Watch Ever After: A Cinderella Story
- 2 hr 1 min
In the late 1990s, the classic fairy tale of Cinderella received a fresh update with the release of "Ever After: A Cinderella Story." This movie- directed by Andy Tennant and produced by Mireille Soria and Tracey Trench- stars Drew Barrymore as the lead character Danielle de Barbarac, a remarkable woman who seeks to overcome classism and endear herself to Henry, the Prince of France, played by Dougray Scott.
The story follows Danielle, a young girl who lives with her loving father Auguste (played by Jeroen KrabbÃ©) and cruel stepmother Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Anjelica Huston), and two-timing stepsisters Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey) and Marguerite (Megan Dodds) in France during the sixteenth century. Following the unexpected death of her father, Danielle is stripped of her familial status and forced into servitude to prevent her from inheriting her father's estate.
Despite her now-degraded social standing, Danielle remains a strong and independent individual, working tirelessly to maintain her self-dignity and sense of worth despite the derision she encounters on a daily basis. While her stepsisters and stepmother relentlessly ridicule and suppress her, Danielle finds solace in her relationship with the handsome Prince Henry, with whom she has several encounters throughout the movie.
In a twist on the traditional Cinderella story, "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" alters the roles of the characters and provides a more realistic historical setting. For instance, the fairy godmother (characteristically elderly and enigmatic) manifests in the form of Leonardo da Vinci, Danielle's education tutor, who assists her throughout the story. Additionally, the glass slipper is replaced with a pair of plain leather shoes that Danielle is seen wearing throughout the movie.
One of the primary strengths of the film is its leading performance by Drew Barrymore. As a versatile actor, Barrymore succeeds in portraying Danielle with unparalleled charm and resilience, capturing both the character's effervescence and sorrow vividly. The chemistry between Barrymore and Dougray Scott, who portrays Prince Henry, is palpable even in their first scenes together, setting up their love story with great chemistry and depth.
Anjelica Houston's portrayal of the villainous Baroness Rodmilla skillfully turns traditional expectations on their head. Instead of being an entirely evil character, the Baroness portrayed with complexity and humanity, leading to a better understanding of motivations that lead her to treat Danielle poorly. Similarly, the stepsisters are not as incompetent as is typical. Instead, Jacqueline and Marguerite are both characters with hopes, dreams, and motivations, which are explored throughout the film.
The film's costume design is spectacular, with designer Jenny Beavan brilliantly capturing the aesthetics of France in the sixteenth century. Beavan's efforts went on to earn her an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. The shots of French countryside landscapes along with the interior design of castles and manors also leave one breathless.
The film's musical theme "Put Your Arms Around Me" by Natasha Bedingfield, serves as a mesmerizing backdrop to the relationship-building that occurs between the film's main characters. Additionally, George Fenton's moving orchestral score helps to build up the emotional stakes of the film's high points and offers an authentic sound to the sixteenth century-era setting.
Overall, "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" from 1998 stands the test of time as a thoroughly authentic, charming and engrossing adaptation of the timeless fairy tale. With strong performances and spectacular art design, this movie provides a unique take on the classic story of Cinderella that will make audiences rethink its traditional narrative.
In conclusion, "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" is a must-watch for those who enjoy charming fairy tales with a twist, wonderful acting, propulsive storytelling, and breathtaking visuals.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a 1989 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 66.