'Cinderella' tries to update the fairy tale, but the shoe doesn't quite fit

3 weeks ago 10
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(CNN)Trying to retrofit "Cinderella" with a feminist sensibility is simply a big-time challenge, and contempt ample vigor and the sing-along benefits of a jukebox musical, a caller mentation starring Camila Cabello can't ace that code. Premiering connected Amazon, the movie mostly feels similar Disney Channel fare with a pinch of "Moulin Rouge," a colorful distraction lacking capable magic to fulfill dreams oregon wishes.

Writer-director Kay Cannon ("Pitch Perfect") makes the astir important propulsion toward a much modern Cinderella by dispensing with the conception that uncovering her prince (Nicholas Galitzine) volition lick each of the protagonist's problems. Instead, Cabello's mistreated stepdaughter (Ella, really, but ne'er mind) yearns to unfastened a formal shop, a concern enactment not disposable to women successful her kingdom contempt each the 1980s/'90s-era singing and dancing that radical bash there.

This "Cinderella" besides brings much nuance to the wicked stepmother (Idina Menzel), whose unit connected her daughters and adjacent Cinderella to "marry rich" comes from achy lessons successful her past. The proposal proves astir beneficial erstwhile Menzel gets to unleash her almighty pipes connected Madonna's "Material Girl," portion Cinderella knocks disconnected Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" and the prince takes connected Queen's "Somebody to Love."

    Another caller wrinkle sees the unambitious prince dismissed arsenic the "idiot son" of the king and queen (Pierce Brosnan, not singing aft his "Mamma Mia!" experience, and Minnie Driver), whose girl (Tallulah Greive) doesn't fertile successful the enactment of succession but has a better-developed caput for the demands of governing.

      Nicholas Galitzine and Camilla Cabello successful  'Cinderella.'

      Beyond that, the bones of "Cinderella" stay mostly intact, from the talking mice (one voiced by James Corden, who produced the movie, which mightiness explicate the "Cinderella Karaoke" vibe) to the now-fabulous Godmother (Billy Porter), who erstwhile asked astir much comfy shoes than solid slippers replies, "Even magic has its limits."

      While Disney's animated "Cinderella" remains the astir iconic, determination person evidently been plentifulness of takes connected the story, including Disney's 2015 live-action mentation starring Lily James and the Rodgers & Hammerstein philharmonic adapted into a hugely fashionable TV movie starring Brandy, which ABC aired successful 1997.

      Ultimately, though, the fairy-tale model works against efforts to modernize the story, yielding a movie that appears designed to commercialized disconnected the "Cinderella" sanction and the pop-star entreaty of Cabello, who the camera lovingly follows arsenic she saunters done a bid of impressively large and elaborate sets.

      Each procreation volition inevitably beryllium served a mentation of beloved stories, truthful there's thing inherently incorrect with trying to make a "Cinderella" that departs from -- oregon astatine slightest expands upon -- the aged Disney-princess formula. (Disney royals person notably go overmuch much self-sufficient and divers done the years, arsenic Menzel tin attest.)

        Still, it's imaginable to let that "Cinderella" has its bosom successful the close spot without concluding that the movie works. Credit wherever it's owed for trying to compression the worldly into immoderate caller clothes, but hoping isn't capable to marque the footwear fit.

        "Cinderella" premieres Sept. 3 connected Amazon.

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