“Once Upon A Time” is perhaps the most memorable line of all time. It usually precedes a very long but worth knowing fairy tale and this year, it's Cinderella. We all know the tale, beautiful, kind and gentle Ella loses both her parents and has not much choice but to stay with her wicked step-mother who makes her a servant. However, actor and director Kenneth Branagh has really outdone himself this time around; known for directing films: Hamlet, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and most recently, Thor, Branagh is responsible for the live-action take on the motion picture event of the year.
To praise Branagh alone for the success of a very frequently adapted fairy-tale would be unfair. Along with the team behind Cinderella is writer Chris Weitz, responsible for the screenplay of films with great commercial success such as 'Twilight: New Moon', 'American Pie' and 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'. Weitz carries imagination in his storytelling for this film and helps these much-loved characters come to life.
Lily James, most recognised as Lady Rose McClare from 'Downton Abbey' is teamed with 'Game of Thrones'' Richard Madden (Robb Stark), to reinvent the characters Ella and Prince Charming. At first glance, viewers will clearly see the chemistry between these two. It's in their eyes and in a smile or a choreographed movement – all very appropriate for a Disney film. Their seemingly magical spark, however, isn't the only supernatural element in the film; the real magic is conjured by ten-time Oscar nominee, Sandy Powell, known for her costume designing for films: 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'The Aviator' which also had Cate Blanchett as one of the stars of the film. Powell's costumes in this remake of 'Cinderella' becomes an embodiment of the characters. For instance, Blanchett, who plays the wicked, power hungry step-mother, oozes evil and glamour simultaneously with her big hats and dramatic gowns and that's just what she wears around the house!
Supporting actress Sophie McShera escapes the servants' quarters in 'Downton Abbey' for the role of Drizella, one of Ella's annoying step-sisters. Holliday Grainger from TV shows 'The Borgias' plays her equally annoying sister Anastasia. Also playing the fairy godmother is none other than quirky actress Helena Bonham Carter; with the sisters' child-like attitudes and the fairy godmother's eccentric mannerisms these actresses deliver memorable performances.
Haris Zambarkulous, responsible for the film's breath-taking cinematography involving diverse camera angles and interesting moving shots bringing to life the setting of this tale. With it's lavish and opulent set designs and an amazing score and soundtrack, this year's remake of the classic tale that is Cinderella will release the inner child in all that see it.