Cinderella: Midnight is just the beginning


“Where There Is Kindness, There Is Goodness. Where There Is Goodness, There Is Magic.”



Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Screenplay Writer: Chris Weitz

Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden


The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But when Ella’s father suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella since she used to work in the cinders, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her …Written by Disney.


Close Up On Cinderella


Lily James

Lily James was born as Lily Thomson. She is an actress, known for Cinderella (2015),Wrath of the Titans (2012) and Broken (2012).


Cinderella’s Stepmother: 

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old, her 40-year old father died of a sudden heart attack. Her mother never remarried, and her grandmother moved in to help her mother.


Cate graduated from Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992 and, in a little over a year, had won both critical and popular acclaim. On graduating from NIDA, she joined the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls”, then played Felice Bauer, the bride, in Tim Daly’s “Kafka Dances”, winning the 1993 Newcomer Award from the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle for her performance. From there, Blanchett moved to the role of Carol in David Mamet’s searing polemic “Oleanna”, also for the Sydney Theatre Company, and won the Rosemont Best Actress Award, her second award that year. She then co-starred in the ABC Television’s prime time drama Heartland (1994), again winning critical acclaim.


In 1995, she was nominated for Best Female Performance for her role as Ophelia in the Belvoir Street Theatre Company’s production of “Hamlet”. Other theatre credits include Helen in the Sydney Theatre Company’s “Sweet Phoebe”, Miranda in “The Tempest” and Rose in “The Blind Giant is Dancing”, both for the Belvoir Street Theatre Company. In other television roles, Blanchett starred as Bianca in ABC’s Bordertown (1995), as Janie Morris in G.P. (1989) and in ABC’s popular series Police Rescue (1994). She made her feature film debut in Paradise Road (1997). She also married writer Andrew Upton in 1997. She had met him a year earlier on a movie set, and they didn’t like each other at first. He thought she was aloof, and she thought he was arrogant, but then they connected over a poker game at a party, and she went home with him that night. Three weeks later he proposed marriage and they quickly married before she went off to England to play her breakthrough role in films: the title character in Elizabeth (1998) for which she won numerous awards for her performance, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama.


Cate was also nominated for an Academy Award for the role but lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow. 2001 was a particularly busy year, with starring roles in Bandits (2001), The Shipping News (2001), Charlotte Gray (2001) and playing Elf Queen Galadriel in the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. She also gave birth to her first child, son Dashiell, in 2001. In 2004, she gave birth to her second son Roman. Also, in 2004, she played actress Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s film “Aviator” (2004), for which she received an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.


 Two years later, she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for playing a teacher having an affair with an underage student in “Notes on a Scandal” (2006). In 2007, she returned to the role that made her a star in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007). It earned her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. She was nominated for another Oscar that same year as Best Supporting Actress for playing Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There” (2007). In 2008, she gave birth to her third child, son Ignatius. She and her husband became artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, choosing to spend more time in Australia raising their three sons. Because of that, her film work became sporadic, until Woody Allen cast her in the title role in Blue Jasmine (2013), which won her the Academy Award as Best Actress.


Story & History


Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper (in French: Cendrillon ou La Petite Pantoufle de verre.) It is a European folk tale, which divulgues a myth-element of unjust oppression. Written versions were published by Giambattista Basile in his Pentamerone (1634), by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé(1697),[1] and by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales (1812). The word “Cinderella” has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The Aarne- Thompson system classifies Cinderella as “the persecuted heroine.”


Did You Know?!


• The lead role was offered to Emma Watson but she declined. She was later cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017), Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (1991).


• While approaching the project with a deep understanding of the fairy tale’s history, Kenneth Branagh said: “It is impossible to think of Cinderella without thinking of Disney, and the timeless images we’ve all grown up watching. And those classic moments are irresistible to a filmmaker.”


• Lily James, who plays Cinderella, and Sophie McShera, who plays Drizella, both star alongside each other in Downton Abbey (2010), however their roles are reversed: in Downton, McShera plays Daisy, the servant role, while James plays Lady Rose, the aristocrat.


• If you pay attention during the ballroom dance scene, you will notice many of the dresses are designed on the dresses of various Disney princesses. You can spot Belle, Tiana, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. Lily James who plays Cindrella is girlfriend of Matt Smith in real life. And Richard Madden who plays Prince Charming is boyfriend of Jenna Coleman who was Matt Smith’s co-star in BBC’s huge hit show Doctor Who.


• Director Kenneth Branagh and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Ella’s Fairy Godmother, had an affair and dated in the 1990s. This film marks Kenneth Branagh’s first collaboration with Walt Disney Pictures. Branagh also directed Thor (2011), which was distributed by Paramount Pictures, but subsequently re-branded as a Disney film. Lily James’ favorite part about playing Cinderella was wearing the big blue ballgown.


• This film marks the reunion of director Kenneth Branagh with Stellan Skarsgård (Thor(2011)), Helena Bonham Carter (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)), Derek Jacobi(Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991), and Hamlet (1996)).


• The short film sequel to Frozen (2013), entitled Frozen Fever (2015), will be shown before the film. It will contain a new original song written by the creators of the smash hit animated film.


• At the beginning of the second trailer, “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, a song from the original Cendrillon (1950), can be heard.


• Imogen Poots, Bella Heathcote, Margot Robbie, and Lily James tested for the lead role. The role went to James.


• Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, and Gabriella Wilde were all considered to play Cinderella.


• The famous Rococo painting “The Swing”, that is pictured in Frozen as Anna dances around the castle, contains a woman losing her shoe as she swings in a garden. This is recreated in a scene in Cinderella 2015.


• In an interview, Lily James who plays Cinderella says that the iconic glass slipper used in the film really doesn’t fit on her foot.


• Mark Romanek was hired as the director, but he eventually dropped out due to creative differences.


• At the very end of the credits Helena Bonham Carter’s voice can be heard saying, “Where did everybody go?”


• In the glass panels of the front door of Cinderella’s house, a number of, what are known as, “Hidden Mickeys” are seen. “Hidden Mickeys” can frequently be found in Disney productions, including the theme parks.


• There’s a scene at the back of their house where Cinderella is feeding the animals while she’s humming the song “Sing, Sweet Nightingale”. The song is also sung by Cinderella while doing her chores in the 1950 animated film.


• In the scene where Cinderella is rejected from going to the ball and is sobbing, you can see a circle and two smaller ones forming the famous Mickey Mouse with ears symbol as the glassworks in the door windows.


• Lily James sang her version of “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and Helena Bonham Carter sang her version of the magic words “Bibbidi- Bobbidi-Boo” in this new film, both songs are made popular in the 1950 animated classic.


• Nonso Anozie and Richard Madden both appeared on Game of Thrones, though they shared no scenes.


• The film is inspired by the fairy tale “Cinderella” by Charles Perrault, and the 1950 animated film of the same name.


• It’s a common misconception that Disney’s Cinderella (1950) and subsequently Cinderella (2015) cut some of the more violent and disturbing elements of the Brother’s Grimm fairy tale (such as the stepsisters cutting off their heels and toes to make the slipper fit and birds pecking out their eyes) in order to make the film more family friendly. In truth, Disney did not base the original film off of the Brothers Grimm’s “Aschenputtel” (19th century) but rather on “Cendrillon” written by Charles Perrault in 1697. Perrault’s version includes the fairy godmother and the pumpkin coach that are absent from the Grimm version, and does not include some of the more sinister elements. Both Cinderella (1950) and Cinderella (2015) credit the film as based on the Perrault story.


• Just like in the 1950 animated version, the prince’s actual name is never mentioned.