1/31/2016

Monthly Challenges // February


So, remember this? 

Seeing as my New Years Resolutions are 1. Spoil less time on the Internet. 2. Get more writing done. and 3. Do more things not involving the Internet, I came up this brilliant (haha) idea last night, while fireworks were popping and the sky was changing colour around our house and while 2015 changed to 2016.  I thought: "I'm going to keep monthly challenges to help me actually KEEP these New Years Resolutions." Seeing as many of you said you wanted to spoil less time this year (poor us, we are such helpless creatures) I thought I would share it, and all that. 

I personally don't mind if no-one does this, but I like challenging myself, sooo. Let's see how I (and anyone else who did participate) did for January! The challenge I set for myself was "Only pin pins on Pinterest on Saturdays (and my birthday)" AND I DID IT!!! I did use Pinterest througout the week, but I only pinned and liked pins on Saturdays and my birthday. :-) I'm proud of myself.

The challenge for February is this: Only watch Youtube videos on Saturdays. I will allow myself to put up music, you know, for while I study. But the Messy Mondays and other videos that I follow and so on will only be watched on Saturdays. 

Let's see if I can do this!!! Is anyone joining me with this February challenge?

1/26/2016

What gets said during P&P95


We finished re-watching my beloved Pride and Prejudice (I LOVE IT OKAY IT'S SO SO GOOD), and this time I decided to note down, for you all to see, some of the comical commentary coming from the couch. (Wow, good use of alliteration there, Naomi. Not bad.) (Unfortunately more is said than just the things mentioned in this post - but here are just some of the stuff I can remember from memory.)

Screencaps from this place here.


"They're ruining the crops!"
"Mr Darcy is winning."
"So mean, they're ruining the crops." (Yes, that got said twice. Strong opinions here.)
"So typical that Mr Bingley has the white one and Mr Darcy has the dark one."


"They're a lot of horses in this movie."
"Lizzy really likes horses."
"If I were her, I would stroke them! She just walks past!"
"Yes, she doesn't think they're special."


"Napoleon."
"Why are they wearing Napoleon hats?"
"Mr Bingley wears his hat differently than Mr Darcy."
(My family is really fashionable. A lot of serious fashion critique going on here.)


"This is my favourite scene." (What?!)


(In this scene, the footman tells Lizzy that Mr Bingley is in the drawing room.)
"How does he know that Lizzy wants to see Mr Bingley?"
"Because he's the only nice one."
"Oh yes. He just tells her where the nice one is."
"Maybe his name is Pigeon, too." (If you've seen Sense and Sensibility 95, you should get that.)


"In love."
"Oh LOOK, look. It's the dog."
"The dog Lizzy played with in the garden!"


"What on earth IS so funny about Denny?"
"They really AREN'T poor. Look at all the food!"


"What's so funny about throwing loop rings in a stick?"
"Why are they LAUGHING about that?"
"What a babyish game."


"LADY CATHERINE CAN WALK?!!"
"Wow, she's walking!"
"She's actually quite young."
"SHE'S USING HER FEET."


"He's cycling."


"What's so special about dining nine times at Rosings?"
"Yes, I wouldn't even want to go there. So boring."
"She thinks that's special. NINE times."
"So NOT special."
(We emphasize things in our household. I know.)


"He has three dogs."
"No, two."
"No, I think there were three first."
"No really, come on, there are two."
"Why does he need a candle? It's not THAT dark?"
(I was like, Be QUIET I want to enjoy Darcy being in love and dreamy and cute.)


"She sounds like a chicken."


"Hill is scared."
"Lady Catherine de Bough looks like the child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
"Yes, she DOES!"


"OH MY GOODNESS. I CAN SEE HIS TEETH."
"He's smiling?!!"
"He's actually smiling WITH HIS TEETH."
"Oh no, now there's the kiss. I'm going." (I did not say this. I said practically none of these things.)
(I love how Mr Bennet is looking at Mr Darcy's big smile in this picture. He can't believe it.)

There you go - that was some of the comical commentary coming from our couch.

1/25/2016

Quick new blog look...


