Film review: Cinderella (8 out of 10)

It was back in 1981 when Colin Welland, writer of the film Chariots of Fire, declared ‘The British are Coming’ while waving his Oscar about.


Well now it seems that not only have we Brits well and truly arrived, we’ve taken over in some cases.

Cinderella is a Disney movie, based on the company’s iconic American animation from 1950.

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And yet if you play spot the American in this latest version you’ll be struggling.

Apart from an Aussie and a Swede, everyone else appears to be British - headed up by Kenneth Branagh as director.

It’s also interesting to note that several of the leading roles went to actors better known for major TV series, such as Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and The Borgias.

The plot is pretty much the same as the original animation with slight additions which give the story a bit more depth.

In fact the strength of the ‘remake’ is the way more meat is put on the fairytale’s bare bones.

More time is given to Cinderella’s background and there’s a far better interplay between the Prince and King.

It’s all helped, of course, by some sound acting from Lily James as Cinders, Richard Madden as the Prince and especially Cate Blachett, seemingly revelling in being an evil stepmother.

Throw in Derek Jacobi as the King, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother and a very funny cameo from Rob Brydon and you have a brilliant gang working hard for the director.

And Branagh’s colourful take on the tale is delightful, with CGI used only when necessary.

Overall, a very satisfactory version for modern times with plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Film details: Cinderella (U) 105mins

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham-Carter

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol