Throwback Thursday-Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)

Cinderella is a pretty basic story. A orphaned young woman is forced to work as a servant in her own home by her stepmother after the death of her father. A fairy godmother hears this young woman’s prayers and gives the finery to go the ball, where the very eligible prince is looking for a bride. The prince and Cinderella fall in love, but she must leave by midnight, otherwise her finery returns to her every day rags.  The prince searches the land for Cinderella, but her stepmother hides her. Eventually the prince finds Cinderella and they marry, living happily ever after.

Cinderella  was originally published in 1697 by Charles Perrault and then by the Grimm brothers, which is the probably the version most of us know.

There have been many reboots of Cinderella since the 1697 publishing.

The Cinderella movie that I enjoy is Ever After. Ever After premiered in 1998, claiming to tell the real story of Cinderella.

Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is the only daughter of an aristocrat whose wife is dead. Very early into the movie, he marries Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston), who is a widow with two daughters of her own. Danielle’s father dies, spending his last few moments of life looking at his daughter. Rodmilla never forgets her husband’s choice and will spend the next ten years punishing her stepdaughter.

Flash forward to Danielle as an adult. She has been reduced to the servant of status in her own home. While one of her step-sisters, Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey) is sympathetic, her other step-sister, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) follows in her mother’s footsteps. At the castle, Prince Henry (Dougray Scott) is spoiled and acts without thinking. Danielle’s first meeting with Henry will slowly change both of their lives.

I’m not a huge fan of the fairy tale genre and Cinderella in particular. But this movie, I enjoy. I like that the setting is real, not just some random European-ish country set in the 16th or 17th centuries. I like that Danielle is extremely independent and instead of just accepting her new lot in life, she fights for what she believes in. The romance between Danielle and Henry feels real and organic. It’s not just love at first sight, it evolves out of friendship and common values. The best is the not so traditional ending, when the wicked stepmother and stepsisters finally get what is coming to them.

And did I mention that Dougray Scott looks dam good in period clothes?

I recommend this movie.


House Of Mirth Book Review

In 1905, Edith Wharton introduced the world to a new heroine: Lily Bart. Lily is the heroine of The House Of Mirth, Edith Wharton’s commentary of the lives of women who were part of the upper classes in the early 20th century.

Lily is the product of her time.  When the novel starts, she is at the height of her power. She has a small income, however, she is very well connected and hopes to receiving an inheritance from her aunt. At the age of 29, Lily knows that she has to marry. She turns down several proposals while having a will they or won’t they flirtation with Lawrence Selden, a barrister with whom marriage is out of the question.

Due to a gambling debt, she accepts money from a friend’s husband who wants more than a thank you for his generosity. Her reputation and her income soon fall. She looses her circle of friends and is forced to find other ways to survive.

I saw the movie last month, I finally got my hands on a copy of the book yesterday.  I loved the movie and I love this book.  Ms. Wharton’s sharp commentary on the very shallow values that dictated society at that time is absolutely perfect. What I also love is that this book makes the perfect case for why Feminism is still needed.

I get the feeling that if Lily had lived in our time, she would have thrived and survived. But, she is from high society in 1905, when an upper class woman’s only choice of profession was that of wife and mother.

I highly recommend this book.

RIP Jerome Ehlers

The mark of an incredible actor is that you remember them, even if their time on screen is short.

Earlier this month, Australian actor Jerome Ehlers left this world.

To fandom of The Lost World (of which I am part of), he is known and fondly remembered for his roles as Tribune and  Francois Loke / Olmec, the trickster god.

He only appeared in five episodes out of the three years that the show was on the air, but he made an impact on the fandom that will live on.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


%d bloggers like this: