music friday: paul kantner, "have you seen the stars tonight"
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oscar nom: cinderella (kenneth branagh, 2015)

On the one hand, the only Oscar nomination is for Best Costumes, which I know little about, and when that’s the only nomination for a movie, it’s probably lacking in other areas. (Last year’s equivalent was Maleficent, which I actually liked, so maybe even this is better than nothing.)

On the other, good, hand: It’s not a musical, so I didn’t have to sit through a bunch of crappy songs. It has two actors from Game of Thrones, two from Downton Abbey ... heck, there’s even the title actor from I, Claudius. I don’t have an opinion about Kenneth Branagh’s directing ... in fact, this might be the first of his movies I’ve seen. The familiarity of the story served as comfort food. And, most importantly in my book, Hayley Atwell is in the movie.

Well, that didn’t work out. Spoiler alert: Atwell dies about five minutes into the movie. Sigh.

Cinderella is fine, but that’s all it is. My wife said the costumes showed an intelligent design ... at least, I think that’s what she said. I’m sure it deserved its Oscar nomination. (I’ve seen three of the five noms, and I’d go for Mad Max: Fury Road.) I just can’t think of any real reason to see this. Last year, I recommended Maleficent because Angelina Jolie was so good. In Cinderella, it’s Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, and she’s tiresome.

The one thing this entry in the Cinderella sweepstakes does differently, I suppose, is give a little back story to the main characters. But learning about Cinderella’s parents is pretty boring (especially after Hayley Atwell dies), and Blanchett gets just one brief speech designed to make us feel her pain. It’s not enough. 6/10.