starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter
screenplay by Chris Weitz
directed by Kenneth Branagh
by Walter Chaw Notable in however these things are notable for not being an Ever After revisionist Cinderella but rather a fairly straightforward adaptation of the Disney animated version, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella would be interesting to look at next to Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, if only to see how Helena Bonham Carter morphs from immortal beloved to Fairy Godmother. (Answer? Awkwardly.) It's not a bad conversation to have, actually, in a film that finds a great deal of depth in Cate Blanchett's Barbara Stanwyck take on Lady Tremaine, the evil stepmother. In a nicely-played scene, she stops just short of confessing that the reason she resents Cinderella (Lily James) is because, for women, society abhors the aged and venerates the youthful. It's not deep (and maybe it's not meant to be), but it does add a little bitter undertaste to its "happily ever after."