Call it bias if you choose, but any “Cinderella” with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother couldn’t be bad. In fact, Disney’s new live-action version is for the most part beguilingly good, even though it’s no replacement for the studio’s 1950 animated classic. So where did this film go right?
The multiple answers to that question begin with the director, Kenneth Branagh. He has set a tone of lushly sustainable fantasy that’s often affecting, frequently witty, seldom cloying, nearly free of self-comment and entirely free of irony.