Just for your interest, there's a new blog look making it's debut on Wonderland Creek! I know - more pink, more Jane Austen, more Downton Abbey - nothing REALLY new - but anyways, here it is. I'd like your opinions, even if they be negative.

1/08/2016

Our Zoo // Review


Ever since we finished this series called Our Zoo (which was... this Wednesday) me, together with my siblings, have been growling the same thing a few times every day. Why isn't there a season TWO?!!!!!! It pains my SOUL to hear that there won't EVER be another season released of this stinkin fantastic Period Drama series. I am weeping forever; crushed; shattered; doomed; dead. 

(Wow, that got really grave.)

Seriously though. Let me ask you something. WHY ISN'T THERE A SEASON TWO?! I am asking the film-people. WHY. Did the actors insist on stopping? Insist the contrary! Show them who's boss! Did you loose inspiration? Ask your fans! I'll write the script. Did the costume designer die? Find a new one! Did Upton burn down? Of course it didn't. WHY THEN. Wasn't it popular enough? Internet sources insist the contrary thereof - millions are crushed and on their death beds about the end of Our Zoo. Seriously?! You're kidding me? You're just going to keep it with one little series of six episodes? And Frankie so unhappy? And George buying a lion?!! And us not knowing how and what and who and - *splutters helplessly*

You can't just DO that. Wicked child.

(If you stopped because you didn't FEEL like it, I'm afraid I must tell you that I have made up my mind to hate you forever. Apologies in advance. You're welcome.)


JUST LOOK AT THOSE CHARACTERS. I WANT MORE.

*bites lip* *glares*

Okay, I'm done with my rant. I'll calm down, comb my furious hair and wash the angry sweat from my forehead. The review of Our Zoo (poet-and-you-didn't-know-it-alert) may start. There be spoilers, but who cares about SPOILERS. (If you care, kind off avert your eyes from the remainder of this post.)


All right, so "Our Zoo" is a six-episode-long (or should I say, short?) series about the true story of the Mottershead family who move to Chester and, of all the freaking things, decide to start a zoo. As in; buying animals and building 'cages' and all that. But the people in the village, Upton, are dead set against the idea - so they do anything to prevent it, from starting petitions to cutting nets to spreading lies. But in the end, with the help of The Good Ones, they finally get Official Permission and enough money to lend... and then, bam, we hear there isn't a second season and there never will be.

(I'm not going to rant about that again but... seriouuusly.)

The series was such a success in our family. My siblings, many of whom adore animals, loved the fact that it was about 'how Chester zoo started' (one of my siblings went to Chester zoo once, but she said she didn't recognise anything, because duh, this is set in 1930) and I, who doesn't really adore animals, loved the old-fashioned-charm, the adooorable costumes, some of the romances, etc. Different audiences can appreciate this; and I appreciate that in a movie/series. (My dad said it was 'brilliant', and my five-year-old sister loved it. Proof.)


Before I'm going to go through the characters, I'll cover the other aspects of the show.

First, the accents. GAH. I'm suddenly really, really obsessed with the Liverpool accent - and I'll talk in none other. Some of you tell me that if you had a British accent like me, you wouldn't stop talking. Well, I can't stop talking in a Liverpool-ian accent nowadays! It's adorable and I just love it. (Or, should I say, luv it? Yeah, I'll say luv it.) But yes, there are also characters with normal boring British accents, but the Liverpool accents are so precious. (My Granddad was bought up in Liverpool, so I have Liverpool-ian blood. Hashtag proud.)

The music isn't amazing, although the Theme song is nice.

There isn't any content bedroom-scene-nudity-wise, but unfortunately there are swear words sprinkled throughout. Nothing very big, but I have to admit that there was enough to me to think, 'Oh, I'd better mention there's some language, in my review.'


AND THEN THE COSTUMES.

The 30's were just... so glamorous and gorgeous. It might be my favourite time period, actually, fashion-wise. This show really made me fall bam-slap in love the fashion of the 1930 - the shorts, the cuts of the skirts, the gorgeous soft party gowns, the long necklaces, the HATS, and the HAIRSTYLES. My favourite wardrobe probably belonged to Mew, but Lady Catherine's wardrobe was disastrously impeccable, too. And Lizzie and Mew and Frankie's dresses for the auction evening... I'm in love with them.

