Cinderella (2015 American film)
|Directed by||Kenneth Branagh|
|Screenplay by||Chris Weitz|
|Edited by||Martin Walsh|
|Music by||Patrick Doyle|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$542.4 million|
Cinderella is a 2015 romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a screenplay written by Chris Weitz, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Kinberg Genre, Allison Shearmur Productions, and Beagle Pug Films. The film is based on the folk tale and is a live action adaptation of Walt Disney's 1950 animated film of the same name. It features Lily James as the title character, alongside Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Development for a live-action reimagining of the original animated film began in May 2010, with producer Simon Kinberg attached to the project. In late January 2013, Branagh signed on to direct, with Weitz hired to revise a script from Aline Brosh McKenna. In November 2012, casting began with Blanchett being the first to sign on; James was eventually cast in the titular role in April 2013. Principal photography began at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England on September 23, 2013, and wrapped on December 14.
Cinderella had its world premiere on February 13, 2015, at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States on March 13, 2015, and in the United Kingdom on March 27 in standard and IMAX formats by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It grossed over $542 million worldwide, becoming Branagh's highest-grossing film to date as a director. The film received positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for costume design categories at the 88th Academy Awards, 21st Critics' Choice Awards, and 69th British Academy Film Awards.
A beautiful and kind-hearted girl named Ella and her parents live happily in a large house with a few servants, until her mother falls ill. Ella promises to follow her mother's dying wish: to have courage and be kind. Years later, Ella's father marries recently-widowed Lady Tremaine, who has two unpleasant daughters, Drisella and Anastasia. Ella's father leaves on business, and Lady Tremaine reveals her cruel and jealous nature, forcing Ella to give up her bedroom to the stepsisters and move into the attic. When Ella's father unexpectedly dies, Lady Tremaine dismisses the household staff to save money, and forces all of their chores upon Ella. Seeing Ella's face covered in cinders after sleeping by the fireplace, her step-family mockingly dubs her "Cinderella".
Distraught over her step-family's treatment of her, Ella rides off into the woods, where she encounters Kit, the crown prince, out hunting. He hides that he is a prince, and instead introduces himself as a palace apprentice. Ella and Kit take a liking to each other, but they part without him learning her name. The King discovers he has little time left to live, and urges Kit to take a princess as his bride at the upcoming royal ball. Kit persuades his father to invite every eligible maiden in the kingdom, hoping to see Ella again.
That night, as her step-family is preparing to leave for the ball, Ella attempts to join them, wearing a refashioned dress of her mother's. Lady Tremaine and her daughters destroy the dress and leave Ella behind. She runs out to the garden in tears, and meets an old beggar woman, who reveals herself to be Ella's Fairy Godmother. She magically transforms a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horses, lizards into footmen, and a goose into the coachman. She then transforms Ella's ripped gown into a beautiful ball gown, and gives her a pair of glass slippers. As Ella departs, the Fairy Godmother warns her the magic will end at the last stroke of midnight, and casts a final spell to prevent Ella's step-family from recognizing her.
At the ball, Kit is delighted to see Ella and gives her the first dance. The Grand Duke, having promised Kit to the Princess Chelina of Zaragoza for political reasons, expresses his annoyance and is overheard by Lady Tremaine. Though surprised at Kit's true identity, Ella bonds with the Prince. Before she can tell Kit her name, the clock chimes midnight and she flees the palace, losing one of her glass slippers. The Grand Duke pursues her; however, when the magic dissipates, Cinderella is able to hide in the woods. She returns home and hides the remaining glass slipper under the floorboards.
The King dies, but not before giving his son permission to marry Ella. Now the new king, Kit issues a royal proclamation professing his love for the “mystery princess” and requests she present herself. Ella hurries to retrieve the glass slipper to prove her identity. However, Lady Tremaine has found the slipper first, and declares she will only allow Ella to marry Kit on the condition that Ella make Lady Tremaine head of the royal household and find respectable husbands for the stepsisters. Ella refuses, and Lady Tremaine smashes the slipper and locks Ella in the attic. She brings the remains of the slipper to the Grand Duke, who says he will agree to her terms if she keeps Ella hidden forever.
The Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guard lead the search for the mystery princess, trying the slipper on every woman in the kingdom, but it refuses to fit anyone. At Ella's house, the shoe fits neither stepsister; the company prepares to depart, then hears Ella singing "Lavender's Blue". The Grand Duke urges them to leave, but Kit, who has secretly accompanied them, commands the Captain to investigate. The slipper fits Ella, and she and Kit promise to accept one another for who they truly are. As they leave, Ella forgives her stepmother. Soon after, Lady Tremaine, her daughters and the Grand Duke leave the kingdom, never to return. Ella and Kit marry and become the kingdom's most beloved monarchs, ruling with the same courage and kindness that Ella had promised her mother years ago.
