Movie Review: Cinderella (2021)

Movie Review: Cinderella (2021)

Once upon a time, there was a fairytale called Cinderella, it has had many movie versions, but they never had James Corden. 

Before I even begin to write this review, I am fully aware that this might be one of the most controversial opinions I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed this movie. I sang along to most of the songs, I even laughed a few times. Like most, I didn’t know what to expect before I watched this, but like He’s All That a few weeks ago, I’m glad I did.

The story of Cinderella is a loose retelling of the classic fairy tale, with many smaller details changed, but with the core of the movie being the same. Ella (Camilla Cabello), who is called Cinderella by her stepsisters due to the cinders on her face, is not a slave to her evil stepfamily, sure she gets them cups of tea, but it isn’t as dark as the older retellings. One day Ella makes a wish to go to the ball, and her Fabulous Godmother (Billy Porter) makes her wish a reality. Ella loses a glass slipper at the ball; the Prince (Nicholas Galitzine) then uses this slipper to attempt to find her. When the Prince finally does find her, Ella does not wish to be married and to live a life in a Palace, for she has dreams of her own. 

Throughout the entirety of Cinderella, you can tell one thing. That the cast clearly had fun shooting it. Not ‘Mamma Mia they were slightly drunk at all times’ levels of fun, but fun nonetheless. No actor seems to be above what this movie ever is: a family movie. Directed by the brilliant Kay Cannon, who wrote Pitch Perfect and directed Blockers, you are really able to feel her carefree, but fun energy throughout this whole movie. Cinderella isn’t trying to win any Oscars, or create a larger discussion about society as a whole, it is to be enjoyed, and it does a great job of doing that.

When it comes to the music elements of the movie, pretty much every main cast member has been involved with some sort of musical movie with the exception of debut actress Camilla Cabello, but like, she’s literally a pop star. From Pitch Perfect to Mamma Mia, this is nobody’s first rodeo, and it shows. Now for sure, the covers tip the scales here, begging the question, should Cannon have gone all-out jukebox musical? Songs like Nico & Vanz’s classic ‘Am I Wrong’ with a medieval instrumental is a particular standout, with the soundtrack also having cover versions of classic Queen, Madonna, and Ed Sheeran songs. On top of that, there are many originals, including some verses from the Town Crier (Doc Brown), for an all-around fun musical experience. 


A special note has to be made for the costumes in the movie designed by veteran designer Ellen Mirojnick, who has also worked on Bridgerton, The Greatest Showman, and Maleficent. They are so extra and it just really adds to this already completely over-the-top world. Don’t be surprised when Cinderella gets nominated for an Oscar for this.

Lastly, we have to talk about where Cinderella falls and unfortunately, it’s a pretty big hurdle. This isn’t a dig at James Corden, although he was a tad annoying, the fact he was always accompanied by James Acaster and Romesh Ranganathan as the three mice made it ok. No, this is to talk about the fact that despite the cast overall being fantastic, Cinderella’s leads weren’t great. They were great singers but when you have a supporting cast that is so strong the leads have to really shine and they just don’t. Cabello is fine as Ella, but she just doesn’t have the acting chops to be the direct lead in such a big role. The same goes for Galitzine as Prince Robert. He never makes the role his own.

I know this movie is never going to be my favourite, but I loved it in the same way I love movies from my childhood. It’s over the top, fun and it never takes itself too seriously. It has a really great writer/director behind it in Kay Cannon, and it will definitely be solid viewing for the whole family. If your issue is that it isn’t the same as all the other Cinderella movies, you can still watch them. But for a new look at this classic story, this is your movie.

Cinderella is streaming on Prime Video now.




Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Director / Writer: Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect/Blockers)



Camila Cabello (The singer of Havana)

Nicholas Galitzine (Handsome Devil)

Idina Menzel (Frozen)

Pierce Brosnan (007/Mamma Mia)

Minnie Driver (Circle of Friends/Good Will Hunting)

James Corden (That video of the rat humping the air/Peter Rabbit)

James Acaster (Comedian)

Romesh Ranganathan (Comedian)