After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, who reduce her to scullery maid. Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair.
An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger (Richard Madden) she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things.
After you come to grips with the unnecessarily smiles all the time and the holier then thou thinking this movie is actually one of the best versions of Cinderella I have ever watched. It explains things a little better then other movies and lets you see a side of the prince you don't usually get to witness. It shows that the king is sick and why he must wed someone via the ball. Where as it is supposed to be of royalty or noble blood and someone who could add value to the palace it explains how love eventually conquors all.
Helena Bonham Carter was fantastic as the fairy godmother and brought the right amount of dizziness to the position. The magic and special effects where spectacular and the carriage was stunning. Actually the fairy godmothers dress was to die for and I think if the prince saw her he wouldn't of even looked twice at Cinderella except for maybe those glass slippers they where AMAZING!!! That whole scene I could easily rewatch over and over again. Finally the horse was not used to be a doorman, I really liked the new animals brought in, it made it seem fresh and more plausable. It was so well done as the clock struck twelve and it all started unraveling.
Cate Blanchett was so convincing as the step mother and you ended up hating her more than any other stepmothers before her. She was cold and calculating and deliciously evil and selfish and she was just perfect. The casting was spot on. The story had the right amount of 'history' with enough new stuff to help keep it interesting so you did not feel like you had seen it all before. If only the fantasy perfect family was not included to start with this would of been a perfect movie.
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