Why Disney’s new Cinderella is unsuitable for young girls

Telegraph.co.uk  – She can certainly go to the ball, when the time comes, but my 10-year-old daughter will not be going to Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, which opens this week. I don’t care how magical it looks, or how witty Helena Bonham Carter is, or how slick the script.

Because the film is promoting a fantasy – and not just the usual one about handsome princes and happy ever afters (most young girls today see through that). What I dislike about Branagh’s version is that his vision is one in which young women are most attractive when they have a waist the size of a pre-teen.
His Cinderella, as played by 25-year-old actress Lily James, has an hourglass figure verging on the absurd: probably an inch or two less than my slender daughter’s in fact.

Branagh defends this, claiming it’s natural – with just the teeniest bit of assistance from her underwear. ”If you pop someone in a corset,’’ he said in an interview three days ago, “not that Lily James isn’t slim – but in that wide bow of the dress underneath, basically you squeeze things in, things come out at the bottom, you know?’’

But that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter how you do it – CGI, special lights, photoshopping, corsetry or even a pre-shoot starvation diet. What matters is the perpetuated message that this miniscule shape and size is what looks good.
In that same interview Branagh (who doesn’t have children) says: ”If you look at our ball [scene], it’s full of diversity. It’s full of every kind of shape.’’
But those girls – the diverse ones – they don’t get the prince, do they? Of course, the director would probably say hand-span waists are nothing new. Indeed they’re not. And watching Roman Holiday last night, I remembered the reason for Audrey Hepburn’s tiny frame: near starvation as a teenager in occupied Holland. Isn’t it time we moved on?

Perhaps mindful that interfering with a good thing could only risk mucking it up, Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz stick with almost doggedly traditionalist reverence to Disney’s 1950 animated version, with just a few tactful innovations – like a surprise late scene for the villainness – here and there.

Cinders, played with ample warmth by Downton Abbey’s Lily James, is entirely compliant and almost dripping with the milk of human kindness. There’s barely a hint of Elsa-like spite or indignation towards her bitchy new step-family.
There’s something unashamedly twee about the scenes before they show up – her parents (Hayley Atwell and Ben Chaplin) beam and cavort with her in rolling meadows, the backdrops kitsch to the point of glutinous. Sorrow needs to hurry up and afflict this kingdom pretty fast, lest your teeth start rotting from the confectionery-tin look of it all.

Victoria Lambert
“Why Disney’s new Cinderella is unsuitable for young girls”
Telegraph Fashion
March 9, 2015


Leggi anche questo