Cinderella (2015 film)

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Cinderella 2015 official poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Annie Leibovitz[1]
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Haris Zambarloukos
Edited by Martin Walsh
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • February 13, 2015 (2015-02-13) (Berlin)
  • March 13, 2015 (2015-03-13) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English

Cinderella is a 2015 British/American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a screenplay written by Chris Weitz. Produced by David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur for Walt Disney Pictures, the story is inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella by Charles Perrault and borrows many elements from Walt Disney's 1950 animated musical film of the same name.[3] The film stars Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (The Wicked Stepmother) with Lily James in the title role as Ella ("Cinderella"), Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Sophie McShera as Drizella, Holliday Grainger as Anastasia and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother.

The film is scheduled to be released on March 13, 2015.[4] It had its world premiere on February 13, 2015, in the out of competition section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[5][6]


Further information: Plot of the original film

The story largely follows Disney's 1950 animated adaptation, with several twists. In this version, Cinderella and the Prince meet prior to the fateful ball. At the time, he tells her he is a palace employee named Kit.[7] The Fairy Godmother is a larger character than in previous versions, as she is initially disguised as an old beggar who watches over Cinderella before ultimately revealing herself as a magical being.[8]




There are numerous ancient myths and stories containing Cinderella motifs, dating as far back as an Egyptian tale from the first century BC.[9][10] The version of Cinderella as we know it today was created by French author Charles Perrault, whose fairy tale was first published in 1697.[11][12] It has since been the basis of and inspiration behind innumerable operas, ballet, plays and films.[12] The first film version was seven-minutes long, directed by George Méliès in France in 1899.[13] The first Hollywood adaptation was Paramount Pictures' 1914 silent film, starring Mary Pickford in the title role.[14] Disney's classic animated version of Cinderella came out in 1950. It was a huge box office success,[15] and in 2008 was named the ninth-greatest animated film of all time by the American Film Institute.[16] Other recent films based on the Cinderella concept over the years include Ever After (1998) and A Cinderella Story (2004).[17]


In May 2010, following the box office success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which was the second-highest grossing film of 2010 and earned over $1 billion at the box office worldwide,[18] Walt Disney Pictures began developing a new film adaptation of Cinderella, making a deal on a live-action reimagining based on a script by Aline Brosh McKenna and produced by Simon Kinberg.[17] In August 2011, Mark Romanek was brought on to direct.[19] On February 29, 2012, it was announced that Chris Weitz would be brought in to revise McKenna's script.[20][21] In January 2013, Romanek left the project due to creative differences, as he was developing a version that was darker than Disney wanted.[22] Later that month, Disney negotiated with Kenneth Branagh to take over as director.[14][23]


Cate Blanchett was the first actor to sign on, when it was announced in November 2012 that she would be playing Lady Tremaine.[24] In March 2013, Emma Watson was in talks to portray Cinderella, but a deal could not be worked out.[25][26] Gabriella Wilde, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, Bella Heathcote and Margot Robbie were also considered for the part, but deals could not be worked out due to scheduling and other conflicts.[26][27]

On April 30, 2013, Lily James was added to the cast as the title character.[10][12] A week later, Richard Madden was cast as the Prince.[28] In June 2013, it was reported that Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera joined the film as the mean stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella.[29][30] Later that month, Helena Bonham Carter was cast as the Fairy Godmother.[8] In July 2013, Stellan Skarsgård began discussions to play the Grand Duke, and his involvement in the film was confirmed soon after.[11] In August 2013, Hayley Atwell joined the cast to play Cinderella's mother.[31] On September 23, 2013, it was announced that Derek Jacobi was cast as the King and Nonso Anozie as the Captain, a loyal friend to the Prince.[11]


Principal photography on Cinderella began on September 23, 2013.[11] Production occurred at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, where Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Maleficent were also filmed,[32] and throughout England at locations including Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, Old Royal Naval College and Black Park.[23]


Three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell was in charge of the costumes for the film. Powell began working on concepts for the characters’ looks almost two years before principal photography began in the summer of 2013, Powell said she was aiming for the look of "a nineteenth-century period film made in the 1940s or '50s."[33]

For the stepmother and stepsisters Powell had a very strong though about the look "They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside—a bit too much and overdone—and ugly on the inside."[34] While for the prince the silhouette was from the original animation, however they created a more fitted look and less masculine colors, some of the prince costumes were dyed to accentuate Madden’s eyes.

The ball gown was inspired by the Disney movie in its color and shape, "The gown had to look lovely when she dances and runs away from the ball. I wanted her to look like she was floating, like a watercolor painting." The dress was made with more than a dozen fine layers of fabric, a corset and a petticoat. Nine versions of the Cinderella gown were made, each with more than 270 yards of fabric and 10.000 crystals. It took 18 tailors and 500 hours to make each dress.

