Cinderella movie review: fifty shades of ash

MaryAnn’s quick take: A product of the Disney princess machine. Its highest ambition is to move a new line of toys. Or to evoke despair in the fairy-tale-ization of girls’ lives.
I’m “biast” (pro): I’ve enjoyed director Kenneth Branagh’s movies
I’m “biast” (con): I’m so done with princess crap
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
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This is how it begins, the fairy-tale-ization of little girls’ lives. Make sure to get ’em while they’re young, and tell ’em: You don’t need any discernible personality or interest in the world to be successful as a lady. Just “be kind,” even to the point of being a doormat; for god’s sake, don’t make waves or complain, just endure whatever abuse the world throws at you even if you could easily walk away from it. As a reward, eventually, luck and magic will combine to make your life just peachy-keen perfect. You don’t even need to do anything! Prince Charming will find you and see you for what you are, even if you’re covered in grime and working a menial job. You might have to wear some impractical shoes along the way, but isn’t that a small price to pay?

I had been clinging to a hope — one that I now see was foolish — that director Kenneth Branagh (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Thor) would find something new to say in the oft-told tale of Cinderella. (I figure screenwriter Chris Weitz was chosen for this project because he adapted The Golden Compass for the big screen, and that was about a girl, right?) Silly me. This is a product of the Disney princess machine. It is Disney princess porn. There is no room for deviation or subversion. (I guess Frozen was an anomaly. As the short that accompanies the theatrical presentation of Cinderella proves: “Frozen Fever” is a cheap, charmless cash-in that shows little of the spirit of the original film.)

Cinderella is a competently made movie. The bit with the golden coach and beautiful white horses turning back into a pumpkin and a bunch of mice at the stroke of midnight is pretty cool. Cate Blanchett looks like a Golden Age of Hollywood goddess and vamps it up amusingly as the evil stepmother. If you’re desperate for a straight-up, unironic live-action remake of a 65-year-old cartoon — though I’m not sure who is — here ya go. It might possibly keep kids quiet for a couple of hours. But the highest ambition this movie has is to move a new line of toys (which will negate the keeping-kids-quiet thing when they start screaming for a Cinderella Wedding Dress Barbie). There’s no other reason for it to exist. Unless it also aims to evoke despair in those few of us who have had enough of regressive portrayals of women.

Cinderella, a two-hour commercial for  Cate Blanchett Evil Stepmother Barbie.
Cinderella, a two-hour commercial for Cate Blanchett Evil Stepmother Barbie.

Would it have been a glass-slippered step too far to let Ella (Lily James: Fast Girls, Wrath of the Titans) display the teeniest bit of backbone in the face of endless torment from her evil stepmother (Blanchett: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, How to Train Your Dragon 2) and nasty stepsisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger: The Riot Club, Great Expectations)? It was all I could do to refrain from yelling at the screen: “Get out of there, girl! Life cannot possibly get any worse — you’re already sleeping on the floor and sharing your meals with mice. Go see a lawyer, and get back that house of your dead dad’s that you ‘cherish’ so much.” That Ella — redubbed by the cruel stepsisters as Cinderella because of the fireplace ash she is constantly covered in from trying to keep warm — “cherishes” the house that once belonged to her father (Ben Chaplin: Me and Orson Welles, The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) is, I suppose, a sop of a motivation that keeps her from running away, but why o why must she be so cheerful in the face of the vicious meanness she is treated with? Just because the only advice her long-dead mother (Hayley Atwell: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Sweeney) ever gave her was to “have courage and be kind”? I think there’s some wiggle room there. (Courage can be proactive, for one, not just reactive.)

Would it have rendered Cinderella too crafty to make it unequivocal that she knows that the handsome and intriguing “apprentice” she meets in the woods, where he is hunting, is actually the Prince (Richard Madden: A Promise, Game of Thrones)? Because if she does know, then at least it gives her a bit of an impetus to do something, anything, a reason to exert the tiniest bit of control over her own life. Actually, she doesn’t even have to know who he is: she could just want to meet him again, whoever he is, and try to make that happen. (Not that she does try that, like by hanging around in the woods on the off chance he’ll show up again.) But if she knows he’s the Prince, it gives her a motive to want to go to the ball at the palace the whole town has been invited to, even after her stepmother says she can’t. What we see, though, is a young woman with no motivation for anything she does, one who is so self-denying, so lacking in any agency whatsoever, that when her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter: The Lone Ranger, Les Misérables) shows up to magick her to the ball, and Cinderella insists on wearing the pink gown that was her mother’s (so that her mother can attend the ball with her in spirit), the fairy godmother waves her wand and changes everything about the gown, including the color, and Cinderella doesn’t say boo. She’s so incapable of asserting herself that she can’t do it even when it’s for an utterly selfless reason!

Perhaps the most insidious thing about the fairy-tale-ization of girls’ and women’s lives is that when we complain about the unrealistic expectations these sorts of stories set up, we’re accused of not seeing the magic or the romance as if that’s a bad thing. But it’s true: I don’t see magic or romance here. I see a weak girl with no hopes or ambitions for her life. I see that women who want anything — the stepmother and stepsisters — are greedy and mean. I see that an “ideal” relationship happens when a woman is self-abnegating and a man is rich and powerful. Yes, this Cinderella is an adequate retelling of a traditional story. But why are we still telling this story?


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Cinderella for its representation of girls and women.

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Jay
Jay
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 12:54pm

There’s nothing wrong with a straightforward retelling of a classic story for the new generation. Why should Disney bend over for the over-the-top feminists? Nothing but propaganda from you men-hating morons! The fact that you missed the point of the positive message of the film just proves that you are, without a doubt, a fucking moron. Therefore, you whole review is invalid. Go back to the kitchen, you tit.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jay
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:18pm

Troll of the Day! Congrats.

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:34pm

You seem to have a misunderstanding of the term “troll.”
This man is entirely serious, and I happen to agree with him. Just because someone disagrees with you and happens to be a bit blunt about it doesn’t make him a troll.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Duncan
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:36pm

Runner-up!

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:44pm

Wow. We certainly have a winner in the “Inability To Take Criticism” category.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  Duncan
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:56pm

Weird that you don’t understand this but “Go back to the kitchen, you tit” is not criticism.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:52pm

The review has been up for less than an hour, and we already have B1, B2, and O2. I’m expecting B5 any minute now.

When It Follows opens in the U.S., you can contact the Guinness book. If you include the Kingsman comments, you’re going to set a world record for the most trolls on one website. It will be great publicity for Flick Filosopher.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:17pm

The review has been up for less than an hour, and we already have B1, B2, and O2. I’m expecting B5 any minute now.

Bwahahahahaha!!! We need prizes.

Gillian Murphy-Anderson
Gillian Murphy-Anderson
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:21pm

Quit it. You’re a pseudo-intellectual windbag. You think you can go up to random commenters and suggest psychological treatment simply because their opinions differ from yours? Think again, simpleton. Show some respect to the owner of this website, leave your comments about the movie instead of attacking people, I’m sorry, Talking to you seems as appealing as playing leapfrog with unicorns.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Gillian Murphy-Anderson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:42pm

So much irony in so few words, it’s kind of impressive really.

David
David
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 6:34am

B1, B2, and O2

I don’t get this.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  David
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:24am

Some bad arguments show up so often on this website that I made a Bingo card to call attention to it.

https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2015/02/film-review-comment-bingo.html

By the end of the day, every square may be filled up.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 1:54pm

B3, B5 & O5 have been hit so many times…
and I1 and O1.

Then there’s the accusation about sock puppetry…I think that’s a version of I3.

Constable
Constable
reply to  LaSargenta
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 12:17am

Oh yeah, we’re all actually MaryAnn here. We should change our names to God, Militant Feminist, or Mouthpiece of Sauron.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Constable
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 1:02am

I think I’ll stick with LaSargenta. But, may I also offer up Metatron? It has a good pedigree.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Duncan
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:27pm

So, not a troll, just an asshole? So much better.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:42pm

You’re more knowledgeable about Internet slang than I am. Is there a term for trolls who don’t realize they’re trolls–people who genuinely believe what they’re saying but keep posting nonsensical and abusive comments? I know “imp” has been suggested. “Orc” or “ogre” would work, too.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:27pm

Not really. The term is based on two usages of the word in English already. One is the verb form “to troll”, as in a fisherman dragging bait through the water. This kind of trolling is pretty synonymous with “flame baiting”.

The second is the noun form, as in a hideous, nasty creature. That’s the one you’re describing: just an awful person with awful ideas who’s particularly loud about them.

The later type of troll will bristle at the label, and pedantically insist that only the former is a valid usage. I try to remember that it is not necessary to let the trolls (of any type) set the terms of the discussion.

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:40pm

Well, a troll typically does not post abusive comments about others. That would make them just a cyber bully or an asshole. A troll posts just to start arguments, not to be abusive. The only possible troll I see here could be the original poster, in which case she is very good. However, that would mean she doesn’t actually believe in anything she’s saying, which I doubt.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Duncan
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:46pm

Well, a troll typically does not post abusive comments about others.

HA HA… HAHAHAHA… HA HA HA HAAAAAA.

Oh, wait, are you serious? In that case, allow me to welcome you to the Internet.

Then, I’m gonna laugh some more.

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:41pm

Perhaps I wasn’t very clear. Yeah, I suppose the term troll and asshole can overlap quite a bit. However, if the comments are intentionally hurtful and use personal attacks towards someone, then they’re just an asshole. If they’re just attempting to start a flame war or an argument or something, THEN they’re a troll. The word “Troll” gets thrown around far too much these days by people who do not understand what the term actually refers to.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Duncan
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 1:44pm

It’s just a word. Like many (most?) words, it has more than one meaning, and can be applied in more than one context.

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:06pm

This is true, unfortunately. The term “internet troll” has been twisted away from its original meaning by people who don’t understand what it means and choose to apply it as an umbrella term for anyone they don’t like on the internet.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Duncan
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:14pm

I don’t think that’s “twisting”. I think that’s “working as intended”. It was always a term used to describe people you don’t like (and/or their behavior). And, I think that debating the meaning of “troll” is actually more derailing to a conversation than calling someone a “troll”.

Duncan
Duncan
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:56pm

Hmm. Debatable. But I can’t argue with that last bit.

Layne
Layne
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:37pm

Troll? It seemed to me that he was being honest and straightforward. This seemed more like your opinion on the overall story of Cinderella rather than the live action movie itself. Did you walk in expecting Cinderella to stick to values of claiming harassment if she meets a prince in the forest? Did you walk in not knowing the story, or did you walk in hating the story and thus expecting to hate the film as well. A film review should not be your opinion/worry about what little girls are learning today; this movie is simply a retelling of an age-old Disney classic. No, the story is not going to change, and no, Cinderella will not realize that the women (evil stepsisters and stepmother) in her life are more important than the Prince. Perhaps she ran to the Prince because he was the only nice person to her and reminded her of her father. Please stop preaching your feminist worries and ruining Rotten Tomatoes ratings. I there is indeed a troll in the critics section, it most certainly is you.

Bruce
Bruce
reply to  Layne
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:32pm

Another well said reply.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  Layne
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:01pm

A troll “sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory extraneous, or off-topic messages.” He called her a “fucking moron” a “moron” and “tit” without offering any actual criticism of the review. Disagreements are fine but that comment was just insults.

