipper and suddenly- magic becomes reality!


Kenneth Branagh has progressively tackled material from Shakespeare to Superhero to Super spy and now fairy tale. Not a bad career move for the Brit actor and director who is known for his wacky turn as Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter.

Helming from a script by Chris Weitz (About A Boy), Branagh never detract much from the original 1950 Disney animation unlike a certain Maleficent. Cinderella still maintains familiar characters liked the evil stepmother, the two hare-brained stepsisters, fairy godmother and the handsome prince and of course, a magical spell that only lasts until midnight.

Even for a straight guy liked me who doesn’t crave for a pair of Swarovski glass heels and a noble, die-hard romantic prince, you can’t help being pulled into Disney’s well-staged, old-fashioned retelling of the classic fairytale. Maybe it’s partly because of the amazing wardrobe designed by Oscar winner Sandy Powell. Or maybe it’s because of Lily James’ earnest portrayal of the young woman who suffered under the hands of her stepmother played by the equally incredible Cate Blanchett.

For older fans who lost it when Princess Elsa unleashed an eternal winter on her kingdom in Frozen, fret not, Cinderella is not going to mysteriously possess magical power to turn a pumpkin into a golden carriage. She still has her wacky fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter, the number one actress to call if your script calls for an eccentric character) to turn mice into horses and a goose into a coachman.

Cinderella works mainly because it plays it straight instead of reworking the entire concept to fit with modernization and current society expectations. The production values as expected from Disney are lavish and classy. The stars are stunning and no doubt both the young and old are going to love this gorgeously shot tale. Now you know why Disneyland still has lots of young girls dying to dress up as princesses. 


Ella’s Furry Friends is a short segment that showed us how the animals wrangler handle the geese, mice and chickens that are seen in the movie. 


Dialogue is clear while directional effects especially in the second half of the movie is enveloping and earth shattering. Images are clean though at times unnaturally looking and these are likely due to the CGI heavy enhancement during postproduction. Still, Cinderella looks beautifully enough on the small screen. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi, Helena Bonham-Carter
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2015


- Ella's Furry Friends


Languages: English/Cantonese/Thai
Subtitles: English/Mandarin/Korean/Bahasa Indonesia/
Bahasa Malay/
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Entertainment Singapore