ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Cinderella (2015)

Updated on December 22, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Film reviews from across the cinematic landscape. Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 2015, Kenneth Branagh released Cinderella, based on the 1697 fairy tale, Cendrillon by Charles Perrault. StarringLily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgard, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, Sophie McShera, Sophie Mcshera, Hayley Atwell, and Helena Bonham Carter the film grossed $543.5 million at the box office.


Born to wealthy parents on a beautiful estate, Ella’s mother dies after making her promise to always have courage and be kind. Years later, her father marries Lady Tremaine, but goes abroad on business and dies as well. Desperate for money, Tremaine dismisses the servants and forces Ella to do all the work. However, everything changes once she meets an apprentice while riding in the forest…


Though there are some notable divergences, Cinderella is not too different from the tale it's adapted from. The film’s story is essentially the same plot to the Cinderella that audiences all know and love. Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters but thanks to some magic, she’s able to go to a royal ball, meet her prince, fall in love and get separated only for him to find her by using the shoe she left behind. Still, the similarities only go so far in this film as both Cinderella and the prince have to work to get their happy ending. The prince is also given the name of Kit. There’s also how Cinderella has to overcome the sadism of her stepmother and find a way to make it known that she’s who the prince is searching for and at the same time, Kit has to convince his court that his choice of true love over taking political ties is the right way to go. When his grand duke, who’s an antagonist in this film, tries to pull a fast one and attempt to make the arranged marriage go through, he uses what power he has to force the grand duke carry out his orders. It shows that the two of them want and love each other so much that they’ll both go through hell and back to get each other, rather than just Cinderella overcoming adversity.

Those aren’t the only changes either as Cinderella and Kit first meet in the woods, which is a fascinating idea. It helps establish a connection early on rather than the love at first sight trope when she goes to the ball and he just spends all night dancing with her. Having them meet prior, liking each other and spending all night with each other makes it feel more natural.

Jacque is now also Jacqueline and Cinderella doesn’t always take the abuse as stoically as possible. Here, she’s shown to be clearly affected by the mistreatment, but tries to make the best of her situation. What this does is make her seem more human and relatable. Further, right before she meets the fairy Godmother, she essentially gives up on being positive. This is also pretty realistic as anyone taking that much abuse would do so. Cinderella’s not perfect and the audience doesn’t expect her to be.

Speaking of the fairy Godmother, interestingly in this film, she’s played by Bonham-Carter in an uncharacteristically benevolent role. She's given an intriguing interpretation in that while she has a lot of the wisdom of the original, It plays out as if she's wise, but also ditzy with not everything she does being perfect. This can be seen when she transforms the pumpkin in the greenhouse.

This film presents a lot of the backstory that the original animated film never touched on too. It shows just what happened to her mother and why her father isn’t around. All this is interesting because it gives audiences a way to see and understand how the main plot arrived to when Cinderella is supposed to be Tremaine’s stepdaughter, but made to do all the chores around the house. In addition, it attempts to give Tremaine a Freudian excuse as to why she’s evil, but unfortunately, it doesn’t go far enough and feels tacked on.

4 stars for Cinderella (2015)

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinions.

Awards won

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best Fantasy Film

Capri Awards

  • Best Costume

Heartland Film Awards

  • Truly Moving Picture Award

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

  • Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling - Feature Motion Picture

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Awards

  • Best Family Film

Online Film & Television Association Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Women Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Mommie Dearest Worst Screen Mom of the Year Award (Cate Blanchett)

Nominated for

Academy Awards

  • Best Achievement in Costume Design

BAFTA Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Art Directors Guild Awards

  • Excellence in Production Design - Fantasy Film

Awards Circuit Community Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Central Ohio Film Critics Association

  • Actor of the Year (Cate Blanchett)

Costume Designers Guild Awards

  • Excellence in Fantasy Film

Empire Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Gold Derby Awards

  • Costume Design

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

  • Best Period and/or Character Makeup - Feature Motion Picture

Hollywood Music in Media Awards

  • Best Original Score - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film

International Film Music Critics Awards

  • Film Score of the Year
  • Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film

Italian Online Movie Awards

  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Costume Design

Kids' Choice Blimp Awards

  • Favorite Movie Actress (Lily James)
  • Favorite Movie

London Critics Circle Film Awards

  • Technical Achievement of the Year

People's Choice Awards

  • Favorite Family Movie

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Costume Design

Satellite Awards

  • Best Art Direction & Production Design
  • Best Costume Design

Seattle Film Critics Awards

  • Best Costume Design

St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Art Direction

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Lily James)

Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Production Design

World Soundtrack Awards

  • Best Original Film Score of the Year


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)