Hollywood filmmakers are no slouches these days when it comes to sending-up fairy-tale conventions, but Kenneth Branagh plays things daringly straight in this live-action Cinderella adaptation.

All the fondly familiar elements are here, but they come up looking fresh. Lily James’s radiant Cinderella sparkles, even under a coating of soot; Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden charms as the prince; Cate Blanchett’s cruel stepmother is magnificently haughty; snooty stepsisters Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger are a gleefully ghastly double act; and Helena Bonham Carter is delightfully dotty as the fairy godmother.

With a wave of his directorial wand, Branagh nimbly tweaks tradition to make the story work for a contemporary audience, but he doesn’t stint on the magic and spectacle, finding the enduring enchantment in the age-old tale.

Certificate U. Runtime 113 mins. Director Kenneth Branagh.

Cinderella is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Monday 24th August, courtesy of
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.