CINDERELLA ~ Rated PG

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Director Kenneth Branaugh and Screenplay writer Chris Weitz join forces to bring to life ~ like only DISNEY can ~ the tragic, yet ultimately enchanting and mesmerizing Fairytale of the Ages ~ CINDERELLA.

Enjoying her blessed life as a small child, Ella (Lily James), tragically looses her mother, and attempts to make the most of her life~ as best she can ~ under the loving care of her father. When her father decides it’s finally time to remarry, Ella must learn to live with her new stepmother (played by Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett) and her awful daughters Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger).

When her father suddenly dies, Ella finds herself torn at leaving the only home she has ever known, or continue to be tortured by her evil stepmother and dreadful stepsisters.   The only thing keeping her going is the promise she made to her father that she would always cherish and care for their beloved home. That, and the furry little creatures that she interacts with each and every day.

When the Prince (Richard Madden) decides that everyone in the kingdom should attend the Royal Ball, Ella reworks a dress of her mothers, in hopes that she will be able to attend. Well of course the wicked stepmother has other plans, as she doesn’t want the beautiful Ella anywhere near that Ball, or the Prince. When all seams lost and Ella has nowhere to turn, who should appear but Ella’s Fairy God Mother (played by Helena Bonham Carter) to save the day…

I give Cinderella an A: Disney has managed to “Bring to LIFE” this classic tale in a way that even the Dads will find enchanting ~ yes it’s true! They have put a dash of Disney magic in every frame of this film…from the tweaks in the storyline, to the exquisite cinematography, to the way they make Cate Blanchett and her daughters JUST EVIL ENOUGH to get the point across, but not SO EVIL that the youngsters viewing are traumatized for life. Ever person around me at the screening was just gushing in delight at what they just saw, which was also nice to experience, since this film has been the much anticipated Spring release for quite some time. And, too, just as I had hoped, they managed to work in little nuances from the animated version that I grew up with ~ but made it slightly different in places too ~ so that all of the generations of movie goers watching will feel as enchanted as I have been my whole life, with each and every frame. My 15 year old joined me for this one ~ no surprise there ~ and she cried, and cried, and cried some more throughout the film ~ so consider that your warning~ that you may want to bring along a few Kleenex for your trip to the theater too! Thank goodness, the long wait is over, and CINDERELLA is finally here for everyone in your family to see and enjoy. So, grab your entire brood and head out to a theater near you ~ as I promise, EVERYONE will want to experience what happens when ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE…

Kathy Kaiser