Saturday, March 14, 2015

She had me at "Young Victoria"! (A review of the 2015 Disney Cinderella)

Let me just say, that I adored Sandy Powell's work before "Young Victoria," but I loved her after that, so many outstanding costumes from that film, that it is hard to pick a favorite.  Now, however, after seeing the new "Cinderella," I must pledge my undying costume devotion to her!  The trailers and stills cannot convey how magical the film and costumes are. 

A whole new generation of little girls, will now believe in fairy godmothers and "happily ever after."

I do not think this a bad thing, if we women believe strongly enough, we can make it happen, as they say in the film, "with courage and kindness."

All involved in the film deserve praise, from the adorable Lilly James, to the CGI mice, Kenneth Branagh's direction, and indeed Disney for all the magic and not stinting on this production. 

We went, my daughter, myself and my mother to see the film this evening and even her sweet fiancĂ© came, (I'm sure he was a bit bored being his idea of viewing pleasure involves the "Packers" and beer.)  It was in celebration of her 25th birthday and we went out to dinner after where part of her presents included the Cinderella doll in her wedding gown, and the fairy godmother doll.  The reason I chose her wedding gown is my daughter is getting married in May.  Funnily enough she chose pastel colors of lavender, pink, blue and white 2 years ago.  The very color scheme for the film.  I am sure this film wedding will be more copied than the recent British royal wedding gowns.  And God bless Sandy Powell for putting her in a gown with sleeves.  I am so thankful that the tyranny of the strapless gown is ending!  My personal opinion is that it is incredible that a style that looks well on so very few women, could have dominated the wedding world for so long.  No more wedding videos of the bride hiking up her bodice!  (Pet peeve aired and taken for walk, moving along now!)

The centerpiece of the film is naturally the blue ball gown.  When Cinderella transforms you feel as if it is you the magic is happening to, and when the final reveal happens, you want to applaud, a costumers masterpiece!  If she never designs another thing, she could still live a happy woman and her name should be inscribed in the costumers hall of fame!  The gown lives and is magic and fits the actress, sets, dance and story so well and is fresh and lovely, such a challenge for such an old and many costumed tale. 

The other costumes are wonderful as well, the men, loved the cavalry capes with heraldry, the Step-mother, millinery genius, that Cate Blanchett carries off to perfection.  The wonderful, wacky stepsisters, almost burlesque 1830 and 1950 dresses.  You can tell that Helena Bonham Carter was having fun as the fairy, I can't imagine anyone doing a better job of making that white confection look as if it were all in a day's work. 

It was so delightful to see little girls in Cinderella costumes lining up to see the film with their mommies and daddies, and even little boys.  One never knows, if there is a budding male designer who could be inspired by this film. 

So to wrap up, the film is a delight, magic from beginning to end.  I curtsey, (ever so gracefully and swirl my imaginary silken skirts), to Sandy Powell, a queen among costumers!