Slavishly adapted from Disney’s classic 1950 animated musical, Kenneth Branagh’s live action version of the fairy-tale romance doesn’t skimp on the period detail.
Ella (James) is consigned to the kitchen by her vindictive stepmother Lady Tremaine, (Blanchett), and her stepsisters, Anastasia (Grainger) and Drizella (McShera).
Emboldened by the dying words of her mother (Atwell) – “Have courage and be kind” – Ella tries to rise above the bullying. When the name-calling becomes too frightful, she escapes on horseback and catches the eye of the dashing prince (Madden), who must pick a bride at the behest of the dying king (Jacobi).
So the prince throws a lavish ball where Ella makes her grand entrance then disappears as the clock chimes midnight, leaving behind footwear that would surely pose a health and safety risk in any other film.
Helena Bonham Carter’s fairy godmother isn’t as eccentric as she or we would like as she engineers the film’s best set-piece with a flick of her wand, but Cinderella dazzles the senses and will enchant an entire generation of young girls, who dream of donning the tiara of a Disney princess.