Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
Wokeness/Wokism in Post-Modern entertainment
What about Gays needs to change? Answer —It may not be what you think.
All people are valuable—girls and boys, women and men
Men who are misogynistic or oppressive toward girls and women
Value of working hard to achieve worthy goals
KINGS in the Bible
QUEENS in the Bible
About MUSIC in the Bible
Camila Cabello … Cinderella
Billy Porter … Fab G (fabulous godmother)
Idina Menzel … Stepmother Vivian
Nicholas Galitzine … Prince Robert
Pierce Brosnan … King Rowan
Minnie Driver … Queen Beatrice
James Corden … Footman / Mouse
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|Director||Kay Cannon—“Blockers” (2018)|
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|Distributor||Amazon Prime Videos|
Woke, insistently Feminist, girl-power re-telling that dismisses marriage—and ends instead with the couple traveling the world unwed
In this visually dazzling fairy tale update, Ella (Camila Cabello) lives in a kingdom besieged by sameness. As the fabulous godmother informs us in a voice over, it’s full of generations of people mindlessly doing whatever is expected of them… until Ella comes along. This bright, creative girl has big dreams of owning her own dress shop, as a master dressmaker.
Though forced to serve her stepmother (Idina Menzel) and stepsisters, Ella spends her free time holed up in the basement, sketching designs and playing around with fabric, hoping one day for her big break.
Everyone scoffs at her dream, including the local townspeople, who sneer at the idea of a woman owning a business! Her stepmother devotes her time to trying to prepare her girls for “life,” in which either they marry up… or they get stuck in drudgery (hanging their own laundry).
In the meantime, Prince Robert (Nicholas Gailitzine) has yet to find a wife and doesn’t seem that interested, much to the frustration of his pompous father, King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan). Unless Robert finds a wife, his father threatens to hand the kingdom over to his daughter, Gwen (Tallulah Grieve).
When a perky Ella unintentionally draws the attention of the royal family at a local shindig, the prince sets out to find out who this girl is who dared to defy tradition and climb up on a royal statue for a better view. His delight at finding and bantering with her in the marketplace leads him to plant a crazy idea in his father’s head—let him invite anyone to the ball, any girl at all, and he’ll get married!
The night arrives, Ella finds herself without a dress… and it’s time for a little magic to change her life forever.
Given the various people involved in the project, I expected a even more “woke” version than I got. What’s there is somewhat typical for a modernized, feminist version of the story—most of the men (who don’t start out as mice) are arrogant, conceited, and scoff at the idea of strong women… surrounded by strong, opinionated women who teach them to be more open-minded by the end. Thank goodness the women are around to civilize them!
The Fab G (“fabulous godmother”) is played by LGBT actor Billy Porter in a dress (a flamboyant effeminate man as a “genderless fairy”).
Unfortunately, at the end of the movie, Ella and the prince decide rather than get married, to “travel around the world together,” and resist having a “label” put on their relationship.
Is formalized marriage obsolete? Answer —What does the Bible say about marriage?
That being said, I liked the twist of Ella caring more about her dreams than romance. The script also takes the time to flesh out the evil stepmother and make her three-dimensional, rather than just being mean for the sake of it. She has reasons for her “heartless” behavior (she doesn’t want the girls disappointed by a life she tried to have, but failed to get).
The costumes are fabulously, intentionally gaudy, which makes for a fun, colorful production. Many of the gowns also show various amounts of cleavage.
The soundtrack consists mostly of pop songs with the lyrics tweaked here and there. Even though I wouldn’t have minded a few changes, I found it a rollicking good time, and would probably buy the soundtrack.
The film includes a couple of veiled sexual references; a princess is willing to marry the prince, and says on occasion they must perform the “disgusting” practice of trying to make a son. On her way out, she says he hasn’t got much going on “upstairs… nor downstairs, either,” she suspects. Other women (Malvolia and Narissa) tell Prince Robert they want to have his baby.
Some of the dancing is sensual and a bit provocative. Men ogle women, and women men.
There’s a sexual innuendo rumor about the Prince still receiving spankings from his attractive mother, the Queen (“gets spanked on the tush-tush”). The prince dismisses this by saying that they get along well, but “not THAT WELL.” Ella and Prince Robert kiss. The king and queen sing about having made babies together.
One of the mice confesses he just peed, and “you’ll never guess how it works!” with a reference to his “front tail.”
The words “Holy Hell” are used. A mouse squeaks out, “Holy fudge!” in surprise. There are two uses of the British term “bloody,” and several uses of “Oh my G*d!” and “G*d.” “What in G*d’s name?” is also said, as well as at least one other inappropriate use of the word H*ll.
Measured against the other Cinderella adaptations, this one is all about female empowerment, and offers a slew of terrific vocal talent, but the Disney film from a few years ago had a much better message in its simple but profound encouragement for women to “have courage… and be kind.” This Ella isn’t unkind, in fact she’s very likable, but she knows what she wants and is going after it! As it turns out, marriage isn’t in her future, but living with the prince is, which disappointed me.
For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?
Purity—Should I save sex for marriage?
What is sexual immorality?
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.