Now showing at Curzon Knutsford Civic Centre, Toft Road,Knutsford,Cheshire WA16 0PE 01565 633005
- Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny
- Wild Tales
Cinderella 4 stars
Ella loses her mother and father, but inherits a vindictive stepmother Lady Tremaine and two brattish stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. Treated as a servant by her new family, who cruelly nickname her Cinderella, the plucky heroine catches the eye of dashing Prince Charming, who must pick a bride to ensure the security of the kingdom. So he throws a lavish ball where Ella makes a grand entrance with some magical help from her Fairy Godmother.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Drama, Family, Family, Fantasy, Romance
- CastDerek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgard, Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, Cate Blanchett, Sophie McShera, Lily James, Ben Chaplin, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell.
- DirectorKenneth Branagh.
- WriterChris Weitz.
- Duration113 mins
- Official sitemovies.disney.com/cinderella/
Slavishly adapted from Disney's classic 1950 animated musical, Kenneth Branagh's live action version of the fairy-tale romance doesn't skimp on the period detail. Sandy Powell's luxurious costumes, Dante Ferretti's opulent set designs and Patrick Doyle's sweeping orchestral score conjure a magical world of unerring love in which even we gasp at the gargantuan splendour of the grand ball where the prince must choose his wife.
While this Cinderella unquestionably dazzles the senses, screenwriter Chris Weitz is shackled to fond memories of the hand-drawn film and consequently, he has almost no room for flourishes of originality.
The plot arc is predetermined, the ugly stepsisters don't hack off their heels or toes to squeeze into a misplaced glass slipper, and Helena Bonham Carter's fairy godmother isn't quite as eccentric as she or we would like as she engineers the film's best set-piece with a flick of her wand.
"I don't go transforming pumpkins for just anyone!" she chirps. No, the special effects wizards do and they accomplish the pivotal sequence with aplomb. Before all of the jiggery-pokery with a pumpkin, four mice and a goose, Ella (Lily James) is consigned to the kitchen by her vindictive stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) and brattish stepsisters, Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera).
Emboldened by the dying words of her mother (Hayley Atwell) - "Have courage and be kind" - Ella tries to rise above the bullying. When the name-calling becomes too frightful, she escapes on horseback and catches the eye of the dashing Prince (Richard Madden), who must pick a bride at the behest of the dying King (Derek Jacobi).
So the Prince throws a lavish ball where Ella makes her grand entrance then disappears as the clock chimes midnight, leaving behind footwear that would surely pose a health and safety risk in any other film. "Find that girl - the forgetful one who loses her shoes!" decrees the Captain of the royal guard (Nonzo Anosie).
Cinderella will enchant a generation of girls, who dream of donning the tiara of a Disney princess. James and Madden are an attractive screen pairing, while Blanchett draws inspiration from Joan Crawford to cast a formidable shadow from beneath the brim of her character's extravagant hats.
"I do love a happy ending, don't you?" gushes one of the characters. Branagh's film certainly does, without a hint of irony. The main feature is preceded by the animated short Frozen Fever, which continues the adventures of sisters Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as they prepare for a birthday celebration.
Lovable snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and hunky Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) also return and the script includes a cute reference to the blockbusting film when ice queen Elsa sneezes and chirrups, "A cold never bothered me anyway!" A generation of men, who take to their beds at the first sniffle, would disagree.
Royal Opera Live: Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny 3 stars
Broadcast live from the Royal Opera House in London, Mark Wrigglesworth wields the conductor's baton for this performance of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's furiously impassioned operatic satire on consumerism. John Fulljames directs Christine Rice as prostitute Jenny and Kurt Streit as lumberjack Jim, who come undone in a city of gold awash with greed and debauchery.
- GenreMusical, Special
- CastAnne Sofie von Otter, Peter Hoare, Sir Willard White.
- DirectorJohn Fulljames.
- WriterKurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht.
- Official sitewww.roh.org.uk/cinemas
- Release24/03/2015 (selected cinemas)
Wild Tales 4 stars
A compendium of six short black comedies linked by themes of revenge and betrayal. The scenarios include an ill-fated domestic flight, a diner meal that one customer will never forget, an unfortunate case of road rage on a deserted highway, a battle of wits between a demolition expert and a car tow firm, a hit and run that becomes a diabolical blame game, and a joyous wedding reception that descends into chaos when the emotionally volatile bride discovers that her new husband has been cheating on her with one of the guests.
- GenreComedy, Drama, Romance, Thriller, World
- CastRicardo Darin, Rita Cortese, Nancy Duplaa, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Dario Grandinetti.
- DirectorDamian Szifron.
- WriterDamian Szifron.
- Duration122 mins
- Official site
- Release27/03/2015 (selected cinemas)
Damian Szifron directs this delicious Argentinian black comedy, which was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards. The characters in each of the six short stories are unrelated but they are all linked by themes of revenge and betrayal. These scenarios include an ill-fated domestic flight, a diner meal that one customer will never forget, an unfortunate case of road rage on a deserted highway, a battle of wits between a demolition expert and a car tow firm, a hit and run that becomes a diabolical blame game, and a joyous wedding reception that descends into chaos when the emotionally volatile bride discovers that her new husband has been cheating on her with one of the guests.