Tomboy
Tomboy
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Jul 04, 2015 6:52pm

*sigh* So many mean people online.

I guess you and I are in the minority by not liking Cinderella, but that’s OK. It’s OK to disagree :)

My main problem with this film is just that I found it completely boring. Nothing happens in what felt like two hours. Two wealthy strangers meet and eventually get married. I honestly just don’t find watching two people (helped along by strange magic) courting to be entertaining. Just my personal opinion, folks. Please don’t get angry :)

In the cartoon Cinderella, the king wants his son to get married because he’s desperate for babies. That was pretty humourous, but I guess Disney thought modern kids could no longer handle the “pregnancy” theme.

I’m not really sure who Cinderella is aimed at, because kids hate the kissy stuff. And actually I’m not really sure I’m morally OK with my kids watching a movie which is essentially a girl who is longing for a sexual relationship. I wish Disney would stop making their movies so sexual… It reminds me of The Return Of Jafar, when Princess Jasmine (wearing a Britney Spears style crop top of all things) sang about Aladdin, “I can’t forget about his touch…” Why put these things in a kids movie?

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Jay
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:23pm

The review ends with a question that sums up the main point, all laid out for you like a sandwich on a plate — to effectively refute MA’s argument, you just had to answer that question without resorting to ad hominem, and yet you somehow managed to botch it.

The point of this classic tale is, “be nice, work hard, dream small, keep your head down, and if you are pretty enough, eventually a powerful woman will help you catch a powerful man, at which point your story is over.”

Where is the positive message you speak of in that? “Sometimes good things happen to inoffensive, attractive people with no agency?” “Mice are people too?” Again, why is this a story we should still tell our children? Apparently, you see nothing wrong with it — okay, what do you see that is right?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  amanohyo
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:37pm

It’s not actually, in the movie. Watch it yourself and form your own opinion.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:00pm

If that’s what you’re going to do (or suggest others do), then why the fuck are you at a review site?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:03pm

It’s pathetic how attached you are to this reviewer and her “review”. You’re upset I rightly suggested someone actually judge for themselves and not be led by someone else’s opinion? Get a grip, fool.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:07pm

Yes, yes, I’m terribly attached. I hang my head in shame. Whatever. But, if you believe someone should “judge [a film] for themselves and not be led by someone else’s opinion” then, again, why are you here, one a film review site, where readers come to get someone else’s opinion, in order to be led to spend the money to see a movie? How’d you end up here in the first place? Do you spout this bit of wisdom in the comments on all film reviews you red, positive or negative? Or just the one’s you disagree with?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:12pm

Why am I here? Why is anyone that’s not the reviewer here? Because they saw the review on Rotten Tomatoes, or came across it somehow. Are you seriously asking that? I wouldn’t at all classify this as a professional review, or one that should serve as an indicator of the quality of a film and influence people whether to watch it or not. People that want to look to critics to lead them to films should look to notable critics from notable publications, like The New York Times, New York Post, Indiewire, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, the Chicago Tribune, Roger Ebert.com, etc, and those are or will be on Rotten Tomatoes soon. Metacritic will have them as well, and it also doesn’t add silly, inept fluff like this.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:17pm

So, you read reviews. But you think people shouldn’t read reviews. Interesting…

Stupid. But, interesting. Thank you for this enlightening contribution.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:19pm

“But you think people shouldn’t read reviews.”

You have serious comprehension issues. Thanks for your enlightening contributions. I’m done here.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:25pm

Do you need me to quote you? I can.

If you think everyone else can’t comprehend what you’re saying, maybe the problem isn’t everyone else.

But, hey, don’t go away mad…

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:27pm

Everyone else? You also appear to be very deluded. Dial down, get a grip, it’s only the internet.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:59pm

Have you looked at the rogerebert dot com site lately? The reviews for Chappie, 2nd Best Marigold Hotel and October Gale are pretty much in line with FlickFilosopher’s (if you were to look at the recent posts tab). It doesn’t have a review for Cinderella yet.

bronxbee
reply to  Timber56
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 4:17pm

print media is all that counts? how very old fashioned of you.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  bronxbee
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 10:29pm

And hypocritical to boot. I suspect a negative review from, say, print critic Kathi Maio would have caused the same sort of ruckus if:

1. Timber56 was aware of it.

2. it threatened this film’s all so precious freshness quality on the Rotten Tomatoes site.

bronxbee
reply to  Timber56
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 4:16pm

actually, it’s kind of pathetic how attached you are to a tale of simpleton living by patriarchal, antiquated and never validated “rules”… same ones that we’re told by the bible. women, keep your head down, be meek and humble and somehow you’ll be rewarded. even if it’s not a reward you particularly asked for or wanted.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  bronxbee
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 5:15pm

This commenter has been banned (twice). No point in replying to his comments.

Lucy Gillam
Lucy Gillam
reply to  Timber56
Thu, Oct 08, 2015 3:47pm

I have watched it, and I found it not only *as* boring as most straightforward tellings of Cinderella, but even *more* boring, because there was simply no there there. Cinderella had no character. She lacked even the under-her-breath sass of the cartoon character. Most of the *Barbie* movies have better defined princesses than this movie.

David
David
reply to  Jay
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 6:32am

“Go back to the kitchen, you tit.”

Maybe she wrote this review in a kitchen. Did you ever think about that? Dick.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:06pm

Suddenly, I want to watch Ever After again.

https://www.flickfilosopher.com/1998/08/ever-after-review.html

Or “Sapsorrow” from Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.

You can watch it here:

http://youtu.be/dSA6Fro7MSE

But buy it legally if you can. It’s worth it.

http://www.amazon.com/Sapsorrow/dp/B00AE2IT2A

Alexandra
Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:22pm

Just proves the point that you “You don’t need any discernible intelligence or interest in the art of moviemaking to be successful as a film critic.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:25pm

Please elaborate.

Alexandra
Alexandra
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:19pm

Having looked at other responses that have poured in by now, I don’t think there is much need to elaborate. You are critiquing the story, not the film. I have tickets for the opening night, so I haven’t seen the film yet, but I have read the reviews of respectable critics, who all agree that the film is spectacular, very well made, is probably headed for at least two Oscars (production design and costumes) and has excellent cast. None of which was even mentioned in your so-called “review”. All I saw in it was same old tired feminist agenda and utter contempt for the audiences who, according to you, cannot distinguish between fairytale and reality.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:28pm

Having looked at other responses that have poured in by now, I don’t think there is much need to elaborate.

So, you’re signing on to the description of a folm critic as a “man-hating moron” and “tit” possessed of a “crusty, un-penetrated cunt”?

If all those other “respectable” reviewers told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? What if they said “please”?

Alexandra
Alexandra
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:59pm

You know perfectly well that my reply in no way condoned ugly name-calling. Please do not put words in my month.

As to “respectable” film critics, yes, I will always give more weight to the opinion of a critic from Forbes or New Yorker than an agenda-pushing obscure blog runner. I may not always agree with them but I respect their experience and their credentials. It is quite telling that the only other negative review of the movie so far came from a blogger by the name “Nuke the Fridge” and it suffered from the same shortcoming as this one: it criticized the story, not the film.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:23pm

No, I don’t anything of the sort. You specificaly implied that, as a film critic, MaryAnn is stupid. You also implied that the other commenters (some of which are really ugly) had already said what you wanted to say.

Also, and I really hate playing this numbers game (especially recently), but right now, there are only 21 total reviews at RT on this, 2 of which are negative (and with a “yellow” light, this one is borderline – I’ve seen critics choose to mark this kind of review “fresh” at RT). Indicative that Cinderella (2015) will likely end up with a positive score, sure, but no consensus yet.

If, despite your opinion that all film critics are stupid, you respect critics from major publications so much more than independent film bloggers (but don’t get to used to the big names – they’re a fast dying breed), why do you come to an independent bloggers site? Just to be insulting?

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Sun, Apr 26, 2015 12:15pm

I certainly don’t think of MaryAnn as being stupid and I respect her opinion as a critic. But, some of her reviews I agree with…others I do not. She didn’t like this film and she seems to thing that the Cinderealla in this film is a weak woman with no strength waiting to be rescued by her Prince. I on the other saw a very strong woman who did as much rescuing of that Prince/King as he did of her. Cinderella inspired the Prince to have the courage to stand on his own two feet and smack down his manipulative Minister. That’s one point. Now Maryanne also says that Cinderella should have left her home and went…where exactly? Or she should have seen a lawyer. That’s good…did she have the money to pay for one? But these are details of plot and opinions can differ on what any person could do in her situation. But MaryAnne also seems to think that having courage means fighting a war with your oppressor. Cinderealla had enough courage not to become a carbon copy of her stepmother. That also took courage. She remained kind, should she have emulated the compassion of said stepmother? The point is that disagreeing with MaryAnn’s review of the film doesn’t mean that I have no repesect for her.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Mon, Apr 27, 2015 11:43am

The point is that disagreeing with MaryAnn’s review of the film doesn’t mean that I have no repesect for her.

And likewise, of course. :-)

I on the other saw a very strong woman who did as much rescuing of that Prince/King as he did of her. Cinderella inspired the Prince to have the courage to stand on his own two feet and smack down his manipulative Minister. That’s one point.

How, exactly, did she inspire him? Does she actually *do* anything or *say* anything that inspires him? Or does she just stand around looking pretty, and this “inspires” him to find her when she runs away from the ball?

Or she should have seen a lawyer. That’s good…did she have the money to pay for one?

Maybe her fairy godmother could have magicked up some money? Or a lawyer? :-)

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 4:18pm

In the scene where he is speaking to the captain of the Guard, he speaks about how she was ‘certainly very pretty but there was more to her than mere ‘prettiness’.. She had told him that it was wrong to do something wrong just because it had always been done that way. A lesson he took to heart it would seem. That scene certainly made an impression on me. We very seldom see in any film that something a woman says to a man makes such an impression.

“Maybe her fairy godmother could have magicked up some money? Or a lawyer? :-)”
Maybe the Fairy Godmother could have, or maybe her magic doesn’t work that way. It would seem from the story and the film that there were limits to what the Fairy God-Mother could and couldn’t do. The spell for the ball was finite, it had a time limit. Fat lot of good it would have done to give Ella some gold or turn the dog into a lawyer if they turned back after 6 hours. That doesn’t change the fact that after the Prince talks with Cinderella he is changed and he grows a spine. This happens in the film and I find it strange that you didn’t acknowledge it.
I’m not saying that this is a perfect film about men/women relationships by any means. I’m just saying that what I observed in the film was just as much of Cinderella rescuing the Prince as he rescuing her. I saw two people find strength and courage through meeting each other. And I stand by my comment about Cinderella’s situation. Where in the world of the film could she have run away too? Would her situation have been better or worse if she had run away?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 10:18pm

We very seldom see in any film that something a woman says to a man makes such an impression.

Actually, we see this all the time. Women are constantly making men better in movies. It’s almost the only thing women get to do: inspire and support men as they improve themselves.

Fat lot of good it would have done to give Ella some gold or turn the dog into a lawyer if they turned back after 6 hours.

I was joking about a magic lawyer. But it’s very telling which sorts of things people are willing to accept in a supposed fantasy, and which they aren’t.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 10:59pm

The Prince didn’t just pay token attention to Cinders, he sought her out because she completed him…Just as he did her. Maybe you didn’t get that vibe from the film, but I certainly did. I don’t see anyting the matter in a film that treats both chaacters evenly. And Maryanne, i am not an easy sell on something like this.

