The fairytale trend in movies has been more miss than hit, by a pretty wide margin. Maleficent was okay, but if it weren’t for Dame Angelina, it would not have been even half so tolerable, but there hasn’t been a really great—or even just whole-heartedly good—fairytale movie yet. The latest entry into the genre is Kenneth Branagh’s Disney adaptation Cinderella, a movie that initially looked like a bodice-ripper, but the first trailer makes a good case for this being a real crowd pleaser.
While I do not understand why a director of Branagh’s talent—he can Shakespeare!—wants to make middle of the road studio fare like this (see also: Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), he does seem to be improving over time with this stuff. The experience of making Thor, especially, seems relevant to the fantasy effects on display in this trailer—I really like the mice turning into horses. And if he brings some of that Shakespearian sensibility to the family drama, then he could elevate the material a bit. But as much as I like Hayley Atwell, I am not sold on her as Cinderella’s mother, giving the “chosen one” speech. That’s looking maudlin at best.
For the current trend of fairytale movies, this looks pretty good, which maybe isn’t saying much because that is a low, low bar. It does look very beautiful though, thanks to production designer Dante Ferretti and costumier Sandy Powell. Cinderella’s ball gown is a letdown, though. That should be A Dress, but it looks like a chintzy prom dress. (Lainey: I dunno, I kinda love how over-the-top it is. The real magic is going to be the slipper.) Not a letdown? Robb Stark’s clean-shaven face. Good GOD, he is astoundingly pretty. Pretty doesn’t usually do it for me, but I can make an exception. Are we all about to develop a Robb Stark problem?