Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Cinderella

21 Mar

Well, it was a very serviceable movie, and I think it’ll best be served by some bullet points.

  • Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera, as the stepsisters, did seem to be having quite a lot of fun.  I adore the former even when she’s cartooning it up and the latter did what she needed to do also.  They had the most outrageously absurd costumes in the entire movie, and that’s really, uh, saying something.
  • Here is my biggest rant, and I’m getting it out of the way now.  When a local university put on the musical version of Cinderella a few years ago, I spent most of the production being cranky about how the costumes they’d pulled out of storage or rented or what have you made no cohesive sense: the director might have said “period gowns,” but “period” is, uh, a rather large range.  Combining elements from multiple periods to create a fantasy world’s style is one thing, but having one character dressed like they’re at the English court in the 1600s and another dressed like they’re trying to show Miss Scarlett up at a birthday party drives me nuts.  I was really hoping that this, being a full-blown professional movie, would not fall victim to the same trap, but… alas.  The extras’ costumes spanned from 1400s to 1850s in our approximation; Cinderella’s mother (lovely Hayley Atwell) looked not unlike someone in a country scene in the early 1920s, Cinderella herself (Lily James) was more “period,” the stepsisters traversed anywhere from Elizabethan (the underwear) to 1950s (cashmere cardigans, the sweater/A-line skirt combination of the final scene) to bad 1980s (their giant floral-printed/embellished ballgowns), the stepmother (Cate Blanchett) had the skirts of ballgowns or a 1950s vamp formal dress mixed with the tops and hats of someone in the most elegant 1930s, the fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) .  It rather made my head spin.
  • I did appreciate the slight attempt at dimensionalizing the relationship between Cinderella and the prince (called Kit, played by Richard Madden).  Not quite as involved as the new book to the musical, but the fact that it was based in his apparent awe of her kindness and goodness and she in turn was in awe of his human decency or whatever, that was… something at least.  And I liked that he knew it was her.  That helped.
  • I also appreciated that the fairy godmother specifically did do magic to make her not known to her stepmother and stepsisters at first.  It didn’t quite explain how the stepmother figured it out enough to go looking in Cinderella’s sneaky floorboard hiding place for the glass slipper, or if it did I just missed it, but still.

Overall, palatable.  Unremarkable, but palatable.

–your fangirl heroine.

troubled fidgeting


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