As for the magic, well I paid close attention to that bit of the film. In the Harry Potter stories there was certain things that magice couldn’t do. In Alladin there is certain magic that the Genie cannot do. In a good fantasy film magic is not the answer to everything and sure enough in this film the magic only lasts so long. I am not one to accept just anything in a fantasy film. For the world to be acceptable there has to be rules. And in this filme there is.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:23pm

Tim Robey of The Torygraph…oops, I mean The Telegraph also thought it wasn’t terribly fresh-feeling. Dare one say, Boring?

And, well, if you click on the About bit, you’ll see her CV. She runs a site, but I wouldn’t call her “an obscure blog runner”.

I have to say, too, that I don’t regard that New Yorker review as positive…I read that mag and I was chuckling most of the way through, especially at the line “Branagh has delivered a construction project so solid, so naïve, and so rigorously stripped of irony that it borders on the heroic.”

ANGELA MURRAYS
ANGELA MURRAYS
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:10am

Not to mention elongated breasts! Also, killing one’s life has nothing to do with wasting a couple of bucks in a multiplex just because you liked or dislked a film.

Don’t you think that blurting out absurd comparisons and putting words into other people’s mouths while insulting them will make people think you’re smart. You’re passing yourself off as stupid and moronic, get that through your fucking skull and ram it up your vogola you sick pig!

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Alexandra
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:38pm

Well said. This is a failure for a “film review”. Completely inept and unprofessional.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Alexandra
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:24am

I’m suspecting that “Dr. Rocketscience” is actually MaryAnn herself.

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:00am

He is. Look at the profile. He only comments on this one site, and always agrees with her.

Also, I just responded to one of her posts, and he responded right away.

Just pathetic.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:04am

Yeah, I responded to your other comment on this below (or above?). Someone else here mentioned this too, I’m also convinced they’re accounts from the same person, likely the reviewer herself.

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:10am

It is sad when one needs to defend their work by pretending to be someone who likes it.

Like above, she started by defending herself under her own name, until several people were posting negative comments. Then suddenly MaryAnn disappeared and Doc Rocket showed up.

Pathetic.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:04am

Actually, I comment on 3 or 4 discus sites, though I’ll cop to commenting here significantly more than the others.

Also, I disagree with MaryAnn so much I sometimes feel bad about it.

Also, it is interesting that three commentors, one of whom has all of 4 posts, should come up with the same idea at the same time…

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:08am

Really? I just checked your profile, and you haven’t posted to any other site in at least 16 days.

You are either MaryAnn’s pathetic alter ego, or dangerously obsessed with an obscure film review site. Either way, you’ve got to admit it’s pretty sad and pathetic.

As for several people taking note, perhaps you are just being more obvious than usual.

I picked up on it pretty quick, and checked your posting history before noticing that others were commenting on it as well.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:15am

16 days?? Why, that’s like… 2 weeks!

Oh, hey, your profile is private. Hiding something? *shifty eyes* Of course you are. I mean, only people with something to hide keep their profiles private. Just like anyone with a large number of posts to one site must be the bloggers sockpuppet. The logic is irrefutable!

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:20am

Hey, I stand corrected. On further review, I found that you posted to another site over a month ago!

If you think that anyone reading your posts, and our debate believes you are anyone but MaryAnn, or that your use of multiple accounts is anything but a pathetic joke, you have a very low opinion of the intellect of your readers.

As for my profile being private, I will go ahead and bet that yours will be very soon as well-just as soon as you figure out how to change your settings, now that you are aware of the option.

ROTFLMFAO

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:25am

Over a month ago. Wow. And you know, it was so weird when every comment system on the web went to Disqus… >.>

The funny thing is, in a couple hours, when MAJ wakes up and I’ve gone to bed (time zones – they’re a thing), and she tells us all to knock it off (actually, she might just delete this whole exchange, and rightly so – it’s pretty far off topic), you’re gonna take that as confirmation, aren’t you, you adorable little scamp you?

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:38am

Yeah, time zones.

Funny how if I scroll up there are several exchanges between MaryAnn and people rightfully blasting her pathetic opinion piece on the state of the feminist movement, where she stops posting and you immediately pick up where she left off.

Time zones? You have been posting on this one site for 12 hours, yet haven’t posted anywhere else in a month.

I’m done here. Have a good night MaryAnn.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:45am

Don’t blow the flounce.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 9:57am

I am not Dr. Rocketscience. Fuck off.

David
David
reply to  Alexandra
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 6:36am

“You are critiquing the story, not the film.”

Yeah, what does the story have to do with the film… dumbass.

Rod Ribeiro
Rod Ribeiro
reply to  Alexandra
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:02am

You are critiquing the story, not the film.

See her critic minifesto. It’s right there, before the review.

the film is spectacular, very well made(…) None of which was even mentioned in your so-called “review”.

It is mentioned. Third paragraph.

All I saw in it was same old tired feminist agenda and utter contempt for the audiences who, according to you, cannot distinguish between fairytale and reality.

The intended audience of this movie, very young girls, cannot distinguish between fairytale and reality yet. Girls should be taught to be agents in their own lives.

ketac6
ketac6
reply to  Alexandra
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:43pm

There are many versions of this story and no reason why Disney should have stuck with one they used in 1950. I rather like this suggestion from a commentator in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/feb/13/cinderella-review-kenneth-branaghs-perky-pretty-cupcake-of-a-fairytale#comment-47529625

bronxbee
reply to  Alexandra
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 4:19pm

what else is a film BUT a “story”? pretty dresses, and special effects are part of storytelling, but without the story, what the hell is the use of a film? oh, why am i wasting my time arguing with an empty head?

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:17am

I believe the massive numbers of negative comments stem from the fact that nothing in your review has any bearing on the quality of the film, the acting or direction. You simply dislike the concept of an “unironic” telling of a classic tale-one that doesn’t have a female protagonist who represents your feminist ideals.

It would be like a sad, bitter, pudgy little man reviewing a super hero movie poorly because the hero represents an unrealistic physical ideal unattainable by normal men, which is sexist and creates deep feelings of insecurity in boys… blah blah blah.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:55am

B3, but a repeated square. You’re a little late to the party with this particular chestnut.

ETA: it’s also not true. Even you are clearly more concerned with the feminist take than you are with the structure of the post. MAJ has just rattled the brain pans of a few – well, probably more than a few – anti-feminists. Ghadicon 3 and all.

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:59am

How pathetic are people who use multiple accounts to comment on discussion sites?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:01am

Exactly what I’d suspected before. That this doofus has been using multiple accounts, and I agree with what another person here said, this account could belong to the reviewer herself.

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:03am

Click on his name. Dr Rocket has never posted a comment on any other site but this one, and always in defense of the author.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:16am

Oh, look! You found a friend! Yay!

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:21am

At least he/she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else to seem to have one.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 9:57am

I am not Dr. Rocketscience. So you can fuck off, too.

ketac6
ketac6
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:29pm

It doesn’t have to be ironic, it just requires a heroine with some agency. The Grimm version has a very different story with a girl who engineers her multiple appearances at balls. Surely Disney could have done something like that? The fact that they haven’t suggest that they found the idea of a girl doing anything to influence her fate too unpleasant to show and I agree that that is a very worrying message. You can read a version of the myth here: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm021.html

Qwash
Qwash
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:02am

Wow. I’ve gotta hand it to you. Using multiple accounts, pretending to be your only defender and fan is pathetic.

But replying to criticism with a well thought out and classy “fuck off” and then deleting your own response?

Now that’s special.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Qwash
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:52am

Okay, let’s say that Dr. Rocketscience is a sock puppet. He’s not. You can see him arguing with MaryAnn on the threads about Godzilla and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and—at great length—about Quvenzhané Wallis. (He’s argued with me, too, for what it’s worth, and I’ve argued with MaryAnn quite a few times.) But let’s say he was shameless enough to create multiple accounts. That would be embarrassing, but his arguments wouldn’t be any less valid if he repeated them under more than one name. Maybe you should try actually engaging with them instead of changing the subject.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:19pm

Don’t bother. I mean, what are we gonna do, have me drink a glass of water while MAJ writes her next review? Dumbass thinks he’s clever, but he’s still a dumbass.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:28pm

I’m kinda hoping this comment gets deleted, along with yours and all the others on this topic.

Gillian Murphy-Anderson
Gillian Murphy-Anderson
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:03am

You can be a total jackass like yourself about film, but because you have a vast, pointless knowledge about femist-buoyancy, you condemn films for not living up to *those* standards. Go write for a woman’s magazine and leave film criticism to the professionals. The biggest troll here is YOU. This joke of a blog should be usurped from your cold wet, shaking hands.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 1:33pm

My favorite retelling of Cinderella is *still* Cindy, which I saw on tv in the 1970s. Great music, set in NYC…Harlem.
http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0077335/

The ball is up on Sugar Hill, if I remember rightly. I only saw it once.

Lauren
Lauren
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:06pm

There are no words to describe just how disappointed I am with this review. I had to read the review twice before I could make any sense of what was in front of me. Your job, as a professional critic, is to review the film itself and not give your opinion on how young girls will see this film. They’re children for God’s sake! Do you really think their ambitions will be to find a man to rescue them? Of course not! Young girls will be watching the film for the magic, not for some role model. As a proud feminist, wife, and a loving mother, I will have no second thoughts about taking my little girls and their friends to see this film. I used to look forward to your reviews and I apologize if this offends you, but your review is completely unprofessional.

Bruce
Bruce
reply to  Lauren
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:29pm

Well Said

Alexey Alexey
Alexey Alexey
reply to  Lauren
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:52pm

Agreed.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  Lauren
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:08pm

You don’t see any harm in only showing young girls films where they are rescued but never get to be the hero? You don’t think kids are smart enough to pick up on those themes? You don’t think children idolize princesses and want to imitate them? For real?

Lauren
Lauren
reply to  Dissonant Robot
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:17pm

It’s Cinderella for God’s sake! I genuinely don’t understand why you people are making such a big deal out of a classic fairy tale. Parent’s should teach their children the difference between fantasy and reality. I’ve taught my daughters well enough to know the difference between the two. If your child or any other child is that impressionable, then you or the parent are definitely not doing a good job at parenting.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  Lauren
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:31pm

Parents absolutely should teach the difference, but kids are constantly bombarded with media, so it’s going to leave an impression on them and shape how they view the world. Classic fairy tales are great, Cinderella is great! But it is legitimate to criticize the messages in this modern retelling. It’s possible to tell the story without presenting Cinderella as a weak character. That’s the point of the discussion, but it gets lost when people get defensive about a beloved story.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Dissonant Robot
Sun, Apr 26, 2015 12:20pm

Then what about Cinderella’s rescuing of the Prince? She inspired him to stand up for himself. Does that not count for anything?

bronxbee
reply to  Summeriris
Sun, Apr 26, 2015 5:37pm

no — because it’s just another example of a woman’s only role is to inspire a man to do something…

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  bronxbee
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 4:41pm

Cinderella simply spoke her mind about what she saw as an injustice. Is speaking out about something you think is wrong (blood sports) simply to be dismissed because it’s a woman doing the speaking out? When does doing something like that become more than ‘just inspiring the male hero’?
Is being strong enough not to descend to the level of an abusive bully ‘doing nothing’? This is something that does puzzle me, because it seems that the only response in some people’s minds to bullying is a fist in the bully’s face. Being strong enough to endure and forgive is being a doormat it seems, not a moral and compassionate human being. If bullies can only be treated with a fist to the face that doesn’t hold out much hope of turning them into decent people, does it? Might isn’t right, if it was we would all admire the Stepmother.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Summeriris
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 5:29pm

A movie about someone who chooses compassion over violence might make an interesting story. There have been great movies about Gandhi and Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr. But those people aspired to create social change. Cinderella aspires to be married to the person who creates social change.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 11:19pm

So you have to be a male icon for your words to mean anything? So when an everyday human being who just happens to be a woman says something is wrong and persuades another human being that that something is indeed wrong, it doesn’t count because she is a woman. Her words can’t reach out to the audience and be taken as words of value because she’s just a female character in a movie? Again, what is with the rank sexism here? A woman’s voice is just as valuable as a man’s, even if that man is Ghandi.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Summeriris
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 11:47pm

Wow, you’re really taking the straw man argument to a new level. You’ve built an entire village of straw men and straw women and little straw babies.

