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MOVIE REVIEW: The New “Cinderella” & Cate Blanchett as the Original Mean Girl

A quick GOOGLE search will tell you that a “Cinderella Complex” describes a woman who isn’t capable of changing her bad situation. She needs to be rescued by a man. I’m very familiar with this term because my mother warned my sister and I about it when we were young. We would read the Disney Princess stories and then discuss the elaborate weddings we’d have with our own beautiful, wealthy Princes.

“YOU have a Cinderella Complex,” Mom would say and even though we were little and didn’t know what it meant, it effectively killed the fantasy.

This is why I stopped LIKING fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty & Snow White until I had daughters of my own. I decided then that I would enjoy these stories through their eyes and not ruin it with “complexes.”

You can imagine my surprise when my 4-year-old looked at me and said, “Why does the Prince always have to save them? Why can’t they save themselves?”

Neither one of my daugthers enjoyed the Princess stories and I SWEAR I had nothing to do with it. It made me even more interested though to see their reactions to THIS new Cinderella.

Kenneth Branagh directs this latest version and though it might be NEW, very little is changed about the story. We do get to know young Ella and her loving parents more than we did in the fairy tale. They are sweet to the point of overkill but it helps highlight Ella’s sadness when they are gone.

Cate Blanchett plays the “Wicked Stepmother” and appears to be having the time of her life. She is beautiful, TERRIBLE and truly a dream as the Original Mean-Girl.

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I found Helena Bonham Carter’s “Fairy Godmother” to be a bit annoying, but you’re still relieved when she shows up. Several fun new characters are introduced in Cinderella but I’m afraid to say my favorite is still the Prince. He is played by Richard Madden, who seems younger and fresher than the “King of the North” he played on Game of Thrones.

This Prince (who has the charming nickname “Kit”) is sweet, funny and sensitive. We even see the poor boy shed a few tears! He also seems vulnerable and worried about ruling the kingdom when his time comes. This Cinderella¬†implies that he NEEDS Ella because she will be as good for the kingdom as she is for him.

The slim idea that they are actually rescuing each other¬†might have eased some of my “Cinderella Complex” guilt but I honestly didn’t even think about it. I watched Cinderella and was a little girl once again, swept up in the ball-gowns, romance and that wonderful, wonderful Prince.

And what did my daughters think?

My tiny feminists looked at me through happy-tears and said, “Oh Mom, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!”

That is why I’m giving the new Cinderella an A. It’s even lovelier than the original but better now because I got to watch it guilt-free and with my own little princesses.

 

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