Day 11 – Least favourite movie of your favourite director
When I was converging two movie challenge question lists into one list, I should have substituted/scrapped this question! I do know directors whose work I generally don’t like so much but I just have no idea who my favourite director actually is! Billy Wilder? Steven Spielberg? Alfred Hitchcock? Peter Jackson? Kenneth Branagh? Danny Boyle? Ang Lee? Aaargh! I don’t know! However, while listing all these directors one recently disappointing movie of one of these directors did spring to mind, so I guess I’ll go with that…
I generally enjoy Kenneth Branagh directed movies, he has a way of storytelling that I like. He really showcases characters in his movies and I am a sucker for good character driven stories. So, when I heard he was directing a new Cinderella movie, I had high hopes. After all, I remember not expecting much of Thor but when I finally did see it, I really liked it very much and I just know that was because of Kenneth Branagh’s touch. So, why not trust Branagh to make a great Cinderella movie, right?
In March, just two weeks after my dad died, I went to see the new Cinderella in the hopes of it cheering me up a little.
While the movie was alright, very much a Disney princess movie, it was nowhere near as good as I had expected it to be, despite the many positive reviews and reactions I had read. I’m not really sure why I didn’t warm to it. Was it because I was watching it during a very difficult personal time, would I have liked it better if I had watched it at a different time? Were my expectations just too high (I love a Cinderella story, after all)? Was I comparing it too much to my favourite other Cinderella movie? It’s probably all of the above but most of all I think it was because I just could not warm up to the leads. Something about both Lily James and Richard Madden in the title roles just annoyed me! Lily James’s constant look of innocence and girl-wonder maybe? Or Richard Madden’s tights that were distracting, along with his too toothy smiles? And the story… I don’t know, I guess I just expected some extra twist or take on the tale. I thought Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother was the best thing in it and that was pretty much all the higher praise I could give it. Oh, and Cinderella’s dad, played by Ben Chaplin, was nice to look at (I guess it shows my age when I fancy the dad more than the prince?).
It’s the highest grossing Branagh movie to date and has garnered a lot of praise, yet I could not love it as much as I wanted to. The movie just made me long for the old The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella-movie , which I quickly proceeded to re-watch and helped cheer me up far better than this Cinderella adaptation could.
Sorry, Ken, this is not my favourite of your movies…