It’s astonishing. You’ve written hundreds of words on this thread today, and nothing you’ve said has the slightest connection to the arguments you’re responding to.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 8:52am

How so, you are the one who mentioned all the men? I have to say I found that rather puzzling. One reason I find it rather strange is that in the entire movie we never hear Cinderella say once that if she got married all her problems would be solved. She doesn’t go to the ball looking for a husband to come and get rid of her step family, she goes lookinh for an apprentice that she liked. I know that it’s a big crime for an independant young woman to look for a man she liked, it must be even more for a hard-working, humble young woman to do the same thing. Is it because of the work that she is doing that you are discounting Cinderella? Maybe you think doing the housework is a terrible fate for any woman? I hope not, Housework doesn’t dissapear just because we have machines now instead of maids. I’m rather glad of that, In my great grand-mother’s day, I would have been the maid and it was damn hard work.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 9:47am

Strange, I have tried very hard to actually stick to the themes of the film. I am not the one who posted that list of admittedly admirable men as a rebuttal to my points that when a woman’s voice is heard in a film, maybe we should pay attention to what it was she actually said instead of just dismissing it because she said it to ‘help the hero become a better person’. You are the one dismissing Cinderella’s voice in the film as being unimportant, not me.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:31pm

Elsewhere on the thread, I recommended Ever After and Jim Henson’s “Sapsorrow.” They’re both variations on the Cinderella story in which the main character actively tries to change her circumstances. I’d also recommend Ella Enchanted (the book, not the movie). Ella finds a way to go out and have adventures, even though she’s under a curse of obedience. She’s the person driving the story.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:41pm

But that’s different films, not this one. This film is the one we are discussing…not other ones. I could just as easily come back at you with ‘Erin Brokovitch’. There’s a Cinderella story if ever I heard one. And who do you think was driving this story if not the character of Cinderella on screen? I think what you are saying is that you wouldn’t have written or directed the film as it was made, I can understand that point of view. I just don’t understand why it is so difficult to have a civilised discussion about the good points of this film as well as it’s bad points. And it does have good points.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 10:42am

So you have to be a male icon for your words to mean anything?

It’s not that her words don’t mean anything. It’s that she’s not an interesting protagonist. It’s that she’s not an active participant in her own story.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:28pm

Well I thought she was very much an active participant in her own story and whether or not she is interesting is a personal opinion. It’s your opinion that she wasn’t interesting, I found her interesting.
You can’t have it both ways, either her words have meaning or they don’t. And that meaning has to stand independent of the effect on the hero. In this case that IMO her endurance and compassion are very much to be admired and having courage and kindness are not weak attributes. True this character isn’t going all militant on her stepmother, but you know paying back a bully with their methods is not a great way to go…IMO.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 10:21pm

When does doing something like that become more than ‘just inspiring the male hero’?

When she actually does something about it herself! Otherwise, she is just inspiring a man to do something. Is this not obvious?

The problem with Cinderella is she does not do anything, or grow, or change. She merely endures. Moral and compassionate human beings who are the protagonists of stories should actually do something.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 11:11pm

Yes, she does, she refuses to play along with the Stepmother. She stands her ground and doesn’t give in. She say NO, loud and clear. And when she went to the ball she didn’t know that the young man she met in the forest and stopped him from killing the stag was a Prince. She went to the ball to meet an apprentice…a regular guy
. Cinders wasn’t looking for a rescuer, she was looking for someone she had met and liked. I thought that a good twist on the story. Why is this being overlooked and Cinderella in this film being reduced to a gold digger?. If Cinderella had just wanted a rescuer she would have went back to the palace the next day looking for the Prince, but she didn’t.
She stayed in her family home because she wasn’t just going to relinquish it to the Step mother and her daughters. Now maybe she did value that house over her own well being…but that house was all she had left of her parents, and darn it she had a right to be there. Do you think that the stepmother wanted her there, she did everything in her power to get rid of Cinderella. But Cinderella stuck it out. I think you are ignoring the very real strength that Cinders displays in this film. OK, maybe it’s not the kind of strength you admire, but it’s still there in the film.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  bronxbee
Tue, Apr 28, 2015 11:15pm

Let’s be clear here, are you saying that when a woman inspires another person to be a better human being she is just being “a little Woman’, but when a man does it he’s being ‘The Hero’?
I’m sorry, but I think that’s being a little sexist.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 10:41am

You are completely missing the point. Bravo.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:15pm

I am trying very hard to understand your point. Are you saying that anytime a woman speaks in a film, as in this case when Cinders takes a very strong stance against blood sports and actually stops the hunt, she is only doing to make the hero a better person? She isn’t doing it because She might want it stopped…because SHE doesn’t like blood sports? That any time a woman in a film takes a stance and stops something that it doesn’t count because it’s obvious she doesn’t believe in what she is saying? She’s only doing to make ‘Her Man’ be a better person? Am I actually missing the point or could it be that the point is being badly explained to me? I don’t think I’m a stupid person who is incapable of understanding nuance, so what is your point? Is your point that in this film what the character did doesn’t count in your opinion because you have no respect for the character? If that is so then I think again you are being sexist toward her because this character doesn’t conform to how you think a woman should act. I don’t think you are sexist MaryAnn but I do think you may be being a little blinkered in this case.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:38pm

Are you saying that anytime a woman speaks in a film… she is only doing to make the hero a better person?… That any time a woman in a film takes a stance and stops something that it doesn’t count because it’s obvious she doesn’t believe in what she is saying? She’s only doing to make ‘Her Man’ be a better person?

You seem to want to keep making a strawman argument that no one here is actually saying. If you read a lot more of MaryAnn’s reviews and feminist essays and her “Where are the Women” project, you’ll see that there is NO WAY she is making the argument you think she’s making. MaryAnn’s problem is with THIS particular interpretation of Cinderella, not with “anytime a woman speaks in a film.”

The problem isn’t even really with Cinderella as a concept. Passivity and non-action don’t HAVE to be part of the character. Have you seen Ever After? That film has a wonderfully proactive version of Cinderella, and MaryAnn gave it a glowing review.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:58pm

Yes, I have seen ‘Ever After’, I have seen any number of ‘fairy-tale’ films. They are something that interests me a great deal. Mainly because fairy tales are women’s tales. They are the stories that were told by women to women and girls for centuries and were ignored by men because of that. They have their own power and yes, resonance for me as a woman. And I have followed MaryAnn’s reviews and essays for probably as long as you have. I’ll say again, some of her pieces I agree with, others I don’t. I have posted respectfully, ,please return the courtesy
But that’s by the by.. Lets go back to your post.
If I am told repeatedly that the words the Cinderella in this film speaks doesn’t count because ‘It’s simply to make her man a better person’, I have to take it on board that you are posting about this Cinderella, and I disagree. I think You are being dismissive of her role in the film and You are not actually listening to her words. This is fine, but please don’t tell me I am making a strawman argument because I read what You posted and disagreed with it. I posted a rebuttal, not a strawman argument. You are trying to dismiss My arguments by that stance and it’s not really working.
And if all you saw was passivity and non-action by the character in this film, I have to ask…how well did you pay attention?
Disagreement is not a strawman argument, and if I am misunderstanding what you and Maryann are saying…perhaps your explanations are falling short? Instead of attacking me perhaps you could discuss this civilly?

.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 1:15pm

When you tell MaryAnn, “are you saying that any time a woman speaks in a film it doesn’t count,” you are in fact fighting against a strawman argument (i.e. an argument you imagine that MaryAnn has made that in fact she never actually made).

When you tell Danielm80, “you are dismissing women’s voices because your counterexamples are men,” you are fighting against a strawman argument (i.e. an argument you imagine that Danielm80 has made that in fact he never actually made).

Disagreement is fine, but please disagree with what is actually said. When MaryAnn criticizes the Cinderella character in this film and you say “you’re saying anytime a woman speaks in a film it doesn’t count,” you are blowing up her argument to be something that it’s not. I can see how that would be understandably irritating.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 2:02pm

When a person frames something as ‘”Are you saying? ,or ‘Are you dismissing?” that is not arguing, it is asking a question and hoping the answer will provide some clarification of their points, which quite frankly are not that clear I am not arguing, I am asking. That is nothing like a ‘strawman argument’. In fact it is the exact opposite. Not everything is a confrontation or a strawman, sometimes a discussion is just that…a discussion.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 2:51pm

Asking for clarification is one thing. But I don’t see how ANYTHING MaryAnn has said here even suggests that she’s saying “anytime a woman in a film takes a stance and stops something that it doesn’t count because it’s obvious she doesn’t believe in what she is saying.” That’s just gross misrepresentation.

What’s even odder is that you say you’ve followed MaryAnn’s reviews and essays for probably as long as I have. (So, around fourteen years then.) If that’s true, then you must be very familiar with her feminist views. It should be blindingly obvious that she would never make the argument above that you speculate she’s making.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 3:28pm

Of course I am familiar with her feminist views, does that mean I can’t question a review? See there, I asked you a question. And perhaps you don’t see what I see,, but I’m not that surprised. You never will see exactly what I see because you don’t see out of my eyes. And actually I didn’t ask that question of MaryAnn, I asked it of a poster called Bronxbee. This is a discussion, not an argument. And I also believe that if I am not making much sense in my questions to MaryAnn about her views on the film, she is quite capable of answering for herself. She is not a stupid woman and has a wide knowledge of movies, themes and tropes.
If at anytime you wish to discuss the film, I will do my best to discuss it in a polite and civilised manner. Like I aid earlier, not everything has to be an argument.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 4:33pm

does that mean I can’t question a review?

Again, you are completely misunderstanding the point being made.

actually I didn’t ask that question of MaryAnn, I asked it of a poster called Bronxbee.

No, you responded to a comment by MaryAnn. And in your response, you address MaryAnn BY NAME. Please don’t misrepresent others’ comments as well as your own.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 4:47pm

My original reply was to Bronxbee, MaryAnn then posted a reply to me. Look up thread, it’s there in black and white. And what exactly is the point being made? I am asking politely, what point is being made and how am I misunderstanding it?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 5:25pm

My original reply was to Bronxbee, MaryAnn then posted a reply to me

…and then you replied back to MaryAnn, addressing her by name, and asking the question that sets up the strawman argument. Look upthread, it’s there in black and white. And regardless of who you thought you were replying to, your distortion of the argument was the same.

