Cinderella – there are many small pleasures in this Kenneth Branagh version that make it a delight to watch.

The production design by Dante Ferretti and costume design by Sandy Powell (both multiple Oscar winners) are stunning.  The CGI transformation of pumpkins and mice into carriage and horses is magical.

Lily James is a beautiful Ella (“Cinder Ella” is the nickname she gets from her stepfamily), but Cate Blanchett steals the show as the wicked stepmother, in a performance that many critics have compared to 101 Dalmatians’ Cruella deVille as well as actresses Jane Greer and Joan Crawford!

There are lessons to be learned as well.

Read the entire review by Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader.