Released 7/31/98 Rated: PG-13
Now this has to be one of my favorite movies of all time. It is a brilliant take on a classic story. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. This film is perfect.
Now, normally I don’t like chick-flicks, but this isn’t your typical lovey-dovey, sappy, ooey-gooey love story that the majority of chick-flicks are. This is a beautiful story that really brings the tale of Cinderella into the realm of reality in an elegant way, as opposed to Hilary Duff, or Selena Gomez bringing the tale into reality in terms of today’s pop culture. It actually starts with an old Duchess holding an audience with the Brothers Grimm as she “was terribly disturbed when [she] read [their] version of the little cinder girl,” and intends to set the record straight, because it just so happens that her great-great-grandmother was “Cinderella.”
All of the dialogue is cleverly written, and everything said has its purpose. There is no mindless drivel. This is a very smart movie. I could probably quote just about the whole feature. There are many moments that put a smile on my face.
“The only throne I want her sitting on is the one I have to clean every day.” 🙂
Every scene is beautiful. Whether it’s a landscape, or a room, everything looks as though it’s come out of a painting. A cellar, or a sunrise, or people falling off a cliff into a lake with leaves raining upon them, it all looks like art. You could probably freeze any frame of this movie and use it as a post card.
And the cast is just spot-on. Drew Barrymore is the heroine who can not only take care of herself, but she is also wise beyond her years. You could not have wished for a more evil stepmother than Anjelica Huston! She’s not simply evil because that’s the way the story goes; this movie gives you a reason behind it. She’s cunning and has her own means for doing everything that she does. And even when she finds herself giving her step-daughter a complement, she quickly turns it in to something else. Dougray Scott pulls off the role of the prince, who has yet to grow up, very well. The servants stand out, the step-sisters pull off their roles wonderfully, the king and queen work well, and our other villain possibly could have had some more screen time just to get to know him a little more, but he was still very good. I wouldn’t change any of them!
I think part of it is the relationships these characters have with one another. For instance, the step-mother plays favorites with her own daughters. Marguerite and Jacqueline are on two different sides of the spectrum. One is on a quest with her mother to becoming queen, and the other is semi-pushed aside. Jacqueline is kind to Danielle, but Marguerite considers herself far above her step-sister. The king and queen have an interesting relationship. They differ greatly in how they each handle situations, but I think the two of them compliment each other.
I just think this movie is fantastic.