And what exactly is the point being made?

I already made it, several times. If you reread the comments and still don’t get it, I don’t think explaining it yet again will make it clearer to you. Goodbye.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 6:28pm

Look if you don’t know what point is being made it’s not a big deal. I frankly don’t care that much if you don’t know what the ‘point’ is. Relax, you don’t have to explain any so called point to me. And of course I addressed MaryAnn by her name. I wasn’t going to call her ‘Hey What’s Your Name.’

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 6:45pm

Okay, now I know you’re trolling.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 6:51pm

I asked you several times…politely to explain the point being made that I was missing. I am still waiting for your answer. If you don’t know, just say so. It’s not that big a deal for crying out loud. This is a discussion forum for a fantasy movie. We are not discussing the end of life as we know it. If you don’t know or feel like you can’t explain it correctly, just say so. I’m not going to think less of you. I rather doubt anyone else will either.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 7:37pm

“…But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 7:27am

OK, you don’t know what the point is. That’s not a crime and it’s not a failing. Calling me names will not clarify anything, it certainly is not putting me in my place in any way.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Summeriris
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 12:35pm

I’m going to try this one last time.

Go back and read the comments you responded to. Read your replies. In every case—almost without exception—your response has nothing to do with what the person actually said. They’re completely unrelated. You’re responding to something that, in your mind, the person might have meant to say.

That’s the point. Bluejay has made that point over and over again. So have I. So has MaryAnn.

You can continue to insist, if you like, that all of your comments were perfectly on target and we just can’t handle the truth. But if you consider the possibility that you might have misread our comments, you might understand why Bluejay, and the rest of us, are getting frustrated with you. And then you might be able to have the civil discussion you’re looking for.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 3:13pm

I think it’s time to stop engaging with Summeriris.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 5:35pm

No one has accused you of being uncivil, and no one has suggested that you can’t question other people’s views.

Here are some other things we haven’t said:

* Housework is bad.

* Inspiring other people is bad.

* An independent woman should never seek out a man she likes.

* Violence is the best way to stand up for yourself.

* Nothing a woman says in a movie is worth listening to.

If you don’t understand someone’s point of view, and you want to ask for clarification, that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. (It’s also reasonable to disagree. That’s one of the reasons this discussion board is here.) But when you misinterpret every point made in every comment on the thread, I have to conclude that either you’re doing it deliberately or you aren’t reading very carefully.

I’ve tried to respond to your comments in a civil manner, and so have the other people in this discussion. I apologize if I’ve failed. After I’ve seen the same misinterpretations show up over and over again, I get a little exasperated. I’ll try to be more patient, and I hope you can do the same.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 6:36pm

Ok then, we agree.
1. Cinderella is not weak because she does housework.
2, She is not a bad example for young girls for seeking out a young man she liked..
3. She is in fact a good example because she does inspire someone in the film and I definitely approve of her stance on blood sports..
4. Violence should be the last resort in the act of standing up for yourself.
5. Cinderella’s statements in this film are worth listening to, perhaps even being inspired by.
I’m glad that’s been cleared up.
And I too will do my best to be understanding of your points. I think you have made some good ones there.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 3:01pm

If I am told repeatedly that the words the Cinderella in this film speaks doesn’t count

Except no one is saying that. We’re saying that she fits into a tediously traditional role for women, which is to serve other people. We’re saying we are tired of this.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, May 01, 2015 8:53am

I take that onboard, but it doesn’t automatically follow that that is what happedned in this filme. Especially when it is show that in many way the heroine is emotionally stronger than the hero. Cinderella is recused from a physically bad situation by the Prince, the Prince is rescued from an emotionally bad situation by Cinderella. For me that was made quite clear. Just as Cinderella had the stepmother oppressing and manipulating her, the Prince had the Duke oppressing and manipulating him. I thought that was a very clever take on an old theme.
No film is perfect, but I don’t dismiss any film because of that. This film has it’s good points and I think that one of those good points is how Cinderella is shown to be the emotionally strongest character in the film. She never sacrifices her principles and she is the only character who does this. I think that’s something that should be acknowledged at least, even if you think those principles are not the best to have.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 2:52pm

Are you saying that anytime a woman speaks in a film, as in this case when Cinders takes a very strong stance against blood sports and actually stops the hunt, she is only doing to make the hero a better person?

No, I am not saying that.

It’s really getting difficult to see how you are NOT deliberately twisting my words to mean something they clearly don’t.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, May 01, 2015 8:34am

I can sympathise with that MaryAnn because I am getting very puzzled by what you are saying. Now maybe I am not being very clear, I’m willing to go that far so I will ask again in a different way.
I asked Bronxbee if in any film a woman speaks up about an issue and the ‘hero’ takes what she said on board, that the only reason the female character is portrayed doing that, she is doing that to make the Hero be a better person. I also asked you if the only purpose of the female character in this film (and I did mean by extension any female character in any film), it’s done to make the Hero a better person. There cannot be a case that Cinderella did it as a character who was acting on her own beliefs? You replied that I was missing the point. I ask again…What is the point that I am missing? There cannot be a case made that the character has her own beliefs and voices them? It HAS to be that she is ‘improving’ the hero and not speaking for herself and what she believes in? And if that is the case…how do you know that for sure? I’m not trying to be obtuse, I’m not trying to put you or any of your other supporters in this view in the wrong, I’m genuinely puzzled by this rigid stance that doesn’t admit that I and any other woman has grounds to feel that Cinderella speaks for herself and not to reform any other character in the film. That’s it. I’m not talking about social issues, I’m talking about story development in a film. I know that films all too often reflect very negative issues and especially about women. But does this film really do that, so you feel free to castigate and dismiss as a troll any other woman who actually feels differently about it?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Fri, May 01, 2015 9:48am

You are missing the distinction between what Cinderella herself, as a person, may believe or how she acts on her beliefs — which is NOT in contention here — and how her position in the story limits her. NO ONE is saying that Cinderella doesn’t truly believe the things she says here. NO ONE is dismissing what she says, or even disagreeing with what she says. The problem is that the story is structured so that the things she says here have NO IMPACT AT ALL except to inspire a man to become a better person.

If Cinderella is so awesome and amazing a person, why doesn’t she get to act on her amazingness? Why isn’t SHE allowed to change the world, rather than inspiring a man to do so?

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, May 01, 2015 10:28am

I get that, what I am saying is this is the position of every single film ever made and it is my contention that every single film should be judged on it’s own merits. Perhaps that is an impossible thing to do, but it’s what I do, or try to do. This film IMO shows a strong woman who does her best in a bad situation, and goodness knows her situation is bad. Frankly a film that bothered me more in this respect (and I loved it) was The Avengers. Now there was a film where the women characters were only there to make the men better..

cinderkeys
reply to  Lauren
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 9:10am

Young girls are the target audience. What’s wrong with discussing how the target audience will perceive the message, or with analyzing what that message is?

Guest
Guest
reply to  cinderkeys
Wed, Mar 18, 2015 5:24am

Because some people have better things to do than to analyze a stupid Disney movie.

ketac6
ketac6
reply to  Lauren
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:33pm

I’m very glad that you call yourself a feminist and I trust that this means you will be exposing your daughters to many many positive role models and have no limitations on your expectations of what they can achieve due to their gender. Don’t you ever wish that young girls were shown as being more dynamic and having adventures in films and books though? There still seems to be a horrible gender division in existence.

Rod Ribeiro
Rod Ribeiro
reply to  Lauren
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 6:09pm

Your job, as a professional critic, is to review the film itself

[B3!]
Which she did! Plot being the most important aspect of a film.

They’re children for God’s sake!

[B5!]
Exactly. Their critical thought is still in formation.

Do you really think their ambitions will be to find a man to rescue them? Of course not!

[O5!]
Care to elaborate? Cause it seems pretty obvious to me that if children see a behavior their entire life they tend to copy it.

Young girls will be watching the film for the magic, not for some role model.

[N5!]
That only makes it more insidious, hence the importance of reviews like MaryAnn’s.

The problematic point is: what’s the purpose of all the magic?

As a proud feminist,

[N2!]

wife, and a loving mother, I will have no second thoughts about taking my little girls and their friends to see this film.

You’re a very misguided loving mother. I mean, my girls will see it, because it’s inevitable, but I will have a Serious Talk with them about how it’s not cool waiting around for price charming. (And I’m not in the mood right now after The Lego Movie talk.)

SEXcyanip
SEXcyanip
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:07pm

This review is *so bad* it’s as if Maryenne wrote it while smoking cigarets and drugs! It’s like she didn’t even watch the fucking movie, she just looked at the trailer and doll websites. Seriously dolls? I bet this poor fuck just picked up a random cigarette on the street and smoked pot! Someone needs to find forceps to pry open this woman’s crusty old un-penetrated cunt so she can have a boson stuck in right in the center!

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  SEXcyanip
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:21pm

I beg your pardon? May I recommend you get professional help for these outbursts?

SEXcyanip
SEXcyanip
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:01pm

Perhaps YOU need some psychiatric help due to your essential presumptions and hypothetical syllogisms blatantly towards my general direction. Don’t let you mind wander – it’s far too small to be let out on its own.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  SEXcyanip
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:44pm

My non-existant syllogism — ie: my comment — was a response to what can only read as a rage-filled random outburst containing strange fantasy ad hominen imagery triggered by a review about a movie. I found it genuinely shocking in this context and do not believe stable people write that way in a discussion about art — whether or not one agrees with the critic’s point of view.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:46pm

I’m still trying to figure out whether “boson” is supposed to mean boson, or whether it’s a typo for some other word. Baton? Bison? Bath salt? Bingo board?

I feel so sheltered.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:50pm

I’m thinking graviton.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 6:22pm

MaryAnn will win a Nobel prize in film criticism and theoretical physics.

SEXcyanip
SEXcyanip
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 8:27am

You don’t like writing, do you? I can tell from your writing. You’re pretentious, you assume that uttering phrases like “genuine” and “profoundly” before your initial reactions communicates the ideals of an intellectual? Dandy for you! Unfortunately however, you’re spewing out empty arguments and spicing things up with unnecessary wordiness.

Bruce
Bruce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:28pm

Wow, from this review all I see is that your a bitter old lady who maybe shouldn’t be reviewing movies.

Alexey Alexey
Alexey Alexey
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:51pm

The movie is amazing. Saw it last week and loved it. This review is full of crap.

althea
althea
reply to  Alexey Alexey
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:20pm

At last – somebody with a simple, straightforward, no-aggression comment. Guess I should say thanks.

Charlotte
Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 2:56pm

Kind of bewildered by the accusations of being a “man-hating” feminist when your criticism of the film was the lack of agency and motivation in the female character, and men didn’t really factor into it at all. But really, I should know by now that logic always takes second place to misogynist name-calling in the comments of these people. Oh, sorry, “blunt” criticism.

Your review confirmed everything I was wondering about this film. What exactly is the point of it (other than to sell merchandise)? Maleficent I get, it’s the retelling of a classic through the perspective of the villain. It was a new story. From the trailers all this seemed to be is a live-action version of a decades old cartoon. Remakes should add something to the film it is recreating, not simply act as a 3D mirror. I think it’s kind of insulting that Disney is offering us up a reheated dish and telling us it’s fresh in.

