Movie date: Cinderella
STARRING: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter
DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh
THE SKINNY: Cinderella (James) lives an idyllic life until her mother dies and her father takes a new bride, Lady Tremaine (Blanchett). Tremaine and her daughters take over the house after Cinderella's father dies. Cinderella meets Prince Charming (Madden) in the woods, and later at a ball. He later scours the kingdom to find her.
THE CONSENSUS: Beautiful to look at and well cast, this Cinderella has enough magic for everyone.
How refreshing it is to see a fairy tale movie without an angle or a twist or a gimmick.
Snow White And The Huntsman presented its heroine as a battle princess.
Maleficent told the story of Sleeping Beauty from the villain's point of view.
Now here comes Cinderella, which is simply Cinderella.
How I love it.
Fairy tales have survived for generations because the stories just work.
Director Branagh has made it his mission to just tell the story of Cinderella as cleanly and efficiently as possible.
Cinderella is a stunningly beautiful picture, with fanciful costumes, lavish sets and lovely lighting.
I was particularly dazzled by the colours, rich and luminous like gems.
While many filmmakers try to limit their colour palettes, Branagh has given us all the colours in all their glory.
The cast is perfect as well.
Often actors will tend to chew scenery in a fantasy film, but the performances here are nicely calibrated.
Rather than fiddling around with the story, or throwing in a lot of extraneous CGI nonsense, they simply focused on telling the tale with flair and panache.
Disney does it yet again.
I'm not one who appreciates any of the Disney princesses.
Yes, I had enjoyed the old classic Disney fairy tales such as Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959).
I was dreading this live-action adaptation, especially when Disney ruined Sleeping Beauty with Maleficent.
I'm pleasantly surprised that there's no campiness or caricatures in this Cinderella - even when it faithfully follows the 1950 original right down to the "talking" mice.
Credit goes to Branagh for keeping the story tight, witty and modern, yet holding on to the traditional goodness of the source material.
The amazing production set and costume design also steal the thunder from the titular heroine.
The scene where Carter's Fairy Godmother does her transformation tricks is really magical.
The show may be about Cinderella, but it is Blanchett who truly rules the roost. She makes her Lady Tremaine utterly dreadful and evil, and when she cackles, shivers go down your spine.
What I felt could have been turned down a notch is the movie's "have courage and be kind" message, which becomes too preachy after Cinderella spouts it the umpteenth time.