Does the world need a new version of Cinderella? We have the cartoon, the musical, and now we have a live action movie. I admit when I saw the trailer a couple of months ago, I was excited to see it. Charge it to the dearth of romantic movies nowadays, I guess. This movie feeds my hopeless romantic hit like nothing else - it's glorious, it's swoon-worthy, it's modern and fabulous.
You know the story by heart, but this version, directed by Kenneth Branagh beefs up the story. We get the back story, for example, of Ella's life before the stepmother's regime, and we even get a scene on why she is called Cinderella. Plus, this is a post-feminism Ella, who isn't as much a doormat as her previous incarnations. For example, I liked the fact that she screamed "How dare you," when her stepmother ripped her gown right before she was supposed to go the ball (pre-fairy godmother)
Oh, and all the spectacle. This movie is gorgeous to look at: colorful, flashy, splashy. The CGI is effective but not over-the-top. There's even a hint of the original songs from the cartoon. Cate Blanchett as the stepmother borders on camp, but she is a good enough actress to recognize this is live, nto cartoon. As Ella, Lily James is charming without being too sweet, and Richard Madden is a fine though slightly bland prince (he could have used just a tad more sex appeal)
But all in all, a good time, and a great Cinderella for today's youth. Between "Frozen" and this, today's young girls are getting a great childhood.