I always find your reviews informative and very enjoyable to read, even if I don’t always share your opinion. I don’t normally comment but I was kind of amazed at the level of vitriol you received for this review and had to say something. Keep up the good work!

Lisa Marie
Lisa Marie
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:09pm

There’s nothing wrong with a straightforward retelling of the timeless story that has been beloved by those who know it. Why should there be an unnecessary plot twist to make the film dark and edgy? It was attempted with Maleficent and look at the outcome! It was nothing more than a mediocre, disjointed film that suffered too many rewrites and heavy editing. It was practically an insult to Maleficent and Walt Disney himself! I’m genuinely thrilled that Disney didn’t take that route with Cinderella. Do you think they’re willing to risk ruining their most iconic character just to satisfy these over-the-top feminists? Of course not! If Walt was alive today, I’m sure he would be proud to see his most treasured little saviour be retold to the new generation in a beautiful and charming way.

Charlotte
Charlotte
reply to  Lisa Marie
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:26pm

If the story is so timeless then why does it need retelling at all? If nothing is changed then why not re-release the cartoon version like they did with the Lion King?

Where did I say it had to be dark and edgy? Since when was wanting a protagonist to have her own dreams and desires, hell, a personality, dark and edgy? I admit, Maleficent did have a few flaws, but at least it said something new. And by making Maleficent a good guy it made it, if anything, less dark and edgy than the original.

And I really don’t think we should be looking to Walt Disney, a man with a very dubious history, for his opinion on 21st century films.

Gillian Murphy-Anderson
Gillian Murphy-Anderson
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:31pm

I am unable to decipher this comment.

1.) You mention how timeless classics are superfulous? How does 21st century contemporary films have a bearing on a classic, which would there be any disappointment in a well-made retelling? Surely an up-to-date version will arouse audiences and keep them erect throughout the running time? Why would you subject Walt Disney to such abasement, he was lightyears ahead of his time, and in that retrospect, logistically ambiguous.

Charlotte
Charlotte
reply to  Gillian Murphy-Anderson
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:48pm

I’m sorry you found my comment indecipherable,I’ll attempt to be clearer.

The reason Cinderella and other fairy tales are “timeless” is because they evolve over time. The story we know today is not the “original” (if such things can be original in an oral tradition). The original was a lot darker, the stepmother figure was actually Cinderella’s mother. The story was made more palatable to suit later audiences, making the mother the stepmother so as not harm the family ideal.

The cartoon Cinderella may have been appropriate for 1950s (American) audiences, but personally, some 65 years later, I think the story should acknowledge that audiences and their perceptions have changed.

The core of the Cinderella tale is a rags-to-riches tale. I wouldn’t suggest that gets changed or Cinderella should accuse Prince Charming of harassment or any of the other ridiculous accusations that have been leveled at a feminist critics of the story. If you haven’t seen Ever After then I suggest you do. That is a good retelling of the Cinderalla story while keeping the rags-to-riches and romantic core of the tale. It also features a protagonist who dreams of a better life for herself, and falls in love with a stranger whom she doesn’t realise is a prince, but is also a fully flesh-out character with strengths and weaknesses and hopes and fears.

Whatever else can be said about Walt Disney, I hold his opinions in no more esteem than I hold anyone else’s. He did not invent Cinderella, he merely adapted her story for film and is therefore subject to same criticism as anyone else. The world has changed since his time and I don’t think his feelings on the 21st century representation of women are particularly relevant.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:46pm

This film does feature fleshed out characters, especially the wicked stepmother. Again watch the film yourself.

Charlotte
Charlotte
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:29pm

You seem to be forgetting the point of film reviews: to help people decide whether they should part with their hard-earned cash or not. Nothing I have seen, from Mary-Ann or a number of other reviewers, has convinced me to pay money to see this film. In fact most reviewers seem to agree that while very pretty, it brings nothing new to the table.

So no, I will not watch the film myself.

I wouldn’t worry yourself though, I’m sure Disney will be crying all the way to the bank, knowing they can cash in on bringing out the same tried-and-tested formula and people will lap it up and shit on anyone who dares criticize it.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:38pm

“In fact most reviewers seem to agree that while very pretty, it brings nothing new to the table.”

If you actually read all the reviews from notable publications that have been published, and there are over a dozen, you’d know that’s not exactly the case. Like I said somewhere below, this isn’t something I’d classify as a professional review.

And bringing something new to the table, as in major twists (and this film does have some twists) or completely reinventing the story doesn’t at all guarantee a good film nor does it mean it automatically is one. Maleficent, for example, was terrible, and critics agreed.

Charlotte
Charlotte
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:49pm

Please do not make assumptions about what I have or have not “actually read”.

Just because a review comes from a major publication does not make it any more reliable or accurate than coming from an independent blogger. If you think they don’t have “agendas” as well, then you are very, very naive.

I never asked for a complete reinvention, only a reason for actually making it. Maleficent may have been terrible but at least there was a reason (other than profit, of course) for making it: to tell the story from the perspective of the villain.

How successfully a film achieves its goal varies widely, but even if it falls flat, like Maleficent, at least I don’t feel so patronised as being given repackaged old material.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Charlotte
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 1:59am

Yes it absolutely does. Anyone can be a blogger, you, me. There are tons of people on the internet blogging about movies, posting their opinions and rants on their sites, on their youtube channels. Film criticism has been diluted by the ubiquity spawned by the internet, and people now evidently think anyone with an opinion is a film critic. The likes of Roger Ebert and Paula Kael, for example, and their contemporaries and counterparts today, are certainly more reliable, not to mention knowledgable and educated in film, accomplished, and with wide respect in the industry, than any blogger. You really think some blogger is more reliable than a Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker or even Rolling Stone critic?

Maleficent may have been terrible but at least there was a reason for making it? Did you hear yourself? ‘Reason’ for making a film is the silliest pretense to like or dislike a film, certainly one you haven’t watched. Who cares what the reason for making Maleficent was (for a studio film, never is it not profit), it was terrible regardless. That the villain was the focus did not make the film good, in fact their treatment of the villain was a large part of why its bad. And if the studio’s ‘reason’ is that’s important to you, you can only ‘determine’ the reason for making it by watching a film yourself. There’s nothing to discuss, clearly, with someone who refuses to watch what they’re keen on critiquing. I’d be glad to discuss something with someone who is actually knowledgeable about what they’re discussing, otherwise it is a futile exercise. Godspeed.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 10:28pm

“most reviewers seem to agree that while very pretty, it brings nothing new to the table.”

If you’d actually read all the reviews from notable publications – there are more than a dozen now – you’d know that’s not exactly the case. It’s fine if you have no interest in watching a particular film, what’s not fine is when people don’t have the character and intelligence to form their own opinions based on their own exploration of something and their own intellect as opposed to basing their view on someone else’s. You and I are not the reviewer. You do not experience or view things the exact same way as everyone else. What they dislike you might like, and vice versa. I understand an entire critical consensus influencing someone’s decision to watch something (it sometimes does mine too), but to base one’s taste and actions off one person’s opinion, and a prejudiced one at that, is pitiful.

bronxbee
reply to  Charlotte
Thu, Mar 12, 2015 4:17pm

and not only did he “adapt” the story, he changed many aspects of it — to make it lighter, happier… and i don’t recall any sewing mice in the original. (which now has been shown to go back to egyptian times…)

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Lisa Marie
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:39pm

There’s nothing wrong with a straightforward retelling of the timeless story that has been beloved by those who know it.

Nothing wrong, but nothing inherently laudable. If you’re not seeking some new perspective, what’s the point of remaking a film, other than to sell something (tickets, toys, whatever).

Do you think they’re willing to risk ruining their most iconic character just to satisfy these over-the-top feminists?

What’s art without risk? Besides, aren’t they risking just boring the potential audience by not offering anything actually worth seeing?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Charlotte
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:41pm

Maleficent was absolute, watered down crap, and received bad reviews from critics. I suggest you actually watch the film yourself and form your own opinions. The film is not a rehash of the animated film in actuality, unlike what this reviewer wants you to believe.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:21pm

Not sure where all the hater are coming from but the review was both fair, informative and amusing. I guess people get defensive when it comes to the “classics”…

Disney made some pretty huge changes to the original fairy tales, so there’s so reason they couldn’t change them again to fit with the times. Why not? Reinvent the story for a new generation and you could have another Frozen. Instead it sounds like it’s just more of the same…which for many people I suppose is enough.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Dissonant Robot
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:42pm

I’m actually concerned MAJ ended up on some MRA subreddit/troll-den’s “hit list”. I’m sure they’ll eventually get bored, but it’s likely to be an unpleasant few weeks/months of having Lewis’s Law confirmed over and over again until that happens.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:38pm

Don’t be concerned. It goes with the territory. Annoying, but, hey, it’s the soup we swim in.

If you have time, why don’t you write a script for MAJ that would replace text with http://powdertoy.co.uk/Discussions/Thread/View.html?Thread=16570&PageNum=0#Message=239345 if she clicked a button that can be integrated into the comment frame?

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:08pm

Hmmmmm… an automatic kittening tool? In Disqus. I’m gathering that Disqus isn’t easy to mod, but it might be doable. I’ll have to do some research. Would be more constructive than my usual troll poking, which doesn’t seem to help much.

Wait, that’s your point isn’t? Clever woman. :D

Smokeygrl
Smokeygrl
reply to  Dissonant Robot
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 7:43am

I think one can disagree with the review, find it neither fair, informative or amusing, and still not be a “hater”

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Smokeygrl
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:32pm

Yup, but, for some bizarre reason, this doesn’t seem to be possible for a very large number of posts made on this thread. (I am not saying people who post because some of the posts under separate names seem to have very similar writing styles.)

I’m a regular at this site and there have been plenty of times I’ve disagreed with the Host; in this case, I completely agree, especially when it comes to the issue of pointlessness. Actually, on the topic of pointlessness…which has come up a few times before on this site…here’s a linkie to a thread put up in frustration at all the remakes: https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2012/05/question-of-the-day-what-pointless-remake-of-an-old-film-good-bad-or-meh-can-we-expect-hollywood-to-foist-on-us-next.html

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  Smokeygrl
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:54pm

Oh, for sure. I was just referring to the people who were only leaving angry insults that showed up when the review was first published.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:47pm

The “original” Cinderella from Perrault was pretty brutal. One of the ugly stepsisters cut off part of her foot to fit the glass slipper and, when they were found out (because blood was dripping all over the floor), the stepsisters and, I think, the stepmother, were put into a barrel with nails poking into it and rolled down a slope into a river.

Not sure how this would fit into some commenters’ ideas of this as a sweet story.

