Cinderella, rated PG

Starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi

Austin Family critical rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is the ideal film for families in release right now. The film succeeds where other Disney “re-imaginings” of their classic movies have failed, because Branagh is smart enough to not darken the material for a “gritty reboot,” as is much too often the tradition these days. This Cinderella is a faithful adaptation and all the more enjoyable for it.

The two standouts are Cate Blanchett, who gives a towering performance as the evil Stepmother, and Sandy Powell’s tremendous costumes (not to mention the production design by frequent Scorsese collaborator Dante Ferretti). Cinderella is recommended viewing for all ages.

Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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