- Lily James as Cinderella, also known as Ella
- Eloise Webb as ten-year-old Ella
- Richard Madden as Prince, also known as Kit
- Cate Blanchett as Stepmother, also known as Lady Tremaine
- Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother
- Nonso Anozie as Captain
- Stellan Skarsgård as Grand Duke
- Sophie McShera as Drisella
- Holliday Grainger as Anastasia
- Derek Jacobi as King
- Ben Chaplin as Ella's father
- Hayley Atwell as Ella's mother
- Rob Brydon as Master Phineus
- Jana Pérez as Princess Chelina of Zaragoza
- Alex Macqueen as Royal Crier
- Tom Edden as Lizard Footman
- Josh O'Connor as Ballroom Palace Guard
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, Walt Disney Pictures began developing a new film adaptation of Cinderella, commissioning a live-action reimagining based on a script by Aline Brosh McKenna and produced by Simon Kinberg. In August 2011, Mark Romanek was brought on to direct. On February 29, 2012, it was announced that Chris Weitz would revise McKenna's script. In January 2013, Romanek left the project due to creative differences, as he was developing a version that was darker than Disney wanted. Later that month, Disney negotiated with Kenneth Branagh to take over as director.
Cate Blanchett was the first actor to sign on, when it was announced in November 2012 that she would be playing Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother. In March 2013, Emma Watson was in talks to play Cinderella, but a deal could not be worked out. Watson went on to play Belle in Disney's 2017 film Beauty and the Beast. 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.
On April 30, 2013, Lily James was cast as the title character. A week later, Richard Madden was cast as Prince Charming, who was named Kit in the film. In June 2013, it was reported that Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera joined the film as Cinderella's two evil stepsisters, Anastasia and Drisella, respectively. Later that month, Helena Bonham Carter was cast as the Fairy Godmother. In August 2013, Hayley Atwell and Ben Chaplin joined the cast to play Cinderella's mother and Cinderella's father. In September 2013, Stellan Skarsgård's role as the Grand Duke was confirmed. On September 23, 2013, it was announced that Derek Jacobi was cast as the King, Prince Kit's father, and Nonso Anozie as the Captain, a loyal friend to the Prince.
According to Walt Disney Pictures president of production Sean Bailey, studio chairman Alan F. Horn wished to make the film the "definitive Cinderella for generations to come," and told him that "if you need to spend a little more, spend it, to make sure it's one for the time capsule."
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 1950s."
For the Fairy Godmother, Powell took a major departure from the animated film of the 1950s, instead giving actress Helena Bonham Carter an opulent white ballgown, featuring fairy wings, puff sleeves and a very full skirt. The skirt also had battery lights underneath it, which Carter said caused issues when filming scenes as the batteries would run low quite quickly. For the stepmother and stepsisters, Powell had a very clear idea about the look; "They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside—a bit too much and overdone—and ugly on the inside." The silhouette of the prince came from the original animation, however she created a more fitted look and less masculine colours. Some of the prince costumes were dyed to accentuate Madden's eyes.
The ball gown was inspired by the Disney animated film 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 watercolour 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 designed, 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," said Powell. It took 16 people and 550 hours to complete the silk-organza, hand-painted dress. While the crew photographed James in the gown, the actress stood too close to an 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 constraints.
For the glass slipper, Powell took inspiration from a 1950s shoe she saw in a museum. Since glass does not sparkle, they decided to use crystal instead. Swarovski partnered with Disney to make the famous shoe. Powell went directly to Swarovski headquarters in Austria to meet the product developers. It took 6 digital renderings of the shoes until they found the right one for the film. Swarovski made eight pairs of crystal shoes for the film, though none were actually wearable. Consequently, the leather shoes James wore on set had to be digitally altered into crystal. Alongside the slipper, Swarovski provided more than 7 million crystals that were used in costumes and 100 tiaras for the ball scene.
Principal photography on Cinderella began on September 23, 2013. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, and at various other locations including Hampton Court Palace, Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, Cliveden, Old Royal Naval College, and Black Park. Although the royal palace is mainly computer-generated, it was modeled after the Zwinger in Dresden, Germany.
Post-production began in December 2013, and was completed in August 2014. The finished film was rated PG for "mild thematic elements" by the Motion Picture Association of America. In the United Kingdom, the film received a U classification for 'very mild scenes of emotional upset' by the British Board of Film Classification.
