In Kenneth Branagh’s delightful live-action adaptation of Disney’s beloved animated feature Cinderella, the titular princess-to-be is no pushover. While Branagh takes a classic approach to the material, he also makes slight alterations to the story and the characters, putting Cinderella and the Prince (Richard Madden) on even footing and giving Cinderella (Lily James) the strength of kindness. While she still serves her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, she does so not through hopelessness, but because she believes in kindness in all circumstances. It’s a beautiful message, and just the light touch needed to modernize the story. Cinderella also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard, Nonso Anozie, Holliday Granger and Hayley Atwell, and opens in theaters March 13th.
At a recent Los Angeles press day, I had the opportunity to sit down with director Kenneth Branagh for an exclusive video interview. He talked about bringing something new to a story everybody knows, why people connect with Cinderella, updating the love story between Cinderella and Prince Charming, immersing the audience in a trip to the ball, and if he has any plans to do another cinematic Shakespeare adaptation.