CINDERELLA – A Review by John Strange

CINDERELLA – A Review by John Strange

Think you know the story of Cinderella?  Maybe not!  Writer/Director Kay Cannon has taken the story we know so well and updated it in several surprising ways.  From the updated modern soundtrack to characters that bring a breath of fresh air to this fairytale, this film brings a smile to your lips and many laughs, as well.

Ella (Camila Cabello), called “Cinder”-Ella by her stepsisters because she often had cinders on her face, lives in the basement and waits on Vivian (Idina Menzel), her stepmother, and her two stepsisters Anastasia (Maddie Baillio) and Drizella (Charlotte Spencer).  The family lives in a village located in a peaceful country.

Ella lives to design dresses, a profession frowned upon by the men of the country.  Her attempts are rebuffed by pretty much everyone.  After all, men are the only people who can run a business.

Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) is a do-nothing scion of King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen Beatrice (Minnie Driver).  He runs around with his three buddies.  He does NOT want to get married and settle down to being the King-in-training, but the King and the Queen feel otherwise.

The predictable portions of the story revolve around Ella, the Prince, and the Ball.  What isn’t predictable (but oh so lovely) are some of the updates to the story.  Think of The Wiz and Wicked.  The basic story, the core, is left in place.  The enhancements to the story, include the amazing Billy Porter as Fab G, the Fabulous Godmother, and James Corden as one of the mice/footmen (he’s also a producer of the film).

The songs skillfully woven into Ella’s story range from the opening song “Rhythm Nation” to the closing’s “Let’s Get Loud”.  The filmmaker’s choices are excellent, enhancing the story immeasurably.  The voice talent is wonderful.  Camilla has a voice that will take her far!  Nicholas does a delightful rendition of Queen’s 1976 anthem “Somebody To Love”.  Idina, well we already knew she had a great set of pipes so her contributions to the film are, while wonderful, only to be expected.  And Minnie Driver has a good singing voice, something I never realized!

Cinderella is a fun film to watch.  It is just the film to help you forget about all the crap going on in the world, if only for an hour or two.


Director: Kay Cannon

Cast: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, Pierce Brosnan

MPAA Rating: PG (for suggestive material and language)

Selig Rating: 5 Stars

Runtime: 113 Min.

Release Date: 09/03/2021

Local Release Locations: Amazon Prime Video plus locally in these theaters: Movie Tavern Hulen Mall 13 (Fort Worth, TX), Legacy 24 (Plano, TX), and Cinemark West Plano 20 (Plano, TX)

Movie Site: CINDERELLA Website

Trailer: CINDERELLA Trailer


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.

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