On June 7, 2013, news confirmed that composer Patrick Doyle would score the film, with the music having an emphasis on romance. Doyle has previously scored several Branagh films, including Hamlet and Thor. He has also scored the Disney·Pixar computer-animated fantasy-comedy film Brave. Doyle recorded the film's score with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Shearman at the Air Lyndhurst Studios in London.
The first official presentation of the film occurred at Disney's three-day D23 Expo in August 2013. 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 section where the Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin into a carriage.
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. The second official trailer – 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. In its first 24 hours of release, the trailer was viewed 4.2 million times on YouTube and 33 million times on Facebook, the highest views among all Disney films in history, except for Marvel Studios releases. The movie's official poster was also released on November 19, featuring James as Cinderella and photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Disney released an international trailer on December 16, 2014. A new trailer was released on January 1, 2015. On February 11, 2015, Disney released a final trailer for the film.
The film had its world premiere on February 13, 2015, at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and was released on March 13, 2015. Theatrically, it was accompanied by Walt Disney Animation Studios' short film Frozen Fever, featuring the characters from Frozen. 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.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Cinderella on Blu-ray combo pack, Digital HD, DVD, and "Disney Movies Anywhere" on September 15, 2015. Blu-ray bonus features include an alternate opening, the Frozen Fever short, and the featurettes: "Staging The Ball", "Ella's Furry Friends", "A Fairy Tale Comes to Life", and "Costume Test Fun". Five deleted scenes with an introduction by Kenneth Branagh are included exclusively on Disney Movies Anywhere. The film debuted in second place on the home media sales charts behind Furious 7. Cinderella was released on 4K Blu-ray on June 25, 2019.
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 the Spring of 2017. The film had its network television premiere on TBS on August 13, 2017. The film aired on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney programming block on January 19, 2021.
Cinderella grossed $201.2 million in the US and Canada, and $341.2 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $542.4 million against a budget of $95 million. It is the twelfth highest-grossing film of 2015 in any genre. The film had a worldwide opening of $132 million, and an IMAX opening of $9 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $164.77 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film.
In the U.S. and Canada, Cinderella opened on Friday, March 13, 2015, across 3,845 theaters, and earned $23 million. The film's Friday gross included a $2.3 million late night run. It topped the box office during its opening weekend as projected, earning $67.9 million, including a record $5 million from 358 IMAX theaters, and became Disney's biggest 2D PG-rated opening of all time. It is director Kenneth Branagh's biggest opening of his career (breaking 2011's Thor record), the fourth-highest Disney opening in March, and was the seventh-highest opening in March overall (not counting for inflation). Audiences during its opening weekend comprised 66% female, 66% families, 26% adults, 8% teenagers, 31% under the age of 12 and 9% 50 years and older. Cinderella finished its first week at the box office with $87.55 million, which was very high end of the film's lofty pre-release expectations. In its second weekend, the film declined 49% to $35 million and was surpassed by The Divergent Series: Insurgent, dropping to #2. The drop was in between two of Disney's previous live-action fantasy films, Oz the Great and Powerful (48%) and Maleficent (51%). In North America, Cinderella is the ninth highest-grossing 2015 film.
Outside North America, box office analysts predicted as much as $60 million opening. The film made its debut outside of North America on the same weekend as its wide North American release and earned an estimated $62.4 million from 31 countries, including $4 million from IMAX theaters. It topped the box office for two non-consecutive weekends. It opened in China with $25 million, the biggest March opening in the country, and Russia with $7.3 million. The opening in these two countries were considered impressive given that both the countries are famous for their keenness for 3D films rather than 2D. Other high openings occurred in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($5.6 million), Mexico ($5 million), Japan ($4.8 million), France ($3.3 million), and Brazil ($3.7 million). In Australia, where the release date was coinciding with the Cricket World Cup finale, it managed to open with $3.4 million. Italy opened with $4.6 million and topped the box office for three consecutive weekends. It also topped the Japanese box office for five consecutive weekends. It became the second-highest grossing Disney live-action film in China, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and in the Philippines, behind Maleficent. In total earnings, its largest markets outside of the US and Canada are China ($71.1 million), Japan ($46 million) and the UK, Ireland and Malta ($29.2 million).
Cinderella received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 84% approval rating based on 256 reviews, with a rating average of 7.20/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Refreshingly traditional in a revisionist era, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella proves Disney hasn't lost any of its old-fashioned magic." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the film at the Berlin Film Festival and praised the special effects, the 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 universal themes of loss and resilience, experience and maturity." Peter 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." 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." Scott Mendelson of Forbes admired the film's visual effects, production design, and deemed the costume design Oscar-worthy, adding, "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' subgenre."
