Disney sadly continues their latest money grab of releasing live action versions of their beloved animated classics.
Let’s face it. If you have a young daughter, and/or you personally love Disney, you WILL go see this film. It’s basic economics for Disney. Create a new or live action version of an existing classic, and the fans will line up obediently, especially if it has at least one recognizable cast member. “Maleficent” is the perfect example. (So if you liked that film,might as well stop reading now and go see “Cinderella”)
First, the good. The film is beautiful. There is an attention to detail and choices of color palettes that is rarely seen. Bright colors pop against drab backgrounds that are packed with interesting elements giving each shot impressive depth. The various costumes are also incredibly interesting and diverse. They are sure to gain the Academy’s attention next year.
Casting Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother is another inspired choice. She relishes her role, and after a wonderful entrance dominates every scene she is in. Her performance provides subtext to her character that the dialog she is given fails to deliver.
Really, that is where the film fails, the script. Although it has moments of sharpness, it is painfully bland. Besides a little bit of backstory at the beginning of the film, there is nothing new. Events unfold exactly like they have for the past 65 years. Most of the humor falls flat, perhaps appealing to young children, the very ones who might be bored with the rest of the film.
There’s a certain demographic who will love this film. They’re others who will be bored out of their skulls. Fortunately, the new short “Frozen Fever” that precedes the movie is almost worth the ticket price on its own.