Disney provided me with an all expense paid trip to L.A. to attend the #CinderellaEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation is given and all opinions in my posts are 100% my own. Disclosure Policy.
“Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.” -Ella’s Mother
And this is exactly what Disney has done with it’s live-action version of Cinderella, opening today (March 13th). They’ve taken the story of Cinderella, the story of goodness we all know and love, and made it into something even more magical. While keeping very true to the original story, Ken Branagh (director) and Chris Weitz (writer) have turned this fairytale into a heartwarming and beautiful adaption we can all learn something from.
“Have courage and be kind.” -Ella’s Mother
When I first heard Disney was making the live-action version of Cinderella, I knew whoever was cast to play Cinderella had some mighty big glass slippers to fill. Lily James, who plays Ella AKA Cinderella, fit those slippers perfectly. She radiated beauty, grace and most importantly kindness, on the big screen.
The story begins giving us a glimpse into the “happy family” Cinderella was born into. The love her parents had for her and each other was touching, however, life dramatically changes when her mother (Hayley Atwell) falls ill. On her deathbed, she leaves Cinderella with a bit of advice, “Kindness has power and magic in it. Have courage and be kind.” What better advice could she leave with her daughter? Can you think of better advice to give anyone? Be strong yet always show compassion. Show love yet never give into weakness. This is exactly how Lily portrays Cinderella throughout the film. What Cinderella does, she does with a good heart and genuine kindness. However, she is not one to be trampled on. She is strong when need be, even willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the good of the kingdom.
“Just because it’s what is done, doesn’t mean it is what should be done.” -Ella
Sure Cinderella and Prince Kit (Richard Madden) get engaged in a matter of days but it’s the encounters leading up to that engagement that will have you rooting for their happily ever after. Cinderella first stumbles upon Prince Kit, not knowing he is royalty, in the woods while he is hunting a stag. She urges him not kill the stag and he is immediately drawn to her kind heart and strong mind. He tells her he is an apprentice at the castle, which is the reason she wants to attend the ball in the first place. She was not looking for a Prince to save her but rather, she just wanted to spend time with Kit, the gentleman from the forest.
The Prince invites all the maidens in the land to attend the ball, in hopes of seeing the girl from the forest once again, even though he is “suppose” to marry a Princess by the urging of his Father. While the ball scene is one of the climatic points of the film, especially the beautiful waltz that I dare you to watch without shedding a tear, I think the message it portrays is what stands out the most. Do what you know and feel is the right thing to do, for it usually is.
“Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others – it only changes yours.” -Shannon Alder
While the entire cast of Cinderella was spot on in their roles, Cate Blanchett who plays the oh-so-evil wicked stepmother, was phenomenal. Her evil laugh in the film will go down in History but I think it is her story that will be most remembered. We see more of a glimpse into Cinderella’s Stepmother life. The heart-ache and loss she endured was much like Cinderella’s, but unlike her, she turned to a place of anger and jealousy to cope with it. And we all know, that will only lead us to a very dark and unhappy place.
“I love people who can make me laugh, when I don’t even want to smile.“
My favorite character, by far, is The Fairy Godmother. Helloooo, it’s Helena Bonham Carter! She brought a quirky and light-heartedness to the film that only Helena could do. In a moment when Cinderella was at her lowest point and our hearts were breaking for her, in swoops the Fairy Godmother and all smiles were restored. I think she was my favorite character because I related to her the most. When I see someone sad or hurting, I want to immediately rush in and lift them up. I want to make them smile, I want to make them laugh and I want to show them that things can get better; things will get better! We can all be someone’s Fairy Godmother in life, we just have to keep our eyes open and wands heads up.
“Real beauty is to be true to oneself.” -Laetitia Casta
Who needs to fit perfectly in a glass slipper in order to find their true love? Just be yourself and your love with find you. While this film still has the whole glass slipper theme behind it, much like the original, I think the message is clear, “If he is to love me, he will love me for who I am.”And there is no greater lesson than knowing, you are beautiful because you are being the authentic you.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” -Gandhi
While I do not want to give too much of the movie away, I will leave you with this thought. Can one ever truly live “happily ever after” without forgiveness? Isn’t this one of the basic concepts in life? Cinderella reminds us of that. No matter what has happened or who has wronged us, we will never be free until we have forgiven.
Cinderella is a movie you want to bring your kids to see, your family & friends to see and heck, even your neighbors to see. Because this movie is about more than a pretty girl with an evil stepmother, a great dress and a killer pair of glass slippers. This movie is about courage, kindness, forgiveness and many life lessons we should all be reminded of.
Cinderella & Frozen Fever in theaters TODAY March 13, 2015.