Ever After

9 out of 10


Utterly Enchanting Fairytale

For one of the oldest stories in the World, this version of Cinderella is stunningly fresh. Unlike the legend, every effort has been made to turn this into a credible story where everything is feasible. One such aspect is the fairy godmother who is replaced by a visiting Leonardo Da Vinci. Yet more fundamentally, gone are the stereotypes - the whiter than white heroes and the laughable grizzled Disney-style villains, to be replaced with realistic characters with whom we can relate and their interaction is wholly understandable.

This reality is backed up by excellent casting with Drew Barrymore as Danielle (or "Cinderella") who, being short and dumpy, looks like one of us, the "girl-next-door", a Medieval peasant who deserves her Prince, whilst her "evil" stepsister is utterly ravishing and comes across as a spoilt bitch and manipulative, backstabbing phoney. Indeed, the applause in the Cinema was up to Football Stadium levels when she finally gets her well-deserved punch in the eye.

The script is also clever, witty and never fails to entertain. For instance, to free Danielle from the wine cellar whose door lock the servants cannot pick, Leonardo Da Vinci merely walks up and slips out the hinge bolts. "Genius" declare the servants to which he replies, "Yes, I`ll be remembered as the man who opened a door."

Finally, even if the film is lost on you, it`s worth seeing, for, set in the Perigorde region of France, one is left speechless at the beauty of the landscape and the numerous castles, a scale of splendour that is so absent on this side of the Atlantic.

The film closed with an overwhelming applause from the previously highly sceptical preview audience - and well deserved too!

Truly entertaining and faultless

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett