We’ve grown accustomed to the fairytale redux. From 1998’s Ever After: A Cinderella Story, to Fables in comics, television’s Once Upon a Time, last year’s Maleficent, this year’s cinematic adaptation of Into The Woods, and macabre modernizations such as Reese Witherspoon’s Freeway, “Happily Ever Afters” generally come with a twist. So it’s surprising and somewhat refreshing for a film to simply tell the classic version of a story – and do it well.
Director Kenneth Branagh utilizes the previous depictions of Cinderella as a framework and then brings the story to vivid life by crafting a bright, whimsical dreamscape where even the darker aspects of the tale are softened by magic and optimism. The director is most notably drawing on Disney’s now classic animated version.