7:00 PM, 2nd May, 2015
Disney, the name synonymous with magic and childhood, is back again with another fairytale adaptation, Cinderella.
The timeless story of a gentle and beautiful young woman, Ella (James), beloved by all except her cruel stepmother (Blanchett) and stepsisters. Upon the unexpected trip and death of her father, Ella is rendered a mere ash-covered servant by her jealous new family, thus earning the name Cinderella. Yet, despite her harsh treatment, Ella follows her mother’s dying wish to remain courageous and kind at heart.
When the palace decides to host a ball, inviting all maidens to meet the Prince, Ella’s fortunes may finally turn for the good. With the helping hand of a benevolent but quirky fairy godmother (Bonham Carter), no deterrence from her family will stop Ella from finding the love of her life.
This fairy tale, published by Charles Perrault in 1697, is possibly the most iconic and adapted story in the world. It has formed the foundation of ballets, operas, theatrical performances, songs, novels, television and films.
Unsurprisingly, Disney’s own 1950 film adaptation is the most well-known, now considered a classic, with two popular sequels in tow. This luxurious 2015 live action production borrows the character names from the 1950 animated version, but with many additional twists. A stunning cast including Cate Blanchett, Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter ensures another magical entertainment experience sure to inspire romance and magic.
9:03 PM, 2nd May, 2015
Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy with something of a hard edge. Perhaps many of them do.
Richard Gere plays Edward Lewis, an aggressive businessman with a strong takeover mentality. He meets the leggy down-on-her-luck prostitute, Vivian Ward, played by Julia Roberts, and you can see where this is going. But it is very effectively managed, as Edward decides to keep Vivian with him as an escort and companion while he lives in the penthouse of a Los Angeles hotel and prosecutes the bruising assault on a local shipping firm.
Vivian is made over, onward and up the elegance scale, through some rewarding (and oft-parodied) scenes with Hector Elizondo as the hotel manager, and a bunch of snooty dress shop personnel.
The film features some significant redemptive qualities as the two protagonists develop their humanity and goals through their interaction. Vivian looks at other options for her life. Edward begins to see another way to make money.
Pretty Woman deservedly did very well at the box office and, despite the bevy of imitators it inspired, remains one of the most successful romantic comedies of all time. The director, Garry Marshall, went on to team the two stars in another successful rom com, The Runaway Bride in 1999, but the sheer magic of this iconic film has still yet to be recaptured even 25 years on.