Hand it to Disney: if you’re going to tell a classic story in a classic way, then you might as well sell it using a similarly classic angle. The studio’s upcoming live action update to the long-beloved fairy tale, Cinderella, doesn’t appear interested in reinventing the wheel; and the film’s new international trailer (proffered above) paints a picture similar to the first official trailer released back in November.
But it does boast fresh imagery not seen in promotions of weeks and months past, so if you’re a hardcore fan of the story archetype, this is probably going to be your cup of dreamy wish fulfillment. There’s less emphasis placed on all the bells and whistles Cinderella’s fairy godmother (Helena Bonham-Carter) blesses her with, and more placed on the characters themselves.
First: Lily James looks fantastic. If anyone had a doubt that she could thrive in a posh, refined environment of high breeding after her work on Downton Abbey, well, then they must feel pretty silly. She looks like a natural fit, whether she’s toiling and slaving away in the kitchen of her harridan stepmother, Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), or being wooed by Richard Madden’s (Game of Thrones) version of Prince Charming.
And that leads into the other great thing here, which is the focus put on Blanchett’s presence in the film. The Australian actress puts in work in this week’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, where she plays a character who happens to be pure good rather than pure evil; Cinderella lets Blanchett dole out some harshness, and she looks like she’s relishing the role in every second she’s on screen.
The production itself looks highly polished, as anything coming out of the Mouse House rightly should. Still, we’ll see if director Kenneth Branagh’s take on Cinderella winds up dominating the box office as Disney expects (a’la Maleficent), or becomes a fairy tale re-telling that goes in the opposite direction financially (a’la Jack the Giant Slayer), in just a few months.
Cinderella opens in US theaters March 13th, 2015.