Richard Corliss of Time magazine said Branagh's Cinderella successfully updates and revitalizes Disney's "ill-conceived" animated film, and praised the empowered Ella, the visuals, and Blanchett's performance. Katy Waldman of Slate similarly deemed the film a commendable and authentic upgrade that does not undermine its heroine while maintaining its classic splendor and charm. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal commended James' and Blanchett's performances, the sets, costumes and minimal digital effects, as well as Branagh's direction, stating he "set a tone of lushly sustainable fantasy that's often affecting, frequently witty, seldom cloying, nearly free of self-comment and entirely free of irony." Likewise, Claudia Puig of USA Today complimented the performances along with Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz for "ground[ing] this romantic tale with sincerity amid the dazzle." Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey praised Blanchett's and James' performances and described the film as a "poetically, if not prophetically, imagined storybook fable" that succeeds because of its earnestness, humor, its lack of modern-day pretenses, and Branagh's "singular focus". Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer proclaimed, "This version has more psychological depth than usual and answers questions we may always have had. Branagh's Cinderella does something extraordinarily rare among fairy-tale adaptations: It leaves out nothing we want and adds nothing we don't." Noting the religious themes and symbols of the film, cultural commentator Fr. Robert Barron writes that due to Branagh's traditional telling of the story, "he actually allows the spiritual -- indeed specifically Christian -- character of the tale to emerge."
The film was ranked #1 on TheWrap's list of "Every Disney Live-Action Remake of an Animated Classic Ranked, Worst to Best", #2 in Variety's list of "Disney's Live-Action Remakes Ranked From '101 Dalmatians' to 'Mulan'", and #3 on the Rotten Tomatoes list of "All 14 Disney Live-Action Remakes Ranked".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref.|
|International Online Cinema Halfway Awards||July 30, 2015||Best Supporting Actress||Cate Blanchett||Nominated|||
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Chris Weitz||Nominated|
|Best Makeup and Hairstyling||Cinderella||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Dante Ferretti||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||August 16, 2015||Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Cinderella||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Lily James||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards||October 24, 2015||Best Original Score of the Year||Patrick Doyle||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Film Awards||November 1, 2015||Costume Designer of the Year||Sandy Powell||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 11, 2015||Best Original Score - Fantasy Film||Patrick Doyle||Nominated|||
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||December 7, 2015||Best Art Direction||
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards||December 17, 2015||Best Fantasy Film||Cinderella||Nominated|||
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||December 21, 2015||Best Art Direction||Dante Ferretti||Nominated|||
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||December 22, 2015||Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|||
|Capri Hollywood Film Festival Awards||January 2, 2016||Best Costume||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards||January 2, 2016||Favorite Family Movie||Cinderella||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||January 17, 2016||Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|||
|London Film Critics' Circle||January 17, 2016||Technical Achievement of the Year||Nominated|||
|Art Directors Guild||January 31, 2016||Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Film||Dante Ferretti||Nominated|||
|British Academy Film Awards||February 14, 2016||Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|||
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||February 17, 2016||Best Costume Design||Nominated|||
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards||February 20, 2016||Feature Motion Picture: Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling||
|Feature Motion Picture: Best Period and/or Character Makeup||
|Satellite Awards||February 21, 2016||Best Art Direction and Production Design||Dante Ferretti||Nominated|||
|Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||February 23, 2016||Excellence in Fantasy Film||Nominated|||
|International Online Cinema Awards||February 26, 2016||Best Costume Design||Nominated|||
|Academy Awards||February 28, 2016||Best Costume Design||Nominated|||
|Kids' Choice Awards||March 12, 2016||Favorite Movie||Cinderella||Nominated|||
|Favorite Movie Actress||Lily James||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||March 20, 2016||Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|||
|Golden Trailer Awards||May 4, 2016||Best Animation/Family Trailer||Cinderella||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||June 22, 2016||Best Fantasy Film||Won|||
|Best Costume Design||Sandy Powell||Nominated|
After the release and success of Cinderella, along with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Christopher Robin, Aladdin, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, and Cruella — Walt Disney Pictures has announced the development of several other live-action remakes from their Animated Classics series. Since the releases of these ten films, Disney has announced the development of live-action adaptations of Pinocchio, The Sword in the Stone, The Black Cauldron, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lilo & Stitch, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bambi, Robin Hood, Hercules, the Tinker Bell series, and The Aristocats. The company also had plans for live-action spin-offs of Fantasia and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs along with a live-action prequel to Aladdin, but those projects were scrapped for unknown reasons.
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In North America, Cinderella earned an A CinemaScore.
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The movie received a strong "A" CinemaScore
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With the recent release of Maleficent, which grossed more than $170 million worldwide in its opening weekend, Disney is working fast on its next live-action fairy-tale adaptation.
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