Ever After

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Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Tennant
Produced byMireille Soria
Tracey Trench
Written byCharles Perrault (Cinderella)
Susannah Grant (screenplay)
Andy Tennant (screenplay)
Rick Parks (screenplay)
StarringDrew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott
Megan Dodds
Melanie Lynskey
Music byGeorge Fenton
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Editing byRoger Bondelli
StudioFlower Films
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)July 29, 1998
Running time121 minutes (approx.)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
BudgetUS$26 million (estimated)[1]
Box office$98,005,666[1]
 
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Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Tennant
Produced byMireille Soria
Tracey Trench
Written byCharles Perrault (Cinderella)
Susannah Grant (screenplay)
Andy Tennant (screenplay)
Rick Parks (screenplay)
StarringDrew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott
Megan Dodds
Melanie Lynskey
Music byGeorge Fenton
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Editing byRoger Bondelli
StudioFlower Films
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)July 29, 1998
Running time121 minutes (approx.)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
BudgetUS$26 million (estimated)[1]
Box office$98,005,666[1]

Ever After: A Cinderella Story is a 1998 film inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston and Dougray Scott. The screenplay is written by Tennant, Susannah Grant, and Rick Parks. The original music score is composed by George Fenton. The film's closing theme song "Put Your Arms Around Me" is performed by the rock band Texas.

The usual pantomime and comic/supernatural elements are removed and the story is instead treated as historical fiction, set in Renaissance-era France.

Contents

Plot

In the late eighteenth century, the Grande Dame of France, an elderly aristocrat, summons the Brothers Grimm to tell them the real story of the little cinder girl. She shows them a portrait of a young woman, named Danielle de Barbarac, and a glass slipper, and begins her tale.

Danielle, a little girl at age eight, lives with her widowed father, Auguste, who shares with her a love of books and progressive ideas. He brings home a new wife, the haughty Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, who has two daughters about Danielle's age, Marguérite and Jacqueline. He has a heart attack soon after, and with his dying breath professes his love for Danielle rather than Rodmilla, who envies Danielle and treats her like a servant thereafter. Marguérite is as cruel as Rodmilla, but Jacqueline is kind and gentle.

Ten years later, in the manor's orchard, Danielle catches a man stealing her father's horse. She unseats him with a well-aimed apple, but is horrified to learn that he is Henry, the Crown Prince of France, trying to escape the responsibilities of court. He buys her silence with a purse of gold, which she decides she will use to rescue an elderly servant sold to the Crown to pay the household's debts. She dresses as a noblewoman and goes to court to ransom the servant, where she encounters the Prince again. After the jailor refuses to release the servant, she argues against the injustice and quotes Thomas More's Utopia (book). Henry is so captivated that he orders the man released and begs for her name, but she evades his pleas and leaves him instead with her mother's name, the Comtesse Nicole de Lancret.

When Henry returns the horse to the manor, it's plain that Rodmilla intends to match her daughter Marguérite with the Prince, despite the marriage his parents have arranged with the Spanish royals. The King strikes a bargain with the recalcitrant Prince, telling Henry to choose his own bride before they give a ball in honor of Leonardo da Vinci, who has come to court, or he will choose for him. Henry meets Danielle again by the river, where he is arguing with Da Vinci about love and fate, but again she runs away. While looking for Da Vinci soon after Henry finds Danielle's childhood friend, Gustave, who knows the whole story, and tells him Nicole de Lancret is staying with Rodmilla. When he arrives at the manor, Danielle agrees to accompany him to the library of a nearby monastery. They are accosted by gypsies en route, and in an uproarious turn of events, Danielle rescues Henry and at the end of the night, they kiss. They agree to meet the next day, but she returns home so late she loses her temper in the morning, then punches Marguérite in the eye when she discovers Marguérite intends to take her mother's wedding dress and wear it to the masque. She is beaten by Rodmilla and when she meets Henry later, Danielle is so disheartened that she is unable to tell him the truth and runs away once more.

That same day, the Queen asks Marguérite and Rodmilla if they know the mysterious Comtesse de Lancret, and they realize it must be Danielle. Rodmilla tells the Queen that the Comtesse has gone to marry someone else. When they return to the manor, the Comtesse's wedding dress has disappeared and Rodmilla thinks Danielle plans on going to the masque, so she locks her in the larder. The servants get word to Da Vinci through Gustave, and he frees her and makes her a pair of wings to match her mother's wedding dress and her glass slippers, so she can go to the masque. Danielle arrives just before the King announces Henry's engagement, but before she can tell him the truth, Rodmilla accuses her of plotting to entrap the Prince by masquerading as a courtier. Henry is so shocked he spurns Danielle, saying that she's "like the rest of them." Tearfully, Danielle flees, losing a slipper along the way.