Basically, watch it for the 30's fashion alone. Amen.


Now I will ramble (Wow, I haven't used that word in eons. Remember when it was so overused on the on this circle of blogs?) about the characters. George Mottershead, leader of the household, pillar of the zoo, decider and perseverer of fulfulling his zooological garden dream deserves to be the first I talk about.

I loved his ridiculously adorable grin (can I get an Amen about that, please? I need an 'I love George Mottershead grin' T-shirt. Just kidding.), I loved it when he left Billy in the bear-cage, I loved it when he told Mew he was proud of her, I loved how he got along so well with June and how he loved her so much, I loved how he loved his wife, I loved how he didn't give up, and I loved how he respected his parents. So yes, a lot of things about him that I loved. :-)

Other things... not so much. I hated the whole plot-that-hinted-he-partly-fell-in-love-with-Lady-Catherine. Those bits drove me crazy, and I'm so glad it ended well. I'm also so glad he acted like a gentleman in London and that he kissed his wife often. (:-P) But what also annoyed me sometimes was his... Robert-Timmins-ish-nature sometimes. If you've seen Lark Rise to Candleford, you know about Robert Timmins - who has his annoying side. George isn't annoying at all, but sometimes he annoyed me. But yeah. He's a good chump in general. Really, he is.


Lizzie!! I LOVE LIZZIE, despite the hiiiighly annoying fact that the movie hinted she had a part-time 'crush' on the Reverend. Luckily that passed quickly. (Why can't couples remain 100% percent faithful 100% of the time please? Thanks.)

Lizzie has THE cutest Liverpool accent in the movie, and I love her hair and her face and her hat. And her piano playing. She's such a brilliant mother, she's such an excellent wife (for the most time) and I love the support she gives her husband and her daughters and her parents-in-law. She really held the family together, she did, and I'd like to be her friend. Loved her!


June! JUNE IS JUST SO ADORABLE. And she's a young writer! I loved how every episode started off with her writing her 'Our Zoo newsletter' - her voice is adorable, and her curls are just... I mean look at her, doesn't she look ridiculously nice? She IS ridiculously nice. She's completely besotted with animals - Mortimer the monkey (mun-keh) is her best friend - and she's complimentary and gorgeous and I loved her. For the first three episodes or so, when most of the characters hadn't yet developed to their best, she was my favourite character.

(Doesn't she look like Shirley Temple but then better?)


Ugh, in the beginning Mew - short for Muriel; not named after the noise of a cat - annoyed me enormously much. My whole family loathed her boyfriend, Alexander, or whatever his name was. We were all jolly happy when Mortimer the monkey ate the lipstick he gave her.

Mew was just so... so DROOPY. Quit feeling sorry for yourself, girl, BE sensible, SERIOUSLY. You're only frikkin' fifteen and you want to go off to New York with an annoying boy. The Zoo was good for her - working was what she needed. I did sympathize with her, though - she's the complete opposite of a tomboy (like me) and I felt her disgust when she had to milk the goat and feed the animals, which was the exact kind of thing she hated. She loved pretty things, and she wanted to be just like Lady Catherine.

By the end of the series, I really liked her - she became so much more sensible, and she found a guy called Archie who's just DA best, and she helps her family by getting a paid job as a typist... I really liked her by the end. She still kind of annoyed me, because of her I'm-so-mature-and-pretty-attitude (which she totally has), but I really loved how she matured as a character. And, I've told you this, but her WARDROBE. So gorgeous.


Despite the fact that her smile is gorgeous and that her wardrobe is even MORE gorgeous, at first I HATED Lady Catherine. I thought, OH NO. A rich blonde single lady who'll drive George away from his wife JUST NO. And I did think that for several episodes, because she often talked to him as if she were flirting, and they smiled way too much at each other and it drove me maddddd.

But then she saw how much George and Lizzie loved each other, and what a wonderful spouse Lizzie is... and by the end, after that little speech she gave at the epic court scene - I loved her. (Still though, not my favourite character at all, considering I only enjoyed her character fully by the very last episode.)


