Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement
This Renaissance Cinderella is quite capable of holding her own with the boys, but is still oppressed by her wicked stepmother in this vaguely feminist reworking of a traditional fairytale.
By the mid-nineties, Drew Barrymore had made the transition from cute child actor in E.T. to drug-fuelled wild child in her personal life, and it had become quite clear that if she was ever going to complete the transition to bankable Hollywood star, she would have to pull her socks up, young missy. A mixture of credible indie choices and small but memorable roles in Scream and Wayne's World 2 were lots of fun, but hardly the stuff an A-list career is built upon.
Skip to 1998 and enter Andy Tennant, who co-scripted and directed this fun and frothy fantasy romance, which seeks to update the Cinderella story for modern girls. In truth, something this mainstream was unlikely to be a completely radical feminist tract, but as Danielle, our reduxed Cinders, the 23 year old Barrymore proved she could be relied upon to carry a film.
Other traditional roles are taken by Dougray Scott as Danielle's knight in not entirely shining armour and Anjelica Huston as the also not entirely wicked stepmother. And the Fairy Godmother? none other than Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey) himself. It may not be great literature, but it's more fun than the The Da Vinci Code.
An affable film that helped affirm Drew Barrymore's place in the Hollywood firmament as something cosier than a one-trick wild child.
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