Cinderella: Kay Cannon Makes Movie Magic Again

Camilla Cabello stars in CINDERELLA. Photo credit: Kerry Brown.

Writer-director Kay Cannon makes movie magic once again with one of the most original takes on Cinderella to hit the big or small screen.

Cannon’s take is one that truly subverts everything we know about the fairy tale. Not even Walt Disney would have been able to come up with a take such as this. What Cannon does here is bold and unique. Granted, there wasn’t much of a push for diversity on screen when he made the animated feature. Some might ask why we need this when Disney gave us a live-action film starring Lily James in 2015. I’m here to tell you that both films should be allowed to co-exist. They are truly different films.

We all know the basic gist of the story. Cinderella (Camila Cabello) has big dreams of selling dresses. Later on during the film, she’s able to go to the ball with the help of the non-binary Fab G (Billy Porter). There are some traditions that continue on with this film. Mice turning into humans is one of them. But while the film has the basic tenets of this particular fairy tale, it also serves as an update for the 21st century. A long overdue update at that! What we have is someone who brings independence, confidence, and a sense of outspokenness to the character. If Cinderella can get an update for this century, all the other classics should be up for grabs, too.

Camila Cabello is amazing in the role. This version of the character is going to become an inspiration to younger girls who realize that there’s more than just winning the prince. All due respect to Lily James but there’s something about this Cinderella that feels–let’s just say–modern. In this case, she lands the not-your-traditional-prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) but is also able to land a career, too. This film serves as her acting debut and you couldn’t ask for a better filmmaker to lead the way than Kay Cannon. Cannon has come a long way since performing for the likes of Second City and Boom Chicago.

Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive) might come off as comic relief at first. However, there is more to the character. I really love what she brings to the film even if her screen time is small. Again, this speaks to Kay Cannon’s talent in updating the story for this century. I cannot say it enough: Kay Cannon is a brilliant screenwriter and director. She even writes a comedy song for Pierce Brosnan. You can stop with the nightmares because it’s not the nightmare singing performance that you saw during Mamma Mia!

Having seen Blockers three years ago during SXSW, this was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I only wish I had a better experience in viewing the film. It does a disserve to the filmmakers, cast, and everyone involved when the press screener is buffering every few seconds. That’s not fair to me or them. It’s truly hard to watch a musical when there is so much buffering during the songs. In a perfect world, Cinderella would have been released by Sony on the big screen but alas, the pandemic meant Sony unloaded the film onto Amazon. I understand why the move was made but when it comes to feature films, Amazon has the worst press screener platform out of all the studios. Rant over.

Kay Cannon gives Cinderella a long overdue makeover and makes movie magic with a truly original take led by Camila Cabello.

CAST: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, with Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan, Maddie Baillio, Charlotte Spencer

Amazon releases Cinderella in select theaters and on Prime Video on September 3, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.