Cinderella is a refreshing callback to the unabashed costume epics of the past, when story and aesthetic held equal sway over ambitious filmmakers. Director Kenneth Branagh and his production team luxuriate in breathtaking sets, opulent costumes, and impeccable special effects while still keeping the old-fashioned story of courage and kindness at center stage. Yes, it would have been nice to see a little more cellulite and gumption from our heroine, but it’s hard to complain about a movie that so thoroughly delivers on spectacle and heart. Lush, extravagant, and painfully earnest, Disney’s Cinderella is a worthy adaptation of its classic predecessor. In fact, it’s quite wonderful.
“This remarkably affecting film is a powerful work that delves deeply into often unspoken and unconventional recesses of faith and love. Its themes are profound, its performances staggering throughout, and its visual palette and filmic technique are replete with saturated hues, vigorous camera work, and an unabashed intimacy.”
In the opening shot of the Norwegian crime thriller ‘In Order of Disappearance,’ a plow thunders down a Scandinavian country road, clearing the path with massive snow blowers. It might be tempting to say that the film’s hero, Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgard) is like the plow, pushing anything and everything out of his way in his desire for revenge. But in Norway, they do things a bit differently, and this film is all the better for it.
Oplev’s vesion hesitates not a second in taking the same characters and the same plot and rewiring them, switching the focus from the investigation to central relationship. Fincher’s film is an adaptation that both on page and on-screen is a loyal and loving tribute to the book, a rarity with such efforts. The term remake, perversely, has never been more appropriate.
The Avengers Written and directed by Joss Whedon USA, 2011 …