When it comes to fairytales, none is as iconic as the tale of a young girl who loses her father and is left to endure the cruelty of her wicked stepmother and mean stepsisters, before eventually meeting her prince charming, with a glass slipper at the center of it all. It’s a story that has been told time and time again.
In the latest version from Disney, Cinderella gets an updated storyline. Ella (Lily James) lives happily in a two-story cottage with her mother (Hayley Atwell) and father (Ben Chaplin), until tragedy strikes when her mother takes ill and dies. It’s the words of her mother, “Have courage and be kind” that guide her in life. It all seems so easy as time goes by, until her father marries years later.
This live action adaption, inspired by Charles Perrault‘s Cinderella, is a light-hearted depiction, perfect for the young and young at heart. The romantic tale starts when Ella – her real name until her stepsisters dub her ‘Cinderella’ because of soot that collects on her face after a night of sleeping on the floor next to the fireplace – meets a handsome stranger in the woods, who just happens to be the Prince (Richard Madden), unbeknownst to Ella. The story doesn’t deviate far from the classic tale and the visuals are as vivid and bright as one would imagine when watching the animated versions, such as the scene where the pumpkin and mice transform into a golden carriage and brilliant white horses.
But what really caught the eye of this sartorial sleuth were the boldly beautiful costumes, courtesy of Oscar-winning British designer Sandy Powell, who has created looks for films such as Shakespeare In Love (1998) and The Aviator (2004). The dresses with full skirts were candy-colored atop colorful wire hoops. The two annoying sisters Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger), sported matching polka dot dresses in contrasting hues and the stepmother played by Cate Blanchett wore a scene-stealing ball gown in emerald green. It was a true showstopper. Even the Prince, donned in his hunter green and royal blue military garb, is an eye-catcher. However, as expected, Cinderella’s look takes center stage. Her quirky fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) conjures up a magnificent blue, princess-style ball gown from a ratty pink frock. Accented with butterfly appliqués and accessorized with iridescent glass slippers, it was a look to remember. It makes this family-friendly film worth putting on your weekend watch list.
Image source: Disney Pictures