Cinderella Movie Review

Cinderella has been done on screen, multiple times. Some adaptations are better than others.

A few weeks ago, Disney released a live action adaption of the beloved and sometimes questionable fairy tale.

Stepping into the shoes (literally and physically) of the most famous fairy tales heroine is Lily James, best known as Lady Rose on Downton Abbey. Cinderella (or Ella before she is cruelly nicknamed) loses her mother at a young age. Her father (Ben Chaplin), a  merchant who makes his living by buying products abroad, married again to her stepmother (Cate Blanchett). Her stepmother has two daughters from her previous marriage, Drisella (Sophie McShera, Daisy on Downton Abbey) and Anastasia (Holliday Granger). Soon after Ella’s father leaves, her stepmother reveals her true colors.

When Ella’s father dies en route, Ella officially becomes Cinderella.  Finally breaking from the abuse, Ella goes for a ride. She meets Kit (Richard Madden), whom she does not know is the prince.  Kit returns to the castle, hiding his own burden. His father, the king (Derek Jacobi) is not well and Kit knows that he must marry not for love, but for duty. Kit convinces his father to invite every young woman in the kingdom to the ball, in hopes that he will meet the young woman he met in the forest.

I enjoyed this movie, surprisingly. James and Madden have solid, if predictable chemistry.  What I liked was that the story has been expanded beyond the 2D story that is the 1950 animated film.  Neither Cinderella or The Prince have had an easy life. Their struggles make them human and made me, as an audience member, appreciate this fairy tale more than I have.

I recommend it.


Little White Lie Movie Review

Growing up, Lacey Schwartz felt like an outsider. Raised in upstate New York by Caucasian Jewish parents, she never felt like she fit in. It was obvious, though unspoken that Lacey was different. Enrolling in Georgetown University, Lacey received an invitation to join the Black Student Union. The problem was that Lacey had always thought that she was white. Accepting the invitation, Lacey used the opportunity to discover who she is and ultimately, make peace with the questions she has been wrestling with since childhood.

Ms. Schwartz tells her story in the documentary Little White Lie.

I found this documentary to be compelling. There were questions of race, religion, identity and finding your way in the world. While we all have our paths in life to walk on, these questions are universal.

I highly recommend this documentary.


%d bloggers like this: