8 June 2018

SIMPLY MEDIA PRESENTS KATHLEEN TURNER IN 'CINDERELLA.' (2000) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




CINDERELLA. (2000) A TELEVISION FILM BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE OF THE SAME NAME. DIRECTED BY BEEBAN KIDRON. WRITTEN BY NICK DEAR. PRODUCED BY TREVOR EVE.
STARRING KATHLEEN TURNER, DAVID WARNER, LESLIE PHILLIPS, JANE BIRKIN, SHARON MAUGHAN, KATRIN CARTLIDGE, LUCY PUNCH, GIDEON TURNER AND MARCELLA PLUNKETT AS CINDERELLA.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

CHANNEL 4'S CINDERELLA OUT NOW ON DVD COURTESY OF SIMPLY MEDIA!!!


'I hate happy endings.'

'I am a warm person. I will not be cold.'

'Becoming a trophy wife to a Prince has never been high on my agenda.'

'She's an innocent who will have to be corrupted, and the sooner the better.'

'Well, you'd better come up with some more funds, fast. Frugality makes me very unpleasant to live with.'

'It's a very simple equation. Cash equals company. I think, Martin, that you and I are going to have to review our sleeping arrangements.'

'It's not bad enough that I married a bankrupt, I have to take cheek from his daughter as well?'

'There's not a girl in the whole of the mountains who can fit this shoe.'

As a woman, I was always gonna dig a fairytale that revolved around a pair of fabulous shoes. I've always loved Kathleen Turner too. She's a great actress who's proved her acting chops in films like BODY HEAT with William Hurt and THE WAR OF THE ROSES with Michael Douglas, and who was absolutely terrific as Chandler Bing's cross-dressing father Charles Bing aka Helena Handbasket in 'Nineties hit sitcom FRIENDS. She's terrific here too as Claudette, the Wicked Stepmother to Marcella Plunkett's beautiful Cinderella.

You all know the fairytale, don't you? It's always been one of my favourites, right up there with SLEEPING BEAUTY, RAPUNZEL and SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN VERTICALLY-CHALLENGED MALES OR FEMALES, GENDER ISN'T REALLY A THING ANY MORE. All the girly fairytales, lol. You could keep your ENORMOUS TURNIPS or your LITTLE RED HENS, I just wanted to see breath-takingly stunning dresses, hairstyles and, of course, shoes. Always shoes...

So, Cinderella, so called because of all the time she spends as a domestic skivvy sweeping up ashes, is horrified when her widowed father Martin comes home one day from a business trip with a new wife. And two horrible new step-daughters to boot.

Cinderella, who spends a morbid amount of time at her mother's grave in the picturesque mountains, was never going to be happy with her father re-marrying. But the fact that he's married the hard-as-nails super-bitch Claudette (Kathleen Turner) is so much harder to take.

Claudette immediately relegates Cinderella to an attic bedroom by night and the kitchen by day. She also begins a relentless campaign to turn Cinderella's dopey father against her, his own daughter. She succeeds too, because Martin- the Dad- is now being ruled by a part of his
anatomy that's a good deal lower down than his brain. Typical bloke, huh?

Martin is played by David Warner (THE OMEN, STRAW DOGS, James Cameron's TITANIC). Cinders is horrified by her disloyal father's defection. Her two pushy, mouthy step-sisters, Goneril and Regan, are both selfish, fashion-obsessed nightmares whom their mother is keen to marry off as soon as possible. Preferably to millionaires with endless reserves of dosh who can keep the two little trollops in the style they're accustomed to.

Martin's health may well be at risk when Super-Bitch Claudette realises that he's a bit more strapped for cash than he let on when he proposed to her. Remember WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

Well, Martin will be lucky if Claudette doesn't do a Baby Jane on him (he's the Blanche character!) and put him out of action, permanently. Will anyone discover her fiendish plot in time to save the rather wimpy Martin...?

Never mind all that nonsense for now. Far more important is the Ball being given by Queen Seraphina for her son, the Prince Valiant, who's single and good-looking (I find him a bit wimpy myself) and may just be on the look-out for a wife. Goneril and Regan are wetting themselves in anticipatory glee. This is the kind of rich husband they can get on board with.

I love their mother's hard-ass, military-style approach to the whole thing. 'Balls are a battlefield and, if you want to triumph, you must plan your campaign. What is the point of catching a man if, hereafter, you are unable to control him?' I'm certainly with her when she says, on the topic of shoes (always!): 'The more difficult they are to wear, the more effective they are.' Can I get an 'Amen...?'

Queen Seraphina is played by Gold Blend coffee advert actress Sharon Maughan. Remember those funny, will-they-won't-they ads with Anthony BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER Head back in the day? 'I'm giving a dinner party and I've run out of coffee...?' Great stuff, great stuff. Hammy but great craic altogether. Happy days.

Anyway, so is Cinders going to get to attend this Royal Gala or what, then? It just so happens that the old family retainer Phelim, played by the marvellous Leslie CARRY ON Phillips who's still going strong at ninety-four, is acquainted with a certain mermaid-witch who lives up the mountains in a gorgeous underground cave.

Mab the anti-social Mermaid-Witch, played by Jane Birkin, the Jane Birkin half of Jane Birkin and Serge JE T'AIME Gainsbourg, has a sartorial trick or two up her sleeve. Cinders is duly scrubbed up all nice and princessy and transported to the Ball in her fabulous ball-gown and delicate rose-petal slippers, where the bored Prince Valiant promptly falls in love with her, as per the old fairytale. He even sings a song about her:

'There's a girl, in a dress, she's not like all the rest,
She's a little bit strange, and she's brought about a change in me...'

Erm, don't give up the day job, mate. Let's hope he's better at romancing than he is at warbling. Oh no, wait, hang on a minute. Check this out.

Prince Valiant: 'Will you kiss me?'
Cinders: 'I've never been kissed.'
Prince Valiant: 'Me neither.'

A right pair of flippin' novices here, eh? Anyway, it's hard not to laugh at the Two Ugly Sisters trying to stuff their dainty hooves into the implausibly tiny rose-petal slipper. Their mother's reaction is priceless. Wielding a saw, she pronounces matter-of-factly to the Terrible Twosome: 'There's nothing else for it. One of you has to lose some toes...'

You know how the story ends, right? The Prince Valiant turns out to be gay and goes off with Cinderella's Dad and Cinders turns feminist and campaigns tirelessly for the right of women to wear a strap-on willy to work if they feel like it.

The Two Ugly Sisters get ground up into hamburger patties and eaten by starving villagers during the Great Meat Shortage of 19-- and Claudette files Martin neatly away under 'EXPIRED' and marries an Arab Sheik, as rich as Croesus, who likes her to walk on his back in nine-inch-heels during every full moon. Happily Ever After? You got that right...

CHANNEL 4'S CINDERELLA OUT NOW ON DVD COURTESY OF SIMPLY MEDIA!!!


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







About Simply Media,
Simply Media is one the UK's leading DVD publishers and licensors of classic entertainment from the BBC, Channel 4, Hollywood Classics, MGM, Universal Pictures, Imperial War Museum, and many other high-quality producers. Our aim is to bring lost or neglected film and TV classics to audiences searching for forgotten favourites, making them available on DVD and digital download formats, often for the first time.


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