SEXcyanip
SEXcyanip
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 3:52pm

Actually, the original Cinderella was set in a forest, after multiple advances from the prince, she takes a pair of scissors and severs her clitoris while masturbating. She disrobes the prince, mounts him, and then unexpectedly crushes his testicles
with a china doll. While he is unconscious from the pain, she goes on
to masturbate him until he orgasms, ejaculating blood. Then, to prevent
him from leaving, she drills a hole through his leg and bolts a heavy hammer through the wound

Tim Tran
Tim Tran
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:20pm

thats Grimm….and Disney already did that with Into the Woods.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Tim Tran
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:46pm

Hmm. I thought their version was the sisters getting their eyes pecked out by crows. Now its going to bother me where that version is from. Maybe it was the one in The Wonder Clock.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 11:16pm

You’re probably thinking of the Grimm brothers’ version, as Tim suggested. The text is here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19068/19068-h/19068-h.htm#illus-135

The Perrault version is here:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/perrault06.html

It ends like this:

Moral: Beauty in a woman is a rare treasure that will always be admired. Graciousness, however, is priceless and of even greater value. This is what Cinderella’s godmother gave to her when she taught her to behave like a queen. Young women, in the winning of a heart, graciousness is more important than a beautiful hairdo. It is a true gift of the fairies. Without it nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.

Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother.

Tim Tran
Tim Tran
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:08am

actually, thats also Grimm….

after they cut off their toes and heels to fit in the shoe and failed, Cinderella went with the prince while Cindy’s bird friends pecked out their eyes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JATvw7l8U3k

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Tim Tran
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 1:32am

Yes, that’s what I wrote…the birds pecking at the eyes was Grimm. It is bugging me where I read the version they were put into a spiked on the inside barrel and rolled into the sea or a river.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 4:05am
LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 12:35pm

Hell, they’re all blending in.

>.<

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:39pm

Jeez, wonder what would have happened if you’d actually red lighted it?

Hes Man
Hes Man
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 4:54pm

I totally agree with you MaryAnn, from the trailers I could tell how lifeless this iteration of Cinderella would be, Cate Blanchett also looks campy as hell. For those seeking an alternate more superior live action version seek out Ever After starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Houston.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Hes Man
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:48pm

Contrary to what most professional critics have said. Cate Blanchett received wide praise for her nuance and giving depth to the stepmother, and most critics have praised the reimagining of the story along with the production, costumes, and visuals.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:58pm

So did this review.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:00pm

Obviously you agree with the reviewer here given how many comments you’ve been defending her and the review, but no.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:02pm

That’s as may be, but still, yes.

J.T. Dawgzone
J.T. Dawgzone
reply to  Timber56
Fri, Jul 24, 2015 10:44pm

What’s your point? That all critics should agree with one another?

SirPounce
SirPounce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:02pm

This review seems trollish. Obviously, its going to attract people who see it on rotten tomatoes who disagree. Not saying the criticisms about instilling princess ideals aren’t logical, but the tone of the reviewer seems to imply “take your best shot” which is, well, very troll-like. There are no legitimate discussions of the acting, cinematography, art-direction…etc. The only thing discussed is the story which has been around for ages and the reviewers contempt for it. As the father of a daughter, I know its all about balance. Indulge the princess fantasy, but also dial it back in with things about nature or history (like dinosaurs, archaeology, etc). For most parents, this film represents an opportunity to get out of the house for a few hours on a rainy weekend – not the ultimate force that will shape a daughter’s identity.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  SirPounce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:38pm

Or, alternatively, it’s an honest description of how she responded to this film, and is consistent with everything she usually says about the interactions of film and culture.

Also, and contrary to the beliefs of a number of movie review trolls, there s no official template of requirements for a film review.

SirPounce
SirPounce
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:51pm

That’s fine that the review, in context, makes sense – the reviewer has an agenda and consequentially, that will seep into her biases – which, to her credit, she admits and is very clear about. BUT…if you are going to actually call a piece a review, I believe it should at least discuss all aspects of the film and at least give credit where credit is due, if apparent. Absent of that, the work becomes more of an essay with a clear thesis as opposed to actual review. No qualms about her honesty and totally things I think about as I raise my own daughters (yes, princess stuff doesn’t set the greatest precedent for development). My issue more of her tone which I think begs for the lowest dredges of troll to use it as an easy target. That is what ultimately takes a thoughtful premise and point of view and devolves it into the worst of what the internet has to offer.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  SirPounce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:59pm

I’m sorry, but you still seem to be operating under the belief that there is a standard format for a film review. Perhaps a checklist of some kind? I’m going to have to ask for a citation on your source here.

Also to quote the (in your mind) not-review:

Cinderella is a competently made movie. The bit with the golden coach and beautiful white horses turning back into a pumpkin and a bunch of mice at the stroke of midnight is pretty cool. Cate Blanchett looks like a Golden Age of Hollywood goddess and vamps it up amusingly as the evil stepmother. If you’re desperate for a straight-up, unironic live-action remake of a 65-year-old cartoon — though I’m not sure who is — here ya go.

And there you go. Commentary on acting, cinematography, and art direction. So what is it you’re missing?

SirPounce
SirPounce
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:54pm

From Wiki-how: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Movie-Review

and moviefilmreview.com: http://www.moviefilmreview.com/ht

I’ll agree it may be tough to define difference between a review and essay, but I know a diatribe when I see one

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  SirPounce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 11:13pm

OMG! Someone actually made a list??

Well, I concede the point (on whether or not there is a list). However, and I don’t mean to direct this at you, that is the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a while. That’s right up there with that asinine poem rating system Robin Williams’s character shits on in Dead Poets Society (“I like Byron, I give him an 80, but you can’t dance to him”).

Look, my point here is, it doesn’t matter if you “know a diatribe when [you] see one”. (I’m guessing you know porn when you see it, too?) You’re here, not telling her that her analysis of the themes and plot are wrong, but rather that she didn’t write you want her to write, and therefore she’s wrong. That just doesn’t follow. You’re also tone policing her piece, for whatever reason. And you’re doing so in a factually incorrect way to boot.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:33am

“she didn’t write you want her to write, and therefore she’s wrong.”

You realize that applies to you and the other two who always up-vote your posts? (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the reviewer has multiple accounts)
You’re biased against this film and are for some reason personally attached to the review and/or the reviewer, therefore you’ve a dogged determination to jump on anyone disagreeing or critiquing the review.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:25am

biast*

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:39am

Also, playing the “I know you are but what am I” card still counts even if you do it on someone else’s behalf.

Also too, try to find the mistake in your post, you who is so into the reading comprehension of others.

Dissonant Robot
Dissonant Robot
reply to  SirPounce
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:16pm

I think there’s a big problem with labeling anything aggressively critical as “trolling.” It’s an easy way to dismiss legitimate concerns by simply saying, “Oh, ignore them, they’re just trying to get a reaction.”

Also, just because most parents won’t be thinking about these issues, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Media makes an impression on kids, especially when accompanied by massive marketing campaigns. You never know what’s going to stick with a child, there are movies I saw when I was young that absolutely shaped who I am today.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 5:59pm

I think it’s hilarious that MaryAnn is being attacked for making the same criticisms of Cinderella that Robert Fulghum (the guy who wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”) made decades ago.
https://books.google.com/books?id=IFx3gLpeXdEC&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=robert+fulghum+cinderella&source=bl&ots=Nl-0L-H-Tf&sig=ZkPae5gEuZxV4I5nzcQJry2Z_EU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Rtz9VNW_BMiwsAS9zoGoCg&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=robert%20fulghum%20cinderella&f=false

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 10:38pm

Cinderella and other fairy tale characters have been fair game for critics for some time. Indeed, even Walt Disney Studios took a turn at making fun of the Cinderella legend with their movie Enchanted back in 2007.

I guess it says something about MaryAnn’s skill as a writer that she still managed to hit a nerve with such a subject.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 7:20pm

Cinderella, a two-hour commercial for Cate Blanchett Evil Stepmother Barbie.

In fairness, that doll is an amazing likeness of Cate Blanchett. Especially for a $25 Mattel product.

Tim Tran
Tim Tran
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:22pm

“Get out of there, girl! Life cannot possibly get any worse — you’re already sleeping on the floor and sharing your meals with mice. Go see a lawyer, and get back that house of your dead dad’s that you ‘cherish’ so much.”

sorry, but this doesnt make sense to me. you’re aware that Cinderella is a woman, in the 19th century, in a monarch European country? Where women cannot do any of the things you mentioned?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Tim Tran
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 8:52pm

That notion goes over her head. She obviously has an agenda that blinds her from seeing anything beyond black and white.

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:11pm

*cue irony meter explosions*

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  amanohyo
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:14pm

*Cue comprehension incompetence*

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:27pm

*cue “I know you are, but what am I” – and not the last time you’ll play that card*

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:30pm

You’re pathetic. You’re almost pathologically attached to this and shutting down anyone who disagrees with it.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:34pm

Hey, it’s a stressful day at work. Mostly, I’m having (perhaps too much) fun poking stupid in the eye.

I mean, “shutting down”? Seriously?

But if it makes you feel better, I’ve got some stuff I’m gonna need to do, so I won’t be around for a few hours to hurt your feelings with my pathetic pathology or whatever.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:40pm

You’re right, more like trying hard to shut down.

Don’t beat yourself up kid. Go take a breather.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:50pm

You’re right, more like trying hard to shut down. I love how you’re imitating the manner in which I’ve responded to you before.

Go take a breather kid.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 10:08am

You’re gone.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Tim Tran
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 10:08am

You do realize that this is a movie in which magic exists, and somehow the evil stepmother dresses in 1940s fashions even though it’s not the 1940s?

Fantasy! You’re soaking in it.

kiettran98
kiettran98
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:17pm

im rather tired of this stupid excuse that ‘its a fairy tale and it has magic so obviously everything should exist’.
lets also criticize how Mulan doesnt have internet connection so she couldnt contact people to warn about the Huns, or how she didnt have a camera to prove theyre still alive…..
total BS.
ITS CALLED A FAIRY TALE, tales of moralities, romance, adventure. Not some real-life nonfiction.
and did you not pay enough attention to the film to know that the entire kingdom is patriarchal and ruled by monarchy, where the stepmother had to pay for debt and couldnt becoz her man died? why didnt she go to work and pay them herself? well, obvioudly, based on your knowledge, there’s woman’s rights in that kingdom, where people are not discriminated by their sex right?
your logic baffles me.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  kiettran98
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 5:22pm

So, you’re totally okay with a pumpkin that turns into a carriage, but a woman who stands up for herself just the teensiest, tiniest bit is a fantasy too far?

*facepalm*

Tonio Kruger
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 10:40pm

Hey, if there’s one thing the American Founding Fathers stood for, it was the principle that one should not bother trying to change things when you can sit around and hope for someone else to help you. ;-)

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 9:59am

Then isn’t it a good thing that Cinderella had the courage to go out to the King (at that point) in all her rags and say ‘This is me, for better or worse.’ ?Isn’t it a good thing that she stood her ground with her stepmother and told her she could take her offer and shove it where the sun didn’t shine?

What kind of actions did you want Cinderella to take at the end of the day? Did you wnat her to drop kick the Stepmother, kick the corrupt Minister between the legs and go out and tell the Prince she wasn’t going to marry him because being a Queen was not in her job description, she would rather travel the world looking for a better job that paid her better? I’m interested, tell me what she should have done in your eyes to make her worthy of your admiraton?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 10:47am

So, Cinderella’s only options are meek acquiescence to abuse or violence?

