Entertainment·FILM REVIEW

Cinderella's 'star-making performance' from Lily James

Disney's live-action update of Cinderella sweeps into theatres this weekend tempting audiences with enchanting remake of the 1950 animated classic.

The prince and princess rescue each other in Disney's live-action remake

Disney's live-action remake of Cinderella 'a fairy tale throwback with a fresh coat of paint, ' says CBC film critic Eli Glasner. 3:08

Cinderella sweeps into Canadian theatres this weekend tempting audiences with an enchanting update to Disney's beloved 1950 animated classic.

The live-action reboot, directed by Thor's Kenneth Branagh, stars British actress Lily James as the kindhearted, but badly abused title character.

As the old story goes, Ella is forced into servitude after her mother, and then her father, dies — leaving her to the cruel whims of her wicked stepmother and spoiled stepsisters.

James, who is best known for playing Lady Rose MacClare on the hit TV drama Downton Abbey, turns in "a star-making performance," says CBC film critic Eli Glasner, by giving the formerly 2- dimensional cartoon character "an emotional weight". 

Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett stars as Cinderella's wicked but misunderstood stepmother in Disney's live-action adaptation of the 1950 classic. (Walt Disney Pictures)
"But nothing compares to the catty
Cate Blanchett as the stepmother," says Glasner. The Oscar-winning actress shines as the "widow who covers her pain with haute couture frocks and a smile that cuts deep." 

Helena Bonham Carter appears as Cinderella's fabled guardian, the Fairy Godmother, and Game of Throne's Richard Maddan plays the dashing Prince Charming.

But fans of the original will find the central love story is refreshed with a more equal ending.

"What makes this story that much sweeter is the prince and princess rescue each other." says Glasner.

"That's a fairy tale facelift this film critic and father can live with."

Cinderella opens in theatres Friday.

Watch Eli's full review in the video above.