Although James and Madden are no Fred and Ginger when it comes time for the fabled ball, her breathy swoons and glitter-splashed décolletage and his personable imperviousness bode well for the couple's future.
Screenwriter Chris Weitz embraces both the magic and the humanity of the classic fairy tale. He underlines the virtues of kindness and courage in a heroine right out of the pages of a traditional storybook, who gradually reveals the qualities of a self-possessed modern girl.
When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming step-sisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.
Helena Bonham Carter
Did You Know?
Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, and Gabriella Wilde were all considered to play Cinderella.
When Ella's father leaves on his last business trip, the pair of horses at the carriage he leaves in have no white on their legs. As he carriage pulls into the road (and the camera pans back to Ella), the horses each have four white legs (and are probably the same pair of bay hackney horses that bring Ella's father home in the opening scenes; each horse has a wide blaze on its face and four white stockings). This same pair of very distinctive horses also appear briefly at the beginning of the king's ball, when everyone is arriving.