ARCHIE was the best! He was so funny and GOOD and nice and... I really really loved him. He was just what Mew needed, seriously. Such a genuinely nice guy, a support to his (annoying) mum (seriously his mum is THE annoying-est character in the show, I shan't devote another sentance to her)... gack, Archie was the best.

(HIS MUM WASN'T.)
(And neither was that court-man.)
(And I HATED the Reverend. SO MUCH.)
(That is all I'm going to say on the characters I hate. But I really didn't like them at ALL.)


THE GRANDMA. She was grumpy; but hilarious. She disapproved; but yet she stood by and supported. My heart melted a little (a lot) when she and Granddad were cute together (her reaction to him saying that they should kiss - HAHA) - and I loved it when Granddad stood up for her when her cooking was slighted. Love the couple.

She was so annoying sometimes, though, although understandably. Zoo's aren't for everyone, after all. (She seemed to love the bears, though! THEY'RE PREGNANT I CAN TELL. (And she's so proud of the bear cubs, it's hilarious.))

OH AND. She was so quotable. We loved the stuff that came out of her mouth, especially the following line: "Oh Pipe down, we have to listen to you squawking all day; what's the difference?" - We laughed so much; we had to rewatch that bit a few times. SO GOOD.


AND THE GRANDPA. MY FAVOURITE. (I need a hug from him.)

He was so supportive, and KIND and smiling... and he couldn't bear to see anyone say bad things about his wife or his son, and I just love him to bits. His smile is adorable, and he works so hard and he's so excited about the birds... I just love the Grandpa. He and I would be the bestest of friends. (Isn't he the same actor as the pub-man in Lark Rise to Candleford? I really recognise him.)


Frankie!! I loved Frankie from the very start - from her sassy smile to her WARDROBE - Ahhhhh, I forgot all about her wardrobe!!!! It's AMAZING. Really, it IS. It's sassy yet classy; knit-and-wool yet chique and tailored - it's office-y, yet adorable. Gee, I can see why Billy fell for her. She's so beautiful.

(I abosutely loved the way she and Billy met. Billy's SO much fun... oh, let's talk about him right now, shall we? I saved the guy for last.)


Billy improved so much throughout the movie. In the beginning I thought ugh no a girl-crazy man who doesn't know how to spend his money oh no. But then I saw him helping his brother-in-law with the bears, and I saw him bringing home animals and I saw him being so hilarious, trying to sell his silly things. And then his car broke down, and he was so eager and helpful with the penguins. And then HIS SMILE and his stupid comments and silly laugh... I LOVED BILLY.

He and Frankie... GAH. HE AND FRANKIE. They were so adorable. Please, please - anyone who has seen this show, you must comment and talk with me about Billy and Frankie together. We must talk about the dress Billy gave her, and the rose, and when Mew went, "YOU two?" and when they helped the Mottersheads together, and when THEY HUGGED IN THE END.

(Frankie did NOT deserve to loose her job like that. Argh. I need a season two. So badly.)


Basically, I highly recommend this show, although it did have some things that annoyed me a little, as I've mentioned throughout this post. But I loved it to bits - it made me so happy, it made me swoon about the costumes, it made me almost like animals, it made me want to have curls like Mew, it made me SOOO yearn for more.

And George's grin. And BILLY's grin. And BILLY AND FRANKIE. And Archie. And the GRANDDAD.

I really LOVE this show. Here's the trailer, and then watch it and sign the petition for series two. Goodbye.

