CINDERELLA – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Disney better beware. This new live-action take on the classic Cinderella fable from Amazon Studios is excellent. It proves that the mouse is not the only one out there that can make a fun family musical.
The new film, Cinderella, is a musically driven, bold take on the classic story we all grew up with. It smartly uses reorchestrated versions of songs from Janet Jackson to Queen and everyone in between. But, of course, half the fun is guessing what song they’re singing. It is helmed by writer/director Kay Cannon. She’s the woman that brought us the hit Pitch Perfect series of films. So she is, pardon the pun, “Perfectly” suited to bring us this dance and music-filled modern take on the Cinderella story.
The heroine of our film is Cinderella (Camilla Cabello), who is an ambitious beautiful young woman. Her dream of creating fashion for the rich and famous is bigger than her world will allow. She is dutifully working for her bitter stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel) and her self-absorbed stepsisters Anastasia (Maddie Baillio) and Drizella (Charlotte Spencer). She works all day taking care of them, and at night, she works on her designs and gowns. After a chance meeting with a disguised Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine), she decides to attend the ball. It’s being put on by King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen Beatrice (Minnie Driver) to find the Prince a bride. All Cinderella wants is to make connections for her business. Still, all the Prince wants is to see the woman who has already stolen his heart. While his sister Princess Gwen (Tallulah Grieve) just wants to be taken seriously.
Of course, Vivian thinks she can keep Cinderella at home and away from the ball. However, her Fab G (Billy Porter) has other plans. So, will Cinderella be able to persevere and make her dreams come true? Well, you will just have to see the movie to find out.
The film’s co-producer Leo Perlman was asked why he wanted to tackle a classic. He answered with a story of its origins. Perlman said, “Like all great movie ideas, this one started with James Corden acting out a scene with a woman waking up and singing Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine to Five,'” Pearlman went on to say, “Once we finished harmonizing on ‘Nine to Five,’ he asked why is it that only Disney gets to make fairy tales. And why are fairy tales all so old-fashioned? Why is no one updating them? And that really kick-started a conversation that led to a new kind of Cinderella story.”
Cinderella’s all-star cast is led by Camila Cabello who is better known for her singing career, but that could change after this, her feature film debut, hits the screens. She does a beautiful job as the dreamer Cinderella. And, it’s great to see a woman of color in the lead for once. It lets little girls all over the world see someone that looks like them getting to be the star of a classic fable.
I give Cinderella a 4.5-star rating. It’s a booty-shaking, fun film for the whole family to enjoy as it introduces a whole new generation to some really great songs.
Directed by: Kay Cannon
Written by: Kay Cannon
Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars
Running Time: 113min
Musical / Fantasy
Limited Theatrical Release: Movie Tavern Hulen Mall 13/ Legacy 24 Plano/ Cinemark West Plano 20/ Also on Amazon Prime
Starring: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, With Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.