Let me just say I was completely enchanted and blown away by this film.
It’s not often I find a film that I would watch every day over and over. When I do, it’s usually because something that has resonated deeply with me. In this case, I saw myself in Ella’s character a lot, in certain losses and cruelties that she suffered–and in the ways that she handled them. I want to be able to handle life’s challenges with her same kindness and courage. Her sweet and giving spirit is something I think we all should aspire to attain.
I could tell from the trailer the film would be spectacular and emotional; proof was in the pudding when I would watch the trailer on repeat and just cry at how lovely it was.
But its beauty was not contained simply to the fancy dresses, the ornate carriages and castle. No, this film, this story, was alive with a spiritual beauty much deeper than that.
Allow me to share a few favorite quotes from the film, and you’ll get what I mean:
Narrator: “She saw the world, not always as it was, but as it could be…with a perhaps a little bit of magic.”
Ella’s Mom: “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind. You have more courage your little finger than most people possess in their whole body—and it has power.”
Narrator: “Pain turned to memory.”
Narrator: “It’s better to be alone, than be surrounded by poor company.”
Narrator: “She had few friends, but the ones she had, she treated with an open heart and an open hand.”
Ella: “Just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done!”
Narrator: “Perhaps it was just as well that Ella’s step sisters were cruel for had she never run to the forest, she would never have met the prince.”
Fairy Godmother: “What is a bowl of milk? Nothing, but with kindness, it is everything.”
Narrator: “To be seen as we truly are, is the biggest risk we will ever take. Will we be enough as we really are?”
Ella: “No princess, no carriage, no parents, no dowry. I don’t even know if that slipper will fit. Will you take me as I am—an honest country girl who loves you?” Prince: “Of course I will, but only if you’ll take me as I am—an apprentice who’s still learning his trade.”
Ella: “Why are you so cruel? I tried so hard to be kind to you.” Stepmother: “Why? Because you are young and innocent and good. And I…”
Ella (to her stepmother at the end): “I forgive you.”
The messages in the film are absolutely beautiful, and we could stand to see more of them these days, in film, books, you name it. From the theme of being courageous and kind to Ella’s unbending beliefs in the magic her parents taught her. From her innocent, sweet spirit to the way she cares for all living creatures. From the way she is so sincere and true to herself to the way she so graciously forgives her stepmother at the end–and yet has wisdom and strength to walk away from her cruelties as well.
A totally brilliant story and a must-see for all people of all ages.