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Friday, 27 February 2015

From cinder to Cinderella

Dearest friends,

You know how fond I am of fairies and fairytales, so today I will tell you my feelings regarding the new Cinderella movie that just released in Germany, on the 13 February 2015 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Unlike what others may say, that was a lucky Friday 13th ;) Unfortunately it will be released in Poland a month later - on the 13th of March - so we still need to hold our horses. 
I shall go quickly through the final trailer released - you can watch it on Youtube but also on the IMDB site for the movie. I did this before on the adorable Maleficent, so you can figure out I am very much attracted to stories for children :) I guess that is how one stays young? Anyway, Maleficent was an extremely pleasant surprise for me - the story was told from a different angle and though it came to me as a shock to see fairies with wings the size/shape of a giant bird, it still made me feel all warm and fuzzy and believe that even darkness can be turned into light. 
The above picture of Lily James as Cinderella reminded me of this photo takes by Annie Leibovitz
But let's get to the topic of the day: Cinderella, directed by one of my youth crushes - Kenneth Branagh. He was born in lovely Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, and stole my heart in 1993 as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (if the name sounds familiar, I must tell you that is one of Shakespeare's plays) & Frankenstein (Mary Shelley). Some may think his director skills are not that bright but if you loved Thor, guess what? He was the director there as well ;) 
In fact, Cinderella marks the reunion of director Kenneth Branagh with Stellan Skarsgård (Thor (2011)) Helena Bonham Carter ( Frankenstein (1994)), and Derek Jacobi (Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991) ) and Hamlet (1996)).Also, this film marks Kenneth Branagh's first collaboration with Walt Disney Pictures. Branagh also directed Thor (2011), which was distributed by Paramount Pictures, but subsequently re-branded as a Disney film. 
While approaching the project with a deep understanding of the fairy tale's history, Kenneth Branagh said: "It is impossible to think of Cinderella without thinking of Disney, and the timeless images we've all grown up watching. And those classic moments are irresistible to a filmmaker.
I think that Cinderella 2015 is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. With a brilliantly picked British cast - starting with Lily James as Cinderella (whom all Downton Abbey lovers know), Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother (and that was an unexpected surprise, seing her turn rotten!), Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother (again in an unexpected, reverse role, like Cate), Richard Madden as the prince (the unrecognizable Rob Stark from Game of Thrones!), Sophie McShera as Drizella (one of Cinderella's sisters - Lily and Sophie also played together in Downton Abbey, but there the roles were reversed) and many many more :) 
Via Tumblr
Of course that during the trailer you see a lot of similarities to the old Disney story: Cinderella's dress is still blue, the Princes costume at the ball is still white, Cinderella still loses her glass slipper, she still has a horrid stepmother and 2 stepsisters, she still has a carriage with horses that transform back when the clock turns midnight on her... but the whole trailer has a more adult/grown-up look about it. It is as if it was created especially for grown-ups to remind them of their childhood years and get them coming to the cinema to relive their youth. I am unsure if I would take my younger self to see it - I will have to wait for the movie to give you my honest opinion... 
As usual, it is hard to squeeze as much as you can of the story under 2 minutes, for a trailer. Also, its hard to try to reinvent a story that has been told so many times in so many different ways - from the Disney version to the Ever After: A Cinderella Story, with Drew Barrymore (which, I really enjoyed!). 
  1. The trailer starts with Cinderella riding her horse in the forest, bumping into a enormous stag (I would say that stag was too huge even for fairytales!) - 0:11. 
  2. Cut to 0:20 when Cinderella is not frightened by the stag and warns him of the chase (the Prince and his team are actually chasing the stag) - "Run! Quickly or they'll catch you". Queue to stag running away - a) either he actually understood the lady; b) she just thinks she's mad and he runs away frightened... 
  3. Jumping to 0:27 - Good Lord! Rob Stark without a beard! I say, this world is coming to an end! he has such a pre-puberty look about him...  maybe the God Of Light raised him from the dead only if he promised never to wear a beard... who knows?!
  4. Around 0:30 the conversation between Cinderella and the Prince starts - no hello and their first conversation at their very first meeting sounds to me very much as a reproach, not something that would make one fall in love with another... 
  5. 0:40 brings Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, and that is one of the first beautiful and unexpected surprises of the movie! as we always get to see Cate in these positive, fairy-like, godess parts that make her so unreal and untouchable... For me, she will always be Galadriel from LOTR! 
  6. Aproximately 1 minute into the trailer we get the 2nd pleasant surprise: Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother! and if you watched her life on the big screen, she takes the oddest and most quirckies roles possible. Most of the time negative ones, with a bit of twist - as noone can be 100% evil, right?! Well I never thought I would see her as the fairy godmother. I would have actually thought she would switch places with Cate's role... but there ya go! :) That's HBC friends, never ceases to amaze us!
  7. Final line of the trailer underlines Disney's quest in the last few years - with the characters like Mulan, Merida and Rapunzel - that Princesses are no longer meant to be saved, they can save the world themselves! - "I will protect the prince, no matter what is to become of me!", said Cinder(ella).
Well I can tell you I can hardly wait to see the movie, as it promises to show a bit more than the Disney classics - including how she came from cinder to Cinderella :) So, make sure you put this down for the list of movies to see this year - for sure I did!
Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Fairytales!