As a little girl, I remember waiting with anticipation ]as Leslie Ann Warren chirped “In My Own Little Corner” as Cinderella on television. Decades later, Brandy would make television history as the first African-American to inhabit the role and then having the opportunity to witness the classic tale hopping to Broadway where yet another caramel colored princess would make history in the form of Keke Palmer. Now former Fifth Harmony vocalist, Camila Cabello inhabits the role with a fresh, feminist spin to meet the current climate of women in the world.
Directed by Kay Cannon, we are introduced to Cinderella’s journey in the classic sense of the tale until a big splashy number rolls along informing us of her secret aspiration to launch a fashion line housed in her own shop “Ella.” We also witness a step mother (Idina Menzel) and step sisters who are less sinister, along with mice (James Corden, James Acaster and Romesh Ranganathan) giving off a real Three Stooges vibe and a Fairy Godmother formed by none other than Emmy and Tony winner Billy Porter.
The score is comprised mostly of hit pop or soul hits like “Shining Star” and “Let’s Get Loud” making for a fun time as one is inclined to sing along becoming more invested while tapping into that deep rooted fantasy side all women possess on some level.
The fact that Cinderella’s s happily ever after is more rooted in her designer dreams and not in the tropes of marrying a prince speaks loud and proud to the voice of women in today’s world. What’s even better is the Prince is ready to back her with every fiber of his being because his love transcends the fairytale and lives in a place of supporting his future partner.
Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine (Prince Robert) have an easy, charming chemistry that pulls you right in and keeps you invested. They are matched by their counterparts the King (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen (Minnie Driver), who has also decided that her place is not just to stand next to him and wave. Who knew we would ever witness Pierce Brosnan singing again after the ‘Mamma Mia’ film franchise? Yet, he and Minnie Driver are killing it!
Generational feminism meets fantasy is what we get thanks to Kay Cannon and I was there for every single moment. Cinderella is and will always be a classic tale, but even classics can stand a little updated facelift with class and grace, which this cast, director and Prime Video accomplish all too well.