1/07/2016

2015 Book List

1. Just Jane - First Read
2. The Blue Castle - Re-read - Read twice this year
3. Persuasion - First Read
4. Pride and Prejudice - Re-read
5. Longbourn - First Read
6. The Book Thief - First Read - Read twice this year
7. Gone with the Wind - Re-read - Read twice this year
8. Dear Mr Knightley - First Read - Read twice this year
9. La Silence de la Mer - First Read
10. L'Allouette - First Read
11. Jane Eyre - Re-read - Read twice this year
12. To Kill a Mockingbird - First Read
13. Remembrance - Re-read
14. Our Emily - First Read
15. Sissi - First Read
16. Right-ho Jeeves - First Read
17. Hidden Places - Re-read
18. Promises to Keep - First Read
19. While we're far Apart - Re-read
20. Though Oceans Roar - Re-read
21. Christy - First Read
22. Little House // Rose #5 - Re-read
23. Little House // Rose #6 - Re-read
24. Little House // Rose #7 - Re-read
25. Little House // Carline #6 - Re-read
26. Laura's Journal - Re-read
27. Farmer Boy - Re-read
28. "Little House book"* - Re-read
29. Back Home - Re-read
30. The Great Gatsby - First Read
31. Tales of the Jazz Age - First Read
32. Daddy-Long-Legs - Re-read
33. A Gentleman of her dreams - First Read
34. Vilette - First Read
35. 20th Century Girl - First Read
36. My Granddad's book - First Read
37. Half Broke Horses - Re-read
38. The Glass Castle - Re-read
39. Little Women - Re-read
40. Sarah Plain and Tall - First Read
41. Skylark - First Read
42. Caleb's Story - First Read
43. Before Green Gables - First Read
44. The Scarlet Pimpernel - First Read
45. Little House // Caroline #5 - Re-read
46. Little House // #7 - Re-read
47. Rebecca - First Read - Read twice this year
48. Madieke van het Rode Huis - Re-read
49. De kinderen van de Bolderburen - Re-read
50. Anna Karenina - First Read - I didn't finish this, but I'm counting it, because I read more than 100 pages and it deserves a mention. :-P
51. William the Good - First Read
52. The Family von Trapp - Re-read
53. A Tale of Two Cities - First Read
54. Stars in her Eyes - First Read
55. To Win her Heart - First Read
56. Castles in the Air - First Read
57. At Every Turn - First Read
58. Romance at Rainbow's End - First Read
59. Paper Roses - First Read
60. Secrets - First Read
61. A Change of Fortune - First Read
62. War Girls - Re-read
63. Summer of Fortune - First Read
64. Three Little Words - First Read
65. The Fault in our stars - First Read
66. Valentine Joe - Re-read
67. Morgen ben ik beter - Re-read
68. Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek - Re-read
69. Out of the Ashes - First Read
70. Running Wild - Re-read
71. With every Letter - First Read
72. Gracie - First Read
73. Home on the wide wild sea - Re-read
74. Eyewitness Auswitz - First Read
75. Bundles of Joy - First Read
76. De weg met Hindernissen - First Read
77. De nieuwe Secetaresse - First Read
78. Charms of the easy life - First Read
79. Little House // Martha #4 - Re-read
80. Kilmeny of the Orchard - Re-read
81. Goodbye Mr Chips - First Read
82. Testament of Youth - First Read
83. Twist of Gold - Re-read
84. Fifi Princessa - First Read
85. Mother Carey's Chickens - First Read
86. Mr Cousin Rachel - First Read
87. Carries War - First Read
88. Charlotte's Web - First Read
89. The Penny Whistle - First Read
90. Violins of Autumn - First Read - Read twice this year
91.  Dawn's early light - First Read
92. Celia Garth - First Read
93. Lyddie - First Read
94. A Lantern in her Hand - First Read
95. Love comes calling - First Read
96. A Distant Melody - First Read
97. Rilla of Ingleside - Re-read - Read twice this year, DUH.
98. War Brides - First Read
99. Cinderella - First Read
100. All she ever wanted - First read
101. The Iron Man - Re-read
102. The sweethearts - First Read
103. Northanger Abbey - Re-read
104. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society - First Read
105. A Lineage of Grace - First Read
106. Ratje - Re-read
107. A Proper Persuit - Re-read
108. Les Justes - First Read
109. What Katy Did - Re-read
110. What Katy did at School - Re-read
111. Eve's Daughters - Re-read
112. Peacock House - First Read
113. The Wulver's Rose - First Read
114. The Greatest Gresham - First Read
115. Masquerade - First Read
116. All Things New - Re-read
117. Laughing Gas - First Read
118. These Happy Golden Years - Re-read
119. The Glass Bird Girl - First Read
120. An Elizabeth Camden novella - First Read
121. Les Miserables - First (and last) Read
122. Wonderland Creek - Re-read
123. Jane of Lantern Hill - Re-read
124. Listen to the Moon - First Read
125. A Woman's Place - Re-read
126. War Horse - Re-read
127. Bartje 1 - Re-read
128. Bartje 2 - Re-read
129. The Little White Horse - First Read
130. Private Peaceful - Re-read
131. Mansfield Park - Re-read
132. Inherit the Wind - First Read
133. Iwan en het geheim in de koffer - Re-read
134. Iwan en de Davidster - Re-read
135. Iwan en de gedurfde ontsnapping - Re-read
136. Iwan en het moskou circus - Re-read
137. Katja en het zilveren kruisje - Re-read
138. The Little Princess - Re-read
139. The Alpine Path - Re-read
140. The Story Girl - Re-read
141. The Golden Road - Re-read
142. Zie je wel, Ardie? - Re-read
143. Anne's niewe leventje - Re-read
144. Bagage Claim - First Read
145. School Stories - First Read
146. Loorna Doone - First Read
147. Watership Down - First Read
148. The tutor's Daughter - Re-read
149. Sense and Sensibility - Re-read
150. Anne of Green Gables - Re-read
151. Mary Poppins #1 - Re-read
152. Anne of Avonlea - Re-read
153. Anne of the Island - Re-read
154. Anne of Windy Poplars - Re-read
155. Anne's House of Dreams - First Read
156. Anne of Ingleside - First Read
157. Rainbow Valley - First Read
158. The Blythes are Quoted - First Read
159. Hattie Big Sky - First Read
160. Hattie Ever after - First Read
161. Words Unspoken - First Read

