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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 Danielle (Drew Barrymore), who is treated as a servant by her stepmother Rodmilla (Angelica Huston) and two daughters.  She has a brief and fiery encounter with Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who is fleeing an arranged marriage. 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. 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 . . . 

Review by Louise Keller:
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.

Published July 1, 2004

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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

DIRECTOR: Andy Tennant

SCRIPT: Susannah Grant and Andy Tennant & Rick Parks

RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes



DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: April 28, 2004

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