Drama (US); 1998;
Rated PG-13; 121 Minutes
Drew Barrymore: Danielle
Anjelica Huston: Rodmilla
Dougray Scott: Prince Henry
Patrick Godfrey: Leonardo da Vinci
Megan Dodds: Marguerite
Melanie Lynskey: Jacquelin de Ghent
Timothy West: King Francis
Judy Parfitt: Queen Marie
Produced by Timothy
Bourner, Melissa Cobb, Kevin Reidy, Mireille Soria and Tracy
Trench; Directed by Andy Tennant; Screenwritten
by Susannah Grant, Andy Tennant and Rick Parks
by DAVID KEYES
Drew Barrymore's movie. It's always her movie. No matter
what material she appears in, it's hers. She is a master
of attention, beauty, grandeur, and superiorness--she brings
a good name to young actresses, and passion to whatever
roles she plays. Heck, she almost made "The Wedding Singer"
look good, and it only got a half star from me.
is a vision of great spirit and great talent, and there's
never been an actress like her. Seeing her in "Ever After,"
the new Cinderella retelling, I was drawn not just to the
beauty and costumes and sets the movie provided, but her
story and characterization, which, once again, steals our
attention away from other details of the picture. She is
the focus of our attentions.
After" comes to life with her in it, but that does not mean
the movie couldn't have been saved without her. The movie's
story, design, technique and setting are appropriate and
pleasing elements for such a story, especially considering
that I'm neither a fan nor admirer of any Cinderella tale
in the past. What's different here is the pageantry of design
and movement, not to mention Drew Barrymore.
I enjoyed it because it is more uniquely crafted than any
other Cinderella story. At the beginning of the movie, an
old women tells of Cinderella in a 'true' story form to
the Brothers Grimm, so that, for once, it can be done correctly
in a fairy tale book. In this true story, Cinderella's name
was Danielle, and she was not the typical happy-cheery person
as we saw in the Disney version of the fairy tale. She did
believe in her dreams coming true, but didn't always take
the crap that her step-relatives gave to her.
was a brave Cinderella, and as in all the other versions,
she meets her Prince Charming. He is named Prince Henry,
and is played by Dougray Scott, in another one of the most
convincing roles of the picture. Together, these two create
great chemistry for the picture to carry out, as both try
to remain together despite the pressures or royalty and
Huston, who plays the stepmother Rodmilla, is really suave
in this role (kind of like a Shakespearean actress), and
I think that she may be on her way to another Academy Award
with this performance. Her despicable attitude and wicked
jealousy are elements that always work with Huston's characters,
and she once again demonstrates them here, in a role she
seems made for.
the time I was leaving the theater, I was being reminded
instantly of "The Mask Of Zorro" from mid-July. Both are
movies stunning to look at, fun to watch, beautifully photographed,
and outstandingly concepted. No, "Ever After" is not as
good as "The Mask Of Zorro," but don't take that as an insult.
For a Cinderella flick, it sure is a dang good one.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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