This is the kind of movie that no self-respecting guy would admit to liking in front of his friends. Seeing as i have no self-respect and even fewer friends, i have no reservations in stating that i loved this one from start to finish. It is a clever and highly original retelling of the classic Cinderella story, set in France. The entire cast does an inspired job. Drew Barrymore hasn't been this endearing since "E.T." (or was it "Doppelganger" ? I keep confusing the two), Anjelica Huston is a fittingly loathsome stepmother and even the featured "prince charming" i found easy to stomach. Need i recount the (allegedly true) tale ? (daughter turned lowly servant turned pretend courtier turned princess) Check elsewhere ! The pre-feminist subtext is hard to overlook, but far from obtrusive. Couldn't help liking the not so evil second stepsister. No fantastic elements are introduced: there is no evidence of sorcery, or a pumpkin anywhere to be found. Replacing the fairy godmother with Leonardo da Vinci of all people is a stroke of genius, adding to the credibility of the storyline. The payoff is thoroughly satisfactory, leaving you with a smile on your face. My fellow countryman Jeroen Krabbé (Barrymore's father) sees his acting career cut short as he is killed off within the first five minutes or so. The whole thing is accompanied by a great music score. Set aside your prejudice & suspend your disbelief. This is 1 hour and 57 minutes well spent !