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The Brothers Grimm arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl before telling the "true" story of her ancestor. In flashback, the story focuses on eight-year-old Danielle, daughter of a wealthy widower, Auguste (Jeroen Krabbe), a 16th-century landowner. Shortly after returning to France with his new wife Rodmilla (Angelica Huston) and her two daughters, he dies of a heart attack. Ten years later, Danielle (Drew Barrymore), treated as a servant by the others since her father’s death, has a brief and fiery encounter with Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who is fleeing an arranged marriage. Later, when Danielle poses as a lady, the Prince takes an interest in her. But Rodmilla has serious wedding plans for her own daughter, Marguerite (Megan Dodds) to be the next Queen, and does everything in her power to thwart the budding romance between Danielle and the Prince. But inventor-artist Leonardo da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey), accepting the French court's patronage, is on hand at a crucial moment to help. Even so, Danielle’s lowly status plays against her at Court, and as she flees in shame, one bejewelled slipper slips off her foot in the rain-soaked ground. It takes a Prince to put it back on . . .

"If you get sick of critics raving about this film it’s for the simple reason that the subject matter is so easy to stuff up on screen, we’re all delighted that this time, it hasn’t been. Tennant and co not only avoid stuffing it up, they enlarge and make new an ancient and somewhat tired fairy tale, giving it a passionate and exuberant new life. It has zest and brio in abundance, but above all, it has intelligence. The script is a wonderful starting point for this entertaining interpretation of Cinderella – and if the mere notion of Cinderella puts you off this film, let me urge you to reconsider. You may safely spend your time and money on this work, for it is satisfying in every way. Gorgeous to look at – some of the wide, mist-laden shots of Chateau de Hautefort across a valley are haunting in their beauty – superbly directed and designed, Ever After boasts outstanding performances. But then look at how Tennant has cast his film: people like Timothy West, Judy Parfitt and Jeroen Krabbe in small but crucial roles. These are real actors, not stars walking through sets. They take their roles seriously, not as if playing in some low brow kids movie. Their lines MATTER. Then there are the leads – Barrymore, Scott and Huston: more evidence of skillful and thoughtful casting. All in all, Ever After succeeds because it never patronises the audience and always cares for its characters."
Andrew L. Urban

"Ever After grasps the fairy tale by the horns and reigns it in stylishly, resulting in a delightful adventure story that combines touches of fantasy together with a down-to-earth approach which is both accessible and engaging. Visually beautiful with French provincial settings to die for, the script cleverly moulds this tale of old into a story which generates wings and flies. Drew Barrymore drops her all-American blonde image, with a performance that is dazzling, reinforcing her talents and appeal on screen. That Joan Fontaine innocence is combined with a modern-day feistiness that will satisfy feminists, yet always retaining the beautiful heroine image. But heroines these days have brains, intelligence and spirit. Barrymore has all of these. Dougray Scott is also terrific. Princes these days do have hair that gets out of place as well as imperfections and insecurities; the humanisation of these central characters brings a vitality and dynamic to the story. Anjelika Houston is eminently watchable: her wicked stepmother has a complexity that makes her a character with real elements to which we can relate, combined with some that are farcical. The music soars, and the production design is exquisite. The masked ball is a tapestry and painting brought to life - a feast for the eyes. Delightful in every way, Ever After is a treat for the whole family; stunning filmmaking accessible to everyone."
Louise Keller

"The Cinderella tale has been given a new and fresh cinematic lease of life, with this beautifully detailed, delight of a film, a real charmer with surprising depth, attention to detail and even a sense of defined history. Cinderella is now a headstrong, self-opinionated, passionate philosopher, and the film examines the role of women in a patriarchal society. While at its heart Ever After is a love story, it's also a film about passion, learning, statehood and the age-old theme of looking within. If at times it feels slow, it's a detailed film that allows us to get to know both prince and pauper, with greater intricacy than the genre generally allows, and with some glowing performances. Barrymore excels with each role, and here is touching, funny and insightful as the tough, but vulnerable heroine. She looks dazzling, yet goes against the grain of stereotypical Hollywood leading ladies. As her vain and vile stepmother, Angelica Huston is deliciously, magnificently malevolent, while British actor Dougray Scott is terrific as the Prince, trying to resist a forced marriage while learning humanity from his new love. The film is visually lush, impeccably shot in France, beautifully designed and stunningly costumed. Director Andy Tennant has a keen eye for detail, combining both an old-fashioned simplistic narrative structure with some contemporary views on a familiar tale. Ever After is far more than a kids' film; a breathtaking, charming and wonderfully old fashioned tale that weaves its spell adding droll humour to the mix. This is wonderful entertainment on a grand scale."
Paul Fischer

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See our FEATURE on the Making of Ever After



CAST: Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Patrick Godfrey, Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynskey, Timothy West, Judy Parfitt, Jeroen Krabbe, Lee Ingleby, Kate Lansbury, Walter Sparrow

PRODUCERS: Mireille Soria, Tracey Trench

DIRECTOR: Andy Tennant

SCRIPT: Susannah Grant and Andy Tennant & Rick Parks


EDITOR: Roger Bondelli ACE

MUSIC: George Fenton


RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes

SLIPPERS PROVIDED BY: Salvatore Ferragamo


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 31, 1998


VIDEO SELL-THRU RELEASE: November 17, 1999

RRP: $24.95


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