1/04/2016

Cinderella 2015 - Review


This was on my to-see list before the trailer was even available. You want to know how long I had to wait to see this? About a year. I heard of it first back in 2014 December (or maybe it was even-longer-ago; it might have been in 2014 SUMMER) and I watched it last month, FINALLY and YES. OF COURSE IT WAS SPLENDID. 

Of course I loved it. My heart will always be this place which delights in glitter and fairylights and gowns and blue eyes. I LOVED it. :-)


My Cinderella History, first.

1. I didn't actually grow up with the animated "classic" Disney Cinderella. I have, in fact, never even SEEN it (and I don't care to because why would I when the 2015 one exists). I was, however, as a little girl, very familiar with the Cinderella story, as was every other girl in my continent. 
2. My favourite Dinsey princess was (and IS) Cinderella; and, at the age of about seven, when I got this notebook with Cinderella on the cover I was ELATED. (Sleeping Beauty was on the back cover but humph, I didn't look at her. Cinderella was my favourite.) 
3. I also got a rubber with Cinderella on it. 
4. And a pack of cards with the Disney Princesses on it. (I took out the one of "the weird fish-lady", as I called her, and kept the ones of Cinderella especially. My favourite cards were the two where Cinderella dances with The Prince because DUZH.)
5. Anyway. Point of story: I loved Cinderella. (Ah, those years when I only had three fandoms. Little House, Heidi and Cinderella. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of those years. Now I can't even start to count my fandoms.) 
6. Then my teens doomed close and I discovered Jane Austen and Anne of Green Gables, and poor Cinderella was shoved in the fartherest corner of my brain. (No, my-fourteen-year-old-brother, don't say 'do you HAVE a brain?!') 
7. But then... I saw that one first-released picture of Lily James in an old, exotic-but-worn blue dress on a white horse (the first picture of this post) and I thought OHH DARN HOW PRETTY.
8. Wait, that was a lie. I actually thought, 'Ohhh! LOOK it's LADY ROSE on a HORSE with her HAIR DOWN.' :-P But I soon got really exited about the movie. I got reallyreallyreally excited.
9. AND THEN THE TRAILER CAME OUT.
10. *Naomi rewatches the trailer every day for three months*
11. Then came those months when everyone saw it except meeee and OH the torment.

Basically.


AND THEN I SAW THE GLITTERY THING.

