Cinderella Review

I went to see the new Cinderella movie with a friend last week and absolutely loved it. It was sweet and innocent and just all around lovely. My only issue? Not enough Helena Bonham-Carter (she’s been a long time favorite of mine). But the real stand out here was the set and costume design, both of which were absolutely magnificent. It was a glorious riot of Rococo, Victoriana, and 1940’s influences that, at times, had me paying more attention to what people were wearing and where they were standing than what they were actually talking about. So rather than talking about the movie, I’ll just show you.

The young Cinderella and her mother.

The young Ella and her mother.

Cinderella's daily wear- nicer than most of my good clothes.

Cinderella’s daily wear- nicer than most of my good clothes.

Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and the two stepsisters. I liked that the stepsisters weren't physically ugly, they just had pretty ugly personalities.

Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and the two stepsisters. I liked that the stepsisters weren’t physically ugly, they just had pretty ugly personalities.

I loved the rather lurid pinks and yellows that the stepsisters were dressed in. They always matched exactly and they always wore their color. And the dresses were beautiful, just maybe not in a color I would ever wear.

I loved the rather lurid pinks and yellows that the stepsisters were dressed in. They always matched exactly and they always wore their color. And the dresses were beautiful, just maybe not in a color I would ever wear.

Prince Kit, also known as King in the North. I like him better scruffy but he makes a good, clean cut Disney Prince. Most of his costumes were military style, but they were still ornate with beautiful details like the design seen on this hunting coat.

Prince Kit, also known as King in the North. I like him better scruffy but he makes a good, clean cut Disney Prince. Most of his costumes were military style, but they still had ornate and beautiful details like the design seen on this hunting coat.

Helena Bonham-Carter looking absolutely luminous as the fairy godmother. At times I found her even prettier than Cinderella (but that could just be my own personal bias...).

Helena Bonham-Carter looking absolutely luminous as the fairy godmother. At times I found her even prettier than Cinderella (but that could just be my own personal bias…).

The step family at the ball. There was always so. much. going on with the sisters' gowns.

The step family at the ball. There was always so. much. going on with the sisters’ gowns.

Cinderella's marvel of a ball gown. I wanted to touch it so badly. All those petticoats! The shimmeriness! The tulle! The twirliness! I can't get enough of it!

Cinderella’s marvel of a ball gown. I wanted to touch it so badly. All those petticoats! The shimmeriness! The tulle! The twirliness! I can’t get enough of it!

I'm not normally a huge fan of wedding dresses but this one was pretty nice. Surprisingly subdued, but look at the embroidery on it! Lovely.

I’m not normally a huge fan of wedding dresses but this one was pretty nice. Surprisingly subdued, but look at the embroidery on it! Lovely.

Has anyone else seen this version yet? What did you think of it?

Advertisements

Cinderella

Who doesn’t love the story of Cinderella? It’s the American Dream with fairies and princes. And there are enough variations out there to please almost everyone.

I suppose I should begin with the most well known version by Charles Perrault. Here we have the basics of the story, the young girl forced to work and eventually raised to princess status through attending balls clandestinely. You can read a version of it here, complete with rather interesting drawings by Harry Clarke. Perrault’s version is where we get the pumpkins and mice that Disney used.

And speaking of Disney, their movie probably did more for the fairy tale than anything else could have. Heavily based on Perrault’s version, Cinderella has the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, the fairy godmother, a coach from a pumpkin and horses from mice. She also loses the all-important glass slipper. Of course, this being Disney, they do add a few unique touches of their own, such as talking mice and catchy songs.

A bit different from the Perrault version is the one you’ll find in the Grimm collection. There are actually two different versions of the Cinderella story there. The first, Aschenputtel, is similar to the Perrault version. Except here, the fairy godmother is actually the spirit of Cinderella’s mother in a tree. The good things are brought to Cinderella by the birds she is kind to, and the same birds peck out the eyes of the cruel stepsisters at the end. You can read Aschenputtel here.

The second version is titled “Allerleirauh” and means something along the lines of “many furs” in German. Theses stories are my favorite because there is no magic, merely a clever and resourceful young princess. It usually begins with the dying queen forcing her husband to promise never to marry again unless the woman is as beautiful as her. A few years later their daughter grows into a woman just as beautiful as her mother and so the king, her father, declares he will marry her. Some of the stories I have read get around this creepy incestuous part by the princess being promised to an ogre instead. But the princess demands three dresses before she will marry: one must be as gold as the sun, another as silvery as the moon, and the last as dazzling as the stars. She also requests a coat made with a piece of fur from every animal in the kingdom (hence the name). She runs away with these and a few other treasures to a neighboring kingdom where, after winning the prince with her kindness, beauty, and ability to make good soup, she lives happily ever after. My favorite version of this story is the book Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck and illustrated by Anita Lobel. Another one I like is the absolutely fantastic Deerskin by Robin McKinley. This one has the incest in it and turns the heroine into an almost goddess at times. Actually based on a Perrault fairy tale called “Donkeyskin”, the tone of this story fits the menace in the Grimm version perfectly. Be warned- there is a rape scene so this is not one for young children. I suppose I’ll end with another movie version of the Cinderella story, Ever After. It stars Drew Barrymore as the Cinderella character and Dougray Scott as the prince. It follows the Perrault/Aschenputtel version with the wicked stepfamily but the fairy godmother turns out to be Leonardo daVinci. Pretty dresses, pretty locations and a sweetly romantic plot make this one of my favorites. Plus, she likes to read!