Friday, February 1, 2008

Ever After: A Cinderella Story

A really beautiful rendition of Cinderella that is suitable for all ages (even though it is rated PG).

The movie starts with a royal female meeting the Brothers Grimm and relaying the true story of Cinderella.

Cinderella’s real name was Danielle de Barbarac (played by the wonderful Drew Barrymore) who was lovingly raised by her father, Auguste (Jeroen Krabbe). Her father marries the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Angelica Houston) who arrives with her two daughters Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). Danielle is excited at the prospect of a new mother and sisters but her luck changes when her father dies shortly after.

Grown up Danielle, who is trying to maintain her father’s estate in the best way she can, is treated as a servant by her stepmother and stepsisters (although one sister, Jacqueline feels more affinity for Danielle than her mother and sister do). Prince Henry of France (Dougray Scott), in the meantime is determined not to marry “Spain” for an alliance, and keeps trying to escape the palace and his duty. During one of his escapes he is chased by Danielle for stealing her father’s horse, but she hides her face and he doesn’t see her.

Shortly after she meets the Prince again whilst in the guise of a courtier and attracted by her passion for what is right, the romance begins. Of course, obstacles are thrown in Danielle’s path, including her real identity and status, her stepsister and stepmother’s aspirations and the desire of a local wealthy landowner. The servants of course are all on Danielle’s side.

Danielle has a heart of gold, is intelligent and beautiful so how can the Crown Prince possibly resist? A nice touch is the addition of Leonardo DaVinci (Patrick Godfrey) to the story who plays a pivotal part in ultimately uniting the two lovers.

A strong supportive cast including Timothy West (the King) and Judy Parfitt (the Queen) help make this a nice little film that you can easily watch with the children.

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