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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Cinderella Herstory
by Betty Jo Tucker

You would think the world didn’t need another Cinderella movie. After all, Disney released three animated films about this popular Grimm Brothers fairy tale as well as a live-action Cinderella. And 20th Century Fox gave us Ever After, my favorite starring Drew Barrymore as Ella and Angelica Huston as the wicked stepmother. I even got to meet Huston at a film festival -- and bungled it by imitating (right in front of the star!) her reluctant curtsy to Cinderella in that entertaining version. But I digress.

Now Amazon Studios presents an entirely new live-action Cinderella starring popular singer Camila Cabella. It’s a musical comedy, which suits the energetic Cabella in her first acting role. Although most of the standard fairy tale people and creatures are still here, Cinderella is a strong young lady who has her own plans and vows to overcome all obstacles in the way. And, oh yes, instead of a fairy godmother, she has a “Fabulous Godmutha” played fabulously by Billy Porter. Plus, there’s scene after scene of great singing and dancing to move the story along. .         

Another Cinderella? Yes!

But I love it, I must confess.

A musical with lots of fun.

Any complaints? No, I have none.


Our leading lady needs no Prince.

Basement life doesn’t make her wince.

She makes dresses and wants to sell.

A business woman time will tell.


But, oh that handsome Prince is nice!

He loves her never mind the price.

What can they do to work things out?

They have to, fans, so we can shout.    


Humor and music through it all.

And don’t worry, there’s quite a Ball.

Colorful costumes fill the screen

    Plus robust dancing is so keen.     .


Stand-out performances you’ll see.

It’s Cinderella herstory.

Those stand-out performances include: Nicholas Galitzine as the Prince, Idina Menzel as the stepmother, plus the aforementioned Cabella and Porter. Galitzine and Cabella project excellent chemistry together, especially in the “Perfectdance number at the Royal Ball. Galitzine wows us with his singing, especially in the “Somebody to Love” number. Cabella warbles and dances like a trouper while making us believe in Cinderella’s persistence and confidence. Menzel tones down the “wicked” stepmom a bit without losing all of that character’s malice. And Porter?  You’ll just have to see this fun movie to find out how show stopping he is.

Written and directed with a sense of humor by Kay Cannon, Cinderella 2021 ends up being a surprising treat for the whole family.               

(Released by Amazon Prime and rated “PG” by MPAA.)

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