The wedding dress was another difficult project. "Creating the wedding dress was a challenge. Rather than try to make something even better than the ball gown, I had to do something completely different and simple... I wanted the whole effect to be ephemeral and fine, so we went with an extreme-lined shaped bodice with a long train." says Powell. It took 16 people and 550 hours to complete the silk-organza, hand painted dress. While in the production was taking photographs of James in the gown, the actress stood too close to a electric heater and the dress caught on fire, the top layer of the dress had to be redone, because only one wedding dress was created due to time and budget.[33]

For the glass slipper, Powell took inspiration from a 50’s shoe she saw in a museum. Since glass does not sparkle, they decided to used cristal instead. Swarovski partnered with Disney for making the famous shoe. Powell went directly to Swarovski headquarters in Austria to meet the product developers, it took 6 digital renderings versions of the shoes until they found the right one for the film. Swarovski made eight pairs of crystal shoes for the film, though none of the actually wearable since it was made of crystal. For that the visual effects had to digitally altered the leather shoes James wore on set into crystal. Alongside with the slipper, Swarovski provided more than 7 million crystals that were used in costumes and 100 tiaras for the ball scene.[35]


Post-production began in December 2013, and was completed in August 2014.[23] The finished film was rated PG for "mild thematic elements" by the MPAA.[36]


On June 7, 2013, news confirmed that composer Patrick Doyle would score the film, with the music having an emphasis on romance.[37][38] Doyle has previously scored several Branagh films, including Hamlet and Thor;[39] he has also scored the Disney·Pixar computer-animated fantasy film Brave.[40]


The film is scheduled to be released on March 13, 2015.[4] Theatrically, it will be accompanied by Walt Disney Animation Studios' short film Frozen Fever, featuring the characters from Frozen.[41] On February 10, 2015, IMAX Corporation and Disney announced plans to digitally re-master the film into the IMAX format and release it in IMAX theaters globally on the scheduled release date.[42] It had its world premiere on February 13, 2015, at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[43]


The first official presentation of the film occurred at Disney's three-day D23 Expo in August 2013.[44][45] The film was previewed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March 2014, with a teaser showing Cinderella hearing about her father's death, meeting the prince while riding through the forest, her mother's ball gown being torn apart by her step-family, and a comedic bit where the Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin into a carriage.[46][47]

The first official trailer debuted on May 15, 2014. In the minute-long teaser, which doesn't include any footage from the film, a sparkling glass slipper is slowly revealed over a black background.[48][49] The second official trailer, this one two-and-a-half minutes long and containing footage from the film, debuted on Good Morning America on November 19, 2014, with a 15-second trailer preview released two days prior.[50][51][52] The movie's official poster was also released on November 19, featuring James as Cinderella and photographed by Annie Leibovitz.[53] In its first 24 hours of release, the trailer was viewed 4.2 million times on YouTube and 33 million times on Facebook, which is the highest views among all Disney films in history, except for Marvel releases.[54] Disney released an international trailer on December 16, 2014.[55] A new trailer was released on January 1, 2015.[56] On February 11, 2015, Disney released another trailer for the film.[57]


In October 2014, a licensing agreement between Disney and Turner Broadcasting was announced, in which Cinderella would premiere across Turner's cable network portfolio (including TBS and TNT) in Spring 2017.[58]


Critical response[edit]

Early reviews for the film have been very positive. Critics praised the performance of Cate Blanchett, directing, screenplay, art direction, costume design, and its faithfulness to the spirit and magic of the original Disney animated classic. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 100% approval rating, based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10.[59] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[60]

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the film at the Berlin Film Festival and praised the special effects, screenplay and Blanchett's performance and said that "anyone nostalgic for childhood dreams of transformation will find something to enjoy in an uplifting movie that invests warm sentiment in universe themes of loss and resilience, experience and maturity."[61] Likewise, Perer Debruge of Variety said, "It’s all a bit square, big on charm, but lacking the crackle of Enchanted or The Princess Bride. But though this Cinderella could never replace Disney’s animated classic, it’s no ugly stepsister either, but a deserving companion."[62] Guy Lodge of The Guardian gave the film three stars out of five and said, "While it might have been nice to see the new-model Cinderella follow Frozen '​s progressive, quasi-feminist lead, the film's naff, preserved-in-amber romanticism is its very charm."[63] Scott Mendelson of Forbes admired the film's visual effects, production design, and called the costume design as Oscar-worthy, but noted its lack of star power. He went on to say, "Lush, colorful, with an emphasis on empathy and empowerment, Walt Disney's Cinderella is the best film yet in their 'turn our animated classics into live-action blockbuster' sub-genre [sic]."[64]


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External links[edit]