A dream is a wish your heart makes, and if you were wishing for a new musical to obsess over, you’re in luck. We’re about to see a modern take on the traditional fairy tale Cinderella, and this upcoming film is appropriately titled Cinderella. The romantic musical comedy stars Camila Cabello in her acting debut as the titular princess, and also features Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, and Pierce Brosnan. This fairy tale marks the first live-action adaptation remake since Disney’s Cinderella in 2015.
In this fairy tale with a modern twist, we see a young Cinderella who lives with her abusive and overprotective stepmother and stepsisters after her father’s death. We’ll be able to see the musical soon, as Cinderella releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, September 3. Let’s check out what critics are saying.
We’ll start in-house, as usual. Our very own Sarah El-Mahmoud enjoyed the musical overall, rating it 3 out of 5 stars. She doesn’t necessarily consider this remake a total reinvention of the original story; it’s enjoyable enough, but there are too many Cinderella stories out there already. She also thought some of the movie’s attempts to add a modern-day twist were hit and miss, but overall she still enjoyed Cinderella, shouting out the dynamite cast (especially Cabello and Menzel). El-Mahmoud said:
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does have fun spinning it in its own way.
Courtney Howard from Variety also enjoyed Cinderella overall, but had some criticisms. While she praised director Kay Cannon’s inspired creative approach to make this musical into a fantasy unlike any before it, Howard thought the execution was flawed. She was frustrated with the movie’s inconsistent pacing and character development, which somehow was both underdeveloped and overstuffed at the same time. While she pointed out one musical number as “empowering,” she thought the rest of the set pieces were uninspiring and exhausting and hindered by the cinematography. But Howard did praise Cabello’s performance, as well as Porter’s, whom she thought absolutely stole the show. She said:
While it’s a noble effort from a capable director, this glass slipper proves frustratingly ill-fitting.
Leigh Monson from WhatToWatch also praised Billy Porter’s standout performance, as well as some fascinating subplots, but also had some criticisms. She was frustrated by the movie’s futile attempt to insert feminism into the classic story, as well as the desire for progression for the current age while retaining the whimsy of the fairy tale. Overall, Monson said:
There needs to be more to modernizing a classic than slapping a coat of corporate-approved girl power on top.
Lovia Gyarkye from The Hollywood Reporter was also pretty disappointed with Cinderella. She thought this “new but not so improved” story should have made more of an impact with its sets and costumes, especially considering that the titular Cinderella wants to be a fashion designer. She also thought the narrative was too thin and didn’t provide enough foundation for the limited amount of jokes to land. Gyarkye wrote:
Cinderella buckles under the weight of its intentions, and not even its formidable cast can save it.
Kristen Lopez from IndieWire had a more positive review of the musical comedy. She highly praised the musical numbers, giving recognition to the composer Jessica Weiss and the choreography from Ashley Wallen (The Greatest Showman). She also complemented Cabello’s performance, and said:
Cannon’s take on Cinderella looks to be this year’s Greatest Showman, where the flaws in the narrative are nothing in comparison to the vibrancy and energy on display with each and every musical number, worth dancing for, maybe even in a pair of glass slippers.
Well, critics mainly seem to be relatively disappointed with Cinderella. But you can decide for yourself soon as the musical starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, September 3.
In the meantime, if you're looking for some more love stories to watch this year, check out our release guide here.