Cinderella (2015)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every chuckle, charming or evil

Take a Drink: if you were EXPECTING song to break out

Do a Shot: ’cause Stellan Skarsgard knows how to fill out old royalty clothing

Community Review


Movie Review

By: Bill Arceneaux (Two Beers) –

Ever since being released, I’ve been playing the trailer for Netflix show Marvel’s Daredevil on near repeat. No, it’s not so much because I – like many others – have been swept away by Disney/Marvel’s Universe-spanning story, or because the superhero genre is the western for this generation (a type of film that’s massively popular and churned out assembly line-style). Honestly, I’ve thrown my interest into this series because of what villain Kingpin would call “strength in convictions.”

And I know this from a trailer? Yes.


The convictions lie not specifically in any one character (at this moment), but in the direction the story will be going in. In the past, Marvel (before Disney) tried making Ghost Rider and Punisher movies, to varying degrees. Now, with a business and creative gameplan years into a successful run, they can afford to deviate from the comfort of lighthearted comic book fare (the main Avengers films thus far) and experiment in more mature content. It’ll be hard to market this stuff to the superhero toy-buying crowd, but stick to its guns, Marvel/Disney can and will.

Unless the project tanks, or something. A “street level” hero with complexity and challenges? Could it work?

A Toast

What does Marvel/Disney have to do with the live action Disney’s Cinderella (aside from the company making the movie)? Strength in convictions. The convictions of its creative direction, mostly. Directed by Thor’s Kenneth Branagh, Cinderella is most certainly not adult-oriented like Marvel’s Daredevil will be. But, that’s not to say adults will have a bad time watching. It’s tinkly in places, schmaltzy in some, and appropriately emotional all over.


Was this Cinderella inspired by Diana? Seems likely.

There are a few twists here and there, but for the most part, this movie follows the classic story exactly. Wait; exactly? No chances were taken? Well, not plot-wise, no. Character-wise? Sure. The real magic comes not from the fairy godmother but from the cast performing, specifically Lily James as Cinderella. She’s gorgeous and is able to exude a genuine sweetness and love of all. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she was crafted by Disney in some kind of lab.

Her performance is rather uplifting, affecting just about every character she comes across, including her “evil” Stepmother played by Cate Blanchett. Cate brings to the role almost  a sympathy, expressing disappointment in herself in unexpected areas. Did she want to be good all along? Maybe she just wanted to be loved herself. Instead of simply being bad, she’s dimensional. In the trailer above for Daredevil, there’s a transitional fade from the hero to the villain. This juxtaposition suggests they are more alike than not, and that both are changed by meeting the other. This very thing happens in Cinderella, and is a most needed and challenging theme for a kids movie to have. Whose personality will win out? Who is stronger? A rags to riches princess story that isn’t about superficiality? Could it all work? Yes.


I could see this stepmother in the Blue Jasmine ending.

Beer Two

In the beginning, the tinkly “everything is going to be ok”-ness was laid in very thick. Cinderella’s mother even says “I believe in everything” at one point. How naive and stupid, I say. Thankfully for us, the young woman grows from conquering this nightmare of surface-level happiness to survive some heavy trials and discover true joy. It’s a message I’d prefer most kids movies to have.


Not at all what I expected. Disney throws a curveball, and strikes out – in the good way! Whether it be Cinderella or Daredevil, keep your head held high and remain strong. Wow – I guess my heart ISN’T cold as ice anymore…


About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

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