What Cinderella did to me:

1. It transformed me back to being seven years old. I loved that feeling a LOT.
2. It made me believe in love at first sight for a few hours. (Because basically Cinderella and the prince are ENGAGED after 1. A conversation in the woods 2. A dance and 3. A conversation in the garden and it seemed perfectly natural and perfect to me.)
3. It made me love Patrick Doyle's soundtracks even more.
4. Blue is one of my favourite colours now. I used to quite dislike it; but now it's just perfectly elegant.
5. Blue eyes aren't too bad, either. :-P
6. It made me want to be in a ball so badly. Not that I didn't before watching Cinderella, of course.
7. *Me when I finished the movie* Oh. Oh. Oh yes, Fairy godmothers don't really exist. (Because I thought they did for those two hours while I watched the movie.)
8. All the glitter of the palace made me SWOON.
9. And it made me super angry at a certain lady.
10. It gave me THRILLS.


The scenery of this movie was GORGEOUS, the COSTUMES I CAN'T EVEN (will ramble about the amazing, epic blue ballgown shortly, BRACE YOURSELF), the music was twinkly and sweeping, and the characters vivid and real.

I loved that the Prince had a name.
I loved that the stepmother had a past.
I loved that the stepsisters had a good side.
I loved that Cinderella was unique.
I loved that it felt so fresh and real, despite that fact that this story is hugely overdone in the history of cinema.

The scenes of Ella's childhood were gorgeous - summery, colourful, happy, simple, childlike. Ella's mother was a darling; and her father was a darling, too. The butterflies, the sunlight, the flowers, the tinkly music - it was definitely fairy-tale-ish. (I thought the girl-Ella looked a lot like a mini Taylor Swift. Anyone agree?)

And then the mother died. That was so sad. (Hayley Atwell looked gorgeous in blonde, by the way.)


Just look at the happy family. And Hayley's white-and-yellow dress. (I see what you did there, costume-designer.)

And then we saw the Lily-James-Ella, and a some-what-older Father. The house is still the same; and life is still good, although in a more quiet way. But theeen. BAMBAMBAM. The father marries again. (For some reason or the other, I didn't feel badly about him for doing so. He didn't seem to realise, the poor chump.)

Then we met lady Tremain. And Daisy Anastasia and the other one. What's-her-name.


Cate Balnchett made a stunningly evil and wicked and slimy step-mother. Her hair was exquisitely and shockingly un-Victorian (it looked vintage) and her silky wine-and-green-coloured dresses were evil and elegant and EVIL.

(My sister and I LOVE the way she laughs. SO EVIL. And horrible.)


The step-sisters were good too. UGH. The way Daisy (I call her Daisy) plays the piano. And the way the other one draws. They were pathetically bad and silly and stupid; but it was funny and good and it strangely enough seemed real. :-P

And then POOR ELLA. An endless list of woes comes knocking at her door.
1.Her father dies.
2. The servants get expelled.
3. She has to sleep in the attic.
4. She has to do all the work.
5. She gets nicknames; including 'Cinderwench', 'Dirty Ella' and - Oh, I know one! I know what we'll call her! - Cinderella.
6. She can't sit at her seat at the table.
7. She doesn't have much food.
8. JUST THE POOR KID.


In the middle of her woes, Ella escapes to the woods one day, on horseback. And GUESS WHAT.

I'll tell you by pasting a picture here. A picture of a blue-dressed, blonde-haired, horse-back-ed damsel in distress and a gold-trimmed, dashing-looking, sword-on-his-hip-ped Prince, meeting for the first time in sunlit, light-green woods. *Cue darling fluttery music and call all the butterflies and bluebirds to come and fly in the air because it fits.*


She meets this blue-eyed guy who is an apprentice (just kidding, he's a prince. Good try.) and whose name is Kit, and who really is quite handsome you know. Quite. And he's also super kind and he also believes in love at first sight.

(Because duh. It's a disney movie just saying.)


(Awful jacket, but handsome face. No really. He's really good-looking. And he wears the jacket well. He even wears the turquoise waistcoat well. And the white skinny jeans.)

ANYWAY.

AND THEN WE HAVE THE BALL AND IT'S JUST NOT FUNNY HOW GORGEOUS EVERYTHING IS.

