As a general rule, I usually avoid all live-action fairy tale adaptations because they tend to be CGI-laden cheese-fests (ahem, Alice in Wonderland). But since it’s Cocktails-and-Corsets month, and since there was quite a bit of drama last year over the corset in Cinderella (DVD/Download), I decided to give this Kenneth Branagh adaptation a shot. And wow- I’m really glad I did!
First of all, just the fact that Cate Blanchett co-stars in this means a 99% chance that it’s good. Her portrayal of the Evil Stepmother Lady Tremaine is masterful, and as always, she wears a costume like nobody’s business. Her long 1940’s Dior-inspired gowns are true works of art, and it makes me wish she and designer Sandy Powell would release a documentary where Blanchett just tries on Powell creations, one after another. Of course there’s the ubiquitous scene of Cinderella (played by Lily James) trying to squeeze her former Downton Abbey co-star into a bone crushing corset (literally, there’s a bone cracking sound effect), whereas Cinderella herself waltzes along with the teeniest waist in the land, nary a broken rib in sight. See, she is princess material!
As always, it wouldn’t be Disney without an ear worm of a song that works its way into your brain and stays for days. As an ode to this film’s haunting lullaby “Lavender’s Blue”, while watching Cinderella I recommend drinking a Lavender Gin Fizz.
Lavender Gin Fizz
2 oz gin
1.5 oz Royal Rose Lavender Lemon simple syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with club soda, stir gently, and garnish with a twist of lemon.
I think I’ve always loved the Cinderella fairy tale, mainly because of my spirit animal Gus Gus. He and I share an unparalleled love of cheese. That scene in the animated Disney version where he’s trying to balance all the cheese cubes? Me after a trip to the fridge at night. Happily, his modern CGI doppelganger is still a fan of cheddar. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this adaptation. The film kept in all the things I loved about the classic animated Disney tale, and added in stunning costumes and a little more backstory. Combined with a cocktail, it’s perfection. Cheers!