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Apr 29, 2015 12:36pm

But she isn’t meek, she simply doesn’t emulate the stepmother’s methods. She has courage enough to stand it and provide a better example to her abusers. But looking at it from a purely practical point of view, in the reality of the film what are her options? To run away,.. to what exactly? Getting another job with the same kind of treatment? Maybe she figured it was better the devil she knew and at least she was in a house that she knew and had good memories for her.
I’m going to turn your question to you. What were her realistic options, acquiescence, violence, or running away to the unknown? In the world of the film, what could she have done differently?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Summeriris
Thu, Apr 30, 2015 2:58pm

Let’s assume I agree with you that she has no other options other than what she does. My problem, then, is with a story that is specifically designed to put a woman in a position where she is horribly abused and her “best” option is to tolerate it with kindness and good spirit. Fuck that shit. This story does NOT have to be constructed this way.

She has courage enough to stand it and provide a better example to her abusers.

You’re only proving my point. She is a punching bag only so that other people may better themselves? Ugh.

Summeriris
Summeriris
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, May 01, 2015 8:45am

OK, that’s how you feel about the story. I feel a bit differently. Yu already know this but I will explain why I feel as I do.
You are quite right, Cinderella is bullied and treated badly by her step-family. That cannot be denied, but she is not a punching bag as such IMO. She is stronger than the step-family in many ways, and I just don’t mean physically enough to do hard work. She is emotionally strong enough not to descend tp the level of the bullies. In the context of the film there is no place for Cinderella to go. It is a different world and her options are limited at best, that also can’t be denied. Should the fact that this has happened throughout history be ignored because we find it unpleasant to be faced with this truth? We can’t admire her for her resilience? For her compassion and generosity? This is out of the question because the film shows a woman trapped in a bad situation dealing with that situation with the fortitude Not to hate her oppressors? Why is this such a step too far for the modern woman? Do we have to feel contempt for our female ancestors who did that same exact thing in the situation as is portrayed by the film? The film shows an uncomfortable truth, do we ignore that truth that all too often women oppressed their own sex for power?

Lenina Crowne
reply to  Tim Tran
Fri, Mar 13, 2015 6:08am

There’s a scene in the movie where Cinderalla runs into one of her former servants in town in town and the servant says, [paraphrased], “you look terrible, why are you taking this crap? Just leave those people already, what’s stopping you?” And Cinderella says something about how she had to be courageous and kind and love her house or something

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Lenina Crowne
Fri, Mar 13, 2015 10:54am

The house is clearly more important than her own well-being.

Shotzy13
Shotzy13
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:40pm

I knew before looking that one of the few negative reviews would come from MaryAnn Johanson. Like having David Duke review the movie Selma.

Timber56
Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 9:48pm

I’d just seen two interviews with Cate Blanchett, who plays the wicked stepmother in this film, and, having recently seen it, I very much agree with her points:

“Oh it so beautiful, it’s absolutely sumptuous and delightful, and genuine, and it’s refreshing to see a fairytale that doesn’t have a kind of self-conscious twist to try to hook and audience in. I mean they’ve been enjoyable, but this is just – you can sense the classic. [Interviewer: It’s not afraid to be romantic] It’s romantic, it’s emotional, there’s a bit of slapstick thrown in there, but it’s driven by the real beating heart that’s Lily and Richard Madden as the prince.”

“We had to ask ourselves, ‘What are we going to do with it?’ What I loved about this version — and what [director] Ken Branagh did — was not doing anything really drastic to it. He just unlocked the three-dimensional qualities of the fairy tale … What interested me was thinking about things like ‘What makes people ugly? What makes them cruel? What makes them wicked?’ It’s obviously not the stepmother’s story, but she’s dealt with hardship and trauma in an entirely different way in her life, and that’s a big part of what’s made her the way she is — and how she treats Cinderella.”

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 11:15pm

News Flash: Actor in film, while on press tour promoting film, says good things about film.

In other news, water still wet, Timber56 still making dumb points.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:11am

Oh, the obsessive cynic arguing with anyone who likes the film and disagrees with the reviewer thinks negatively of this? Shocking.
Actuality, the actor in the film discusses the reason why they got involved in the film, which is particularly notable given that the actor explicitly said they were not a fan of the original Cinderella as she was a very passive character, and the actor is also the not kind of actor to get involved in these kinds of films.

In other news, “Dr. Rocketscience” is still pathologically obsessing and making moronic points.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:48am

Were you hoping this would look smarter if you posted it three times?

It doesn’t.

Pember
Pember
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:53am

“Dr. Rocketscience” has of course nothing of substance to say.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Pember
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 3:56am

wow, when did I piss in your cornflakes? Do you have anything interesting to contribute?

SEXcyanip
SEXcyanip
reply to  Pember
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 6:57am

Right? He’s so sworn and dedicated to these reviews that it’s funny. He galavants around cock-out ready to shame anyone who disagrees and call them clinically insane? F! It’s true, all his hollow insults are useless, and if he is a sockpuppeter, then Dr. Rocketscience, fuck off and quit violently ejaculating on everyone in the comment thread! You’re making things worse for this site, pushing readers away, this site’s barely got any.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  SEXcyanip
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 10:09am

You’re gone, too.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:18am

Oh, the obsessive cynic that argues with anyone who likes the film and disagrees with the reviewer thinking negatively of this? Shocking.

Actually, actor in film discusses reason for getting involved in film, which is notable given that the actor explicitly had said Cinderella was not something she cared for as the character was very passive, and the actor also is not known for getting involved in these kinds of films.

In other news, “Dr. Rocketscience” is still pathologically dismissing and making moronic replies.

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:20am

Oh, the obsessive cynic that argues with anyone who likes the film and disagrees with the reviewer thinking negatively of this? Shocking.

Actually, actor in film discusses reason for getting involved in film, which is notable given that the actor explicitly had said Cinderella was not something she cared for as the character was very passive, and the actor also is not known for getting involved in these kinds of films.

In other news, “Dr. Rocketscience” is still pathologically obsessing and making moronic replies.

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Timber56
Mon, Mar 09, 2015 11:18pm

Now we’re talking turkey. Please elaborate a bit more. What do you think the movie says about what truly makes people ugly, cruel, and wicked? Conversely, how does Cinderella demonstrate that she is good, beautiful, and kind? How is the way she deals with hardship and trauma more constructive than the stepmother’s method of coping?

You’re very close to stating why you think this story is still relevant. Answering the questions above would be a direct rebuttal to the core idea of the review. Someone might then respond to your thoughts, and you could respond back, and so on. The goal would be truth and understanding rather than simply “winning the thread” and although you would probably still agree to disagree at the end, you’d at least understand the other person’s perspective a little more and vice versa.

Sure, I know it’s not as thrilling as hurling pithy insults at complete strangers, but really, you can do that pretty much anywhere on the internet. I am genuinely interested in hearing an alternative perspective on this movie, your perspective. Please tell me why you liked it. Or, if your family liked it, explain why it’s a movie that children should watch? What valuable, timeless lessons does it teach?

Timber56
Timber56
reply to  amanohyo
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 5:08am

You did understand from my post that I quoted the actress?

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtcPT1chzI

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Timber56
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 2:06pm

Yes, it was clear. But I’m honestly not that interested in what Kenneth Branagh or Cate Blanchett have to say so close to the movie’s release. Obviously, Branagh believes that the choices he made were correct, and even if he does see areas for improvement, he’s forced to speak in platitudes in what is essentially a marketing tool.

That’s why I asked you to elaborate with your own perspective. I’m curious to know what you, Timber56, the person passionately defending this movie, thinks.

If you believe the story has enduring, universal lessons to teach about what it means to be good, beautiful, courageous, and kind, then the movie must have scenes that demonstrate this. What does Cinderella do and say to teach these valuable lessons? Imagine you are a parent, what scenes would you want your child to pay special attention to?

There are three reasons I’m focusing on this point:

1) MA’s review is centered around the proposition that this is a story that doesn’t need to be told anymore because it has harmful messages for young girls. If you’re going to criticize the review in any meaningful way, you have to counter that with something positive from the film.

2) It’s always more interesting to hear someone speak their own thoughts. Anyone can google, cut, and paste. You are clearly passionate about this movie — I am genuinely curious to find out where all the emotion comes from. The movie must be something very special to you if you’ve decided to come to a site to deride one of the few people to criticize it. Why do you, Timber56, love this movie?

3) If the story truly has enduring lessons about being courageous, kind, good, and beautiful, it would be somewhat ironic to ignore those lessons while supporting the film. I was hoping that you might pull your perspective back a bit and think briefly about who in this discussion is behaving kindly and who is behaving wickedly. If you are trying to defend the story of Cinderella, it’s counterproductive to exhibit the qualities of an evil stepmother.

We come to this site to discuss movies. MA has written a review. You disagree with it. If you have anything of substance to say about this specific review of this specific movie, I haven’t heard it yet. I promise this is the last time I’ll ask. You say you saw the movie recently — what did you like about it?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  amanohyo
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 5:23pm

Timber56 has been banned, so s/he won’t be responding.

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:57pm

I probably fed him/her too much, but I really wanted to witness the genesis of their first
coherent, independent argument. I guess my dreams of being a monolith will have to wait . =(

Pember
Pember
reply to  amanohyo
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 10:07pm

MaryAnn Johanson: “Timber56 has been banned, so s/he won’t be responding.”

Wow, see how this reviewer deals with disagreement from a reader – by banning them.

I guess if anyone else continues dissenting she will excise them. How dare they question her?

Pember
Pember
reply to  amanohyo
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 10:09pm

I have not seen the film, but I echo what others have said: answer your questions by watching the film yourself.

ETA: I don’t think interviews with the director or the actress are recent, If i’m not mistaken they have been giving interviews for months at the least.

amanohyo
amanohyo
reply to  Pember
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:18pm

I read reviews and skim the comments here to decide if a movie is worth voting for with my wallet. I’ve decided to eventually check this one out at the library.

Regarding interviews, I know PR speak when I hear it. Listen to Branagh and watch his body language. He is incredibly defensive and clearly terrified of saying anything remotely negative, and the interviewer backpedals immediately whenever she realizes she may have accidentally asked him a question that might be considered slightly critical.

Cate Blanchett gets marginally closer to actually saying something interesting, but is similarly cautious for good reason. You never burn the Disney bridge. They are both far too close to the project to offer any real critical insight. Talk to them in fifteen, twenty years, it might be a different story.

Pember
Pember
reply to  amanohyo
Tue, Mar 10, 2015 11:34pm

What do you mean by the library? How does that work?

I, presumably unlike you, am very familiar with Kenneth Branagh and have watched many interviews with him over the years, plus I saw the entire press conference of this film at the Berlin Film Festival. He has always spoken that way; he’s very open, friendly, outspoken and very articulate and perceptive, and he praises what he considers worthy of praise. He is not “incredibly defensive” at all. You’re seeing what you want to be seeing. That interviewer on the other hand appears awkward because she seems to be a little intimidated by him (I believe she did say in the beginning she’s a fan of his).

I would never call Cate Blanchett cautious during promotion or anything really. She’s known to be very outspoken individual (for instance she explicitly said during promotional interview that she didn’t care for the animated Cinderella because the character was passive, a doormat), and she, like Branagh, is very open, perceptive and articulate. And she is far from an actor that’s involved with Disney, outside of acting in this film. I recommend you watch the Berlin press conference, where they talk in more detail about the film, and it’s also funny so you might enjoy it (starts at 18:50): https://www.berlinale.de/de/im_fokus/videostreaming/videos/long_versions_2015/201508077_pk.html

LaSargenta
LaSargenta