Ever After - A Cinderella Story
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This enchanting contemporary retelling of the classic fairy tale stars Barrymore as a savvy, modern young woman of the 16th Century whose strength and courage work magic on the lives of all those around her including the crown prince of France.
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I'm not a fan of original fairy tales. In this one however, the writers took the fantasy elements out, and made the story believable.
It's interesting how they took real historical figures & events, and weaved the "Cinderella" story out of it (**see footnote for some examples**)!
Everything about this production has me hooked! The actors: leading and supporting (I became a fan of Drew because of this movie). Storyline, and dialogue (it's witty & comical). Cinematography; scenery, and amazing old architectural buildings. COSTUMES (I especially adore the "Breathe" ensemble. **In my research I even found out the maker of the slippers-- Salvatore Ferragamo, and bought myself a pair by them, with the same metal embellishments* But have yet to find their official replica of the slipper.)** Musical score. Etc., etc.!!
For these reasons, it has remained one of my all-time favorite period/costume dramas for a decade & a half, and that's why I give it 5 stars!
**King Francis I (Henry's father) was a patron of the arts, and actually had Leonardo da Vinci as an artist in residence (who brought with him his famous Mona Lisa-- as depicted in the movie). He was actually the one (instead of Henry) to open the Collège de France in 1530 where "attendance is free and open to anyone", and boasts one of "the best research libraries of Europe".
He also sent expeditions to the America's, one headed by Jacques Cartier (who supposedly bought servant "Maurice").
His son Henry II, didn't marry a commoner as in the movie, but did have several mistresses. One named Nicole de Savigny (who bore him an illegitimate son: Henri de Saint-Rémy). The other Diane de Poitiers (almost 20 years older), was said to be his "lifelong companion", and for 25 years she was the "most powerful influence in his life and the most powerful woman in France". She was also "immortalized in sculpture and paintings". "And possessed a sharp intellect and was so politically astute that King Henry II trusted her to write many of his official letters, and even to sign them jointly with the one name HenriDiane. Her confident maturity and loyalty to Henry II made her his most dependable ally in the court." They however never had any children together, so the great-granddaughter/narrator "Grande Dame Marie Thérèse of France" actually was Queen Catherine de' Medici's many times distant future g-granddaughter.
Finally, the portrait (wedding present) "Head of a Woman" by da Vinci, looks a lot like Drew/"Danielle". **