Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella opens March 13th. Until then, check out a sneak peek titled “Midnight Changes Everything” and an approximately 2-minute featurette with interviews from the cast.
The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella, whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother and her daughters Anastasia and Drisella into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope.
Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at 2 hand, and a kindly beggar woman steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.
The plot doesn’t appear to stray too much away from the 1950 Disney version, although Cinderella’s relationship with the Prince will have a little more development in this movie. The characters seem to be just as one-dimensional, unfortunately.
The cast includes Lily James as Cinderella (“Ella” for short), Cate Blanchett as the wicked “but misunderstood” Lady Tremaine, Richard Madden as Prince Kit, The Borgias‘ Holliday Grainger as Lady Tremaine’s “evil” daughter Anastasia, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.