Warning: spoilers ahead!
Disney seems to see a benefit in making live-action remakes of the classics. We have seen Snow White and Sleeping Beauty already, and Disney plans to bring Mulan back too. These movies have been hit-or-miss for audiences, but Cinderella was a step in the right direction. With a few movies under their belt, Disney finally shows the potential that all of these live action remakes have.
Cinderella seems like it would be a tough project to make in live action because it is a simple story with magical things going on in the background. At first glance, it could be brushed off as potentially cheesy or too childish because of the content, such as Cinderella talking to animals.
Despite this, it was actually handled really tastefully. All of the supernatural events still happen, but they are toned down to match the style of a live-action film. You aren’t forced to suspend belief because they do it very subtly. The animals do not talk, but they are clearly in a friendship with Cinderella. The cinematography helps too because it is done very romantically and makes everything look just a step above real life. There are shots of castles, fields, and forests the way they only exist in fairy tales.
There are plenty of recognizable faces in the film. Most notably, Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and Richard Madden as the Prince. There are also plenty of fresh faces, including Lily James as Cinderella. While the acting was not perfect, it was perfect for this remake. Of course, the powerhouses like Cate Blanchett hit it home, but everyone fit the film perfectly.
If this were not a Disney remake, the acting could be picked apart, but it fit the style of Cinderella. It walked the fine line of cheesy and childish, but pulled it off perfectly as a magical performance for both children and adults. Cinderella was very likeable and the Stepmother was evil enough to hate, but was not unrealistic. It seemed as though they tried to tone down the cartoon version to fit the live-action style. This is not to say that it was dull, it was just not overacted.
So far, this is the best live-action remake Disney has done. While it is not perfect, it is exactly what a live-action Cinderella film should be. The story stays true to the source with some further expansion into the main character’s past home life. Nothing interferes with the story everyone knows and loves. Cinderella is still the same lovely character from the animated version. She instantly charms the audience and welcomes your attention. The film has everything essential: the Fairy Godmother, the glass slipper, the animal friends, the struggle with a step family, and Prince Charming.
There is nothing negative to say about the film. The live-action Cinderella could be interchanged with the animated version. Adults of a different generation will always see the animated version as the original Cinderella, but children today will see this film as the Cinderella they know. They are both worthy of being remembered. This film was able to achieve revival without being an exact copy, but also didn’t stray far from the original like Snow White did. This is the remake Cinderella did not ask for but deserves.
— Miguel Gonzalez, Blogger