Is this post a retaliation against all the insults hurled at Cinderella? Maybe.
Cinderella (2015) is one of my favorite movies of all time, perhaps even my favorite. I grew up watching the charming animated movie as a kid and so there may be some nostalgic bias on my part, but I thought that the live action version was done perfectly. Since I don’t get to chatter about this enough in real life, I decided to make a whole blog post on it. Here are my top 4 favorite things about Cinderella (2015). (Warning: mild spoilers)
Many find fault with Cinderella’s character, but she’s an inspiration for me. I think that it was after I watched the movie that I decided to make a conscious effort to be kind to everyone. Speaking realistically, Cinderella probably should have gone for the police or something. But that’s not the point of the story. And I think when one misses the point of a story, they can misjudge certain aspects of a character. Cinderella showed an enormous inner strength, a strength that was mightier than the power that the Stepmother held over her, and in the end, it was Cinderella who was rewarded for her goodness.
It’s hard to keep your temper when you want to lash out, especially when you feel justified. It’s hard to be kind to someone you dislike. And it seems impossible to forgive someone that doesn’t even want your forgiveness. But these virtues are the stuff that heroes are made out of, the qualities that make a princess out of a peasant girl.
I’ve listened to the whole soundtrack album a dozen times. I have sheet music for several of the songs. Patrick Doyle is a favorite composer of mine and I can find no fault with how he wrote the music for the movie. The recurring Lavender’s Blue motiff. The reprise of The Stag that plays in Who is She? The soft piano solos…everything was perfectly lovely and brought the film to a whole new level.
The “I forgive you” scene.
At the end of the movie, when Cinderella is finally reunited with the prince and prepares to leave her home, she catches sight of her Stepmother watching her from the staircase. The music quiets, and Cinderella takes a breath.
“I forgive you.”
Is that my favorite scene in cinematic history? It’s definitely one of them. It’s hard enough to forgive someone who’s hurt you, even if they’re asking for your forgiveness. But the Stepmother was cruel to the end. Why? And how?There’s just so much to unpack in that scene, and I think that the whole movie deserves a lot of unpacking.
“Have courage and be kind.”
I have a sticker of that trademark phrase stuck on the back of my laptop where I can see it daily. A friend panted the quote on a piece of canvas for me, and I have it hanging on my wall above my mirror. When I’m bored, I take a pen and white the words on my fingers.
“Have courage and be kind.”
I think in the same way people misjudge Cinderella’s inner strength, they underestimate her inner courage. She stayed at the house to love her home because her parents could not. She had to face her cruel Stepmother and Stepsisters every day, waiting on them. I can’t imagine that there weren’t days when she faltered, hesitating as she came down the stairs of the attic, trying to build up the courage to face another day. But her mother’s dying words remained solidly in her heart and in her soul. Courage and kindness.
There are tons of other things that made the movie so magical: the lighting and color scheme of the settings, the costumes, the dress transformation scene, the casting…I could go on. But those are the top four things that continually draw me back to that movie.