Henry decides to marry the Spanish Princess, but calls it off when he sees how distraught she is at the ceremony. He goes to the manor, but learns from Jacqueline that Danielle has been sold to Pierre le Pieu, a man who seems to have sexual advances on Danielle, just after the masque, so he sets out with Laurent to rescue her, but finds she has freed herself. Realizing that he loved her, he asks her to forgive him and to marry him, and she agrees happily and they kiss.

The next day, Rodmilla and Marguérite are summoned to court and charged with lying to the Queen. Without a defense, the Queen strips Rodmilla of her title and sentences her and Marguérite to be shipped to the Americas on the first available boat unless someone will speak for them. When Danielle steps forward, Henry introduces her as his wife. She asks that they receive the same courtesy they showed her, so Marguérite and Rodmilla are sent to the laundry to serve out their lives. Jacqueline is matched with Henry's acerbic squire, while Danielle and Henry live happily ever after; and the Grande Dame tells the Brothers Grimm that, "the point, gentlemen, is that they lived."

Cast

Production

Ever After was filmed in Super 35 mm film format, however both the widescreen and pan-and-scan versions are included on the DVD. This is the only Super 35 mm film directed by Andy Tennant: his previous films were filmed with spherical lenses, while his subsequent films used anamorphic lenses.

The castle shown in the film is the Château de Hautefort. Filming also occurred in Dordogne, France at the Châteaux de Fénélon, de Losse, de Lanquas, de Beynac and the city of Sarlat.

The painting of Danielle seen in the film is based on Leonardo da Vinci's Head of a Woman (La Scapigliata).

Critical reception

Ever After has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 90% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 61 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10.[2] The critical consensus is: Ever After is a sweet, frothy twist on the ancient fable, led by a solid turn from star [Drew] Barrymore.[2] Among Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television, and radio programs,[3] the film holds an overall approval rating of 76% based on 17 reviews.[4] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a favorable score of 66 based on 22 reviews.[5]

Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, saying: "Against many odds, Ever After comes up with a good one. This novel variation is still set in the once-upon-a-time 16th century, but it features an active, 1990s-style heroine -- she argues about economic theory and civil rights with her royal suitor -- rather than a passive, exploited hearth sweeper who warbles 'A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes'."[6] She also praised Anjelica Huston's performance as a cruel stepmother: "Huston does a lot of eye narrowing and eyebrow raising while toddling around in an extraordinary selection of extreme headgear, accompanied by her two less-than-self-actualized daughters -- the snooty, social-climbing, nasty Marguérite, and the dim, lumpy, secretly nice Jacqueline. "Nothing is final until you're dead", Mama instructs her girls at the dinner table, "and even then I'm sure God negotiates"."[6]

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, while praising the film with 3 out of 4 stars, wrote that "The movie [...] is one of surprises, not least that the old tale still has life and passion in it. I went to the screening expecting some sort of soppy children's picture and found myself in a costume romance with some of the same energy and zest as The Mask of Zorro. And I was reminded again that Drew Barrymore can hold the screen and involve us in her characters. [...] Here, as the little cinder girl, she is able to at last put aside her bedraggled losers and flower as a fresh young beauty, and she brings poignancy and fire to the role."[7]

Both Newsweek and Rolling Stone magazine praised the movie's intelligence and wit, although some critics also noted its "confusing switch between humor and seriousness."

DVD and Blu-Ray release

The film was released on DVD March 3, 1999.[2] On January 4, 2011, the film was released on Blu-Ray.[8]

Musical adaptation

A musical version of the film is currently in the works, with the book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich. The musical was scheduled to have its world premiere in April 2009 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, but the pre-Broadway run has been postponed.[9] In May 2012, it was announced that the project is back on track with Kathleen Marshall signing on to direct a Broadway run for the 2013-2014 season.[10][11] The musical will also feature music by Zina Goldrich and book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Box Office Mojo (1998-07-31). "Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=everafter.htm. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 
  2. ^ a b c "Ever After: A Cinderella Story Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ever_after_a_cinderella_story/. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes FAQ: What is Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/pages/faq#creamofthecrop. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Ever After: A Cinderella Story (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ever_after_a_cinderella_story/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 
  5. ^ "Ever After: A Cinderella Story reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/ever-after. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 
  6. ^ a b Lisa Schwarzbaum. "Ever After (1998) on Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,63674,00.html. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (1998-07-31). "Ever After BY ROGER EBERT". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19980731/REVIEWS/807310302/1023. Retrieved 1998-07-31. 3/4 stars
  8. ^ Ever After Blu-ray
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2009-01-28). "South Pacific Revival to Play San Francisco; Pre-Broadway Ever After Run Postponed". Playbill.com. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/125696.html. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  10. ^ Kathleen Marshall to Helm Broadway-Bound EVER AFTER Musical
  11. ^ Kathleen Marshall Will Direct Broadway Debut of Ever After, Based On 1998 Cinderella Film
  12. ^ 'Ever After' to get musical treatment in 2013 -- can Broadway handle three Cinderellas?

External links