Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Failure of Critics: Cinderella (2021)

Streaming Services: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Cinderella (2021)
Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Length: 113 minutes
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Columbia Pictures, DMG Entertainment, Fulwell 73, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video, Sony Pictures Releasing, Amazon Studios
Director: Kay Cannon
Writer: Kay Cannon
Actors: Billy Porter, Camila Cabello, Nicholas Galitzine, Charlotte Spencer, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan, Tallulah Grieve, James Corden, John Mulaney, Maddie Baillio, Romesh Ranganathan, Ben Smith, Luke Latchman, Jenet Le Lacheur, Fra Fee
Blurb from IMDb:  A modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairy tale. Our ambitious heroine has big dreams and with the help of her fab Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true.

Selina’s Point of View:
Critics never fail to disappoint me. Why did they start reviewing movies, I wonder? I started to give my opinions out of love.
I LOVE movies. I grew up on them. Throughout a rough childhood, films were my go-to escape. If anything, I started the blog in order to have a reason to watch as many movies as I could possibly get my hands on. Naively, I believed that most critics probably started the same way.
I’m not so sure now.
Now, I believe many of them probably started because they love to tear things down. They like to nit-pick. They need to be the most pretentious voice in the whole fucking room or they’ll wither away and die.
It’s easiest to see my perspective when it comes to films like Cinderella.
Cinderella is an entertaining rehash of a dated story set to a jukebox soundtrack. I had a feeling it might be cute, but it was so much more than that. It was endlessly entertaining. The songs were worked into the script with ease – and even when they didn’t seem to flow at first, they did by the end of the scene. Insanely talented voices, such as Camila Cabello and Idina Menzel, belted out popular song after popular song.
Honestly, the only thing standing between Cinderella being compared to something like Hamilton is a stage, a true story, and some original lyrics.
There were no flaws in the setting, the acting, or the choreography. If you read the reviews by critics, you’ll see that a lot of them seem to think this film is the product of a classic story getting a remake it didn’t need. You see gems like “…misguided musical fails to convince us this oft-told tale needed to be spun again” and “…the list of Cinderella adaptations I have seen, none comes close to this level of badness.”
(That second quote had little to do with what I’m getting at right now and more to do with how awful the wording is coming from someone looking to judge someone else harshly.)

Do I think Cinderella really needed a retelling? YES.
Of COURSE it needed updating. The original Disney version of Cinderella, that the majority of Hollywood has been copy-catting off of, was about a girl who could not rescue herself and needed a man to come and fix all her problems. I re-watched it recently, and was shocked to realize that the titular character was almost a side-note in her own film. She was upstaged by mice and men.
In this new version of the Cinderella story, Cinderella is an actual person. She’s not just sitting in her room singing to bird about how much she believes love with rescue her. She actually has a dream. Is it the deepest thing in the world? No. It still make her feel more real.
The worst part is what the majority of critics missed. They completely ignored the basic entertainment value.
The average movie goer does not give a single fuck about the structure of a script or the fact that the lead is more well-known as a singer than as an actor. Far as I’ve seen, most audiences only care if the flick is entertaining.
Cinderella was exactly that. It was updated to show a more relatable titular character, it threw in a badass Billy Porter as the fairy godmother, and had a soundtrack with choreography that was unignorable. What the hell else can anyone expect from a remake of anything?
The reviews weren’t all bad, though. The audience knew where it was at. Although critics gave Cinderella a lackluster 44%, the audience has it sitting at 77%. I will always remind our readers that when there’s a discrepancy of that much on Rotten Tomatoes, ALWAYS side with the number that comes from people who are not being paid to be mean. Even when I don’t agree with the audience for that specific film, I still stand by my recommendation: always listen to the audience score over the actual tomatometer.
Cat’s already reviewed Cinderella. She did it on her own because I was covering a film festival at the time. Still, I had to write something, because I got fired up after reading the ridiculous reviews.
Grab some friends, grab some popcorn, turn up the sound, and get ready to sing along. Cinderella is absolutely worth your time.

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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