NO SERIOUSLY.


I MEAN. GOLLY PETE HELLO I'M DONE DEAD.

(Wow, now I sound like a fangirl. I might be slightly exaggerating, but of course I won't admit that now because I'm reviewing Cinderella and this is the climax of the review. And guys - girls - really; everything about and before and after the ball scene dazzled me like a bird entranced by Tinklebell and fairy dust... and seriously, what am I even saying. You guys don't want to hear me talk. Pictures. That's what you want. Pictures.)


(I might or might not have this picture as my desktop background right now. Of course it's not true. I mean, why on earth would I choose to put this picture on the entire screen of my laptop. That's just absurd. (I told you I was sarcastic.))

Anyway, basically everything about the ball is perfect. I can't even start.
1. First, her pink dress. It was cute and adorable and gorgeous, and I'd wear it in a heatbeat.
2. But then hopes were shattered, dreams were crushed, and fabric torn.
3. BUUUUT.
4. Fairy godmothers exist. Remember?
5. And they change pumpkins into exquisite carriages; and lizards into green-faced footmen, and ducks into carriage drivers. Very clever.
6. And what's more... THEY MAKE BLUE DRESSES. And such blue dresses.


7. The dress seriously was EVERYTHING. (Look I italicized and capitalized the word. That means it really is beyond my description.) It was dazzling; huge; and had SUCH A SWISH. I do envy any girl who owns a gown with a luxurious, gorgeous, extravagant SWISH. And then the butterflies and the sparkles and the sheeny white and blue...
8. NOT FAIR.
9. REALLY NOT FAIR.
10. I WANT THE DRESS.
11. Santa? ARE YOU LISTENING?
12. And then they arrived; after riding in the gorgeous gold carriage, and after getting the glass shoes which fit no-one but her. (Quite amazing, that. She really must have tiny feet.)
13. And then the ball room. THE BALL ROOM. (I should have warned you about the caps in the post. Sorry.)


14. All the CANDLES and all the GOLD and all the sparkles and coulour and glitter and glamour and bizazz and sheen and... you get the point. It was glamorous beyond measure and I sank into the glory of it with all my happy heart.
15. AND THEN THEY DANCED.
16. Loook, his collar matches her dress. Such a coincidence. This really IS true love. That proves it. (And his eyes fit the dress too! WOW. Match made in heaven. SO match made in heaven.)
17. Okay... here's the video of the dance. Because there's no way I can put my girlish love for it in words.


18. And after the dance, they somehow manage to leave the room without people following them; and Kit shows Ella his garden. (Which means he really IS interested in her. Because he even swings her on the swing, and puts on her shoe when it falls down.)
19. Oh, we need a picture of the swing garden, you said?
20. I'd be happy to oblige. I'm rather fond of this picture. Not very, just rather. (Sarcasm, again.)


TOLD YOU.


Then the clock strikes twelve; and before Ella knows it, she's on the road in her wet, torn, not-very-pink dress, holding horses mice in her one glass shoe. (What I've never understood is why the shoes didn't change back to normal after the clock struck twelve. Doesn't make sense. But who cares, right? This is Cinderella.)

Anyway; then we have all the everyone-fits-the-shoe-but-no-one-can-squeeze-their-foot-in-the-darn-thing-calava.

But Ella sings "Lavender's Blue" in the attic, and the horses open the window...


And then that happens.

My thoughts on the wedding:
1. OBVIOUSLY IT WAS GORGEOUS.
2. Her wedding dress... all the flowers and the tiny detail had me in awe. It really didn't get enough screen-time. We needed a camera which gave us close-up detail of it. (I don't love it as much as the blue one, of course. But it's still stunning.)
3. Kit looked pretty good too. He's rocking the boots.
4. ALL THE FLOWERS. The balcony kind of looked like heaven.
5. And they kiiiiissed and people cheered and all was right in the world forever and ever. They had children and sang songs and fed the mice and held balls every fortnight. (But they forgot all about the stepmother, Anastasia and Drisella, and the fairy godmother.) (I had to write it.)


This movie is amazing. The end.