I was not looking forward to this film. After Alice in Wonderland and, more recently, Maleficent, a live action adaptation of Cinderella seemed like the worst thing in the world, and the trailers certainly didn't help either. Then I saw the film and my god was I wrong. The new adaptation of Cinderella is everything a Cinderella movie should be. It doesn't go down the darker paths of previous live action adaptations, instead remaining bright and hopeful, and a tad emotional too. I will admit, this film had me on the brink of tears during the first act, resulting in several 6-year-old-like panic attacks in which I continuously reassured myself that everything was going to be alright eventually and that my worries should be put at ease. This is what Disney does to me, people.
It features everything we love about the original Cinderella and translates it for a modern audience, but it does so without loosing any of the magic. I was just watching the original film again last night and while this isn't a shot for shot remake, *cough Psycho cough* it does feel very similar. Sure, there's less of the mice vs cat, and that dog is completely out of the picture, but that's hardly a bad thing, for the original spends WAY too much time focusing on them and not enough time with Cinderella. This version fixes that and turns it into a more human focussed story, and for that, I applaud them.
Speaking of Cinderella, Lily James is brilliant in the role. She could not have been cast better. Not only does she look the part, but she can act it too. She has a sort of likability about her, and as we all know, likability and kindness are, well, Cinderella's most noticeable traits. Her scenes with Richard Madden burst off of the screen, the two constantly bouncing off of each other. They're a marvellous pairing and they're quite a treat to watch, although the whole film could be described that way.