March 30th, 2015

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Easter!

It was a great day when I realized I could make egg salad any time I wanted, but Easter is still a favourite holiday because it’s the Egg Salad Holiday. :)

We had Easter yesterday, because I’ll be at EasterCon in London on Easter Actual. Young Indiana got up at 5:30 (well, 6:30 with the clock change, but still) because he was So Excited, but he was thrilled to pieces to find the eggs that it was hard to hold it against him. His Easter basket had (among other things) a chocolate bunny and two smaller (but larger than everything but the bunny) chocolate eggs with little chick faces on them.

“Look!” he gasped in delight, “the Easter Bunny brought us ALL something!” And he gave Ted and me the chick-eggs, which I thought was *incredibly* sweet of him. :)

Ted made the classic Easter dinner of red beans & rice and I made a lemon meringue pie, only the second I’ve ever made. It turned out prettily. :)

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie

Today is the start of the Easter Holiday, which goes on for two weeks. Two. Weeks. I shall be quite mad by the end of two weeks, I expect. Quite mad indeed. Fortunately, Ted was kind enough to let me go off to EasterCon on my own for this coming weekend, which is probably all that will save my sanity. :)

I’m on two panels there! The Ultimate Urban Fantasy panel at 6:45 on Friday (with, among other notables, Jim Butcher, whom I have not seen in many years!), and something titled something to the effect of You Got History In My Fantasy, or perhaps the other way around, which is being moderated by my dear friend Kari Sperring, so I’m really looking forward to both of those.

Odds are that Twitter will be the best way to get hold of me during the weekend (assuming the venue’s wifi is up to the job), so I’m @ce_murphy there, if you didn’t know. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Picoreview: Cinderella

Picoreview: Cinderella: Surprisingly good. Surprisingly dark! And that dress, wow.

Cate Blanchett is, of course, splendid as the Wicked Stepmother, who was–in Ever After they managed to make the stepmother a more interesting than simply evil character, and Disney stepped up the game again with her. In everything save her treatment of Cinderella, I frankly admired her. She wasn’t good, but she was willing to use what she had to get what she needed, and…yeah. Pretty terrific characterisation for what could easily be a cut-out villain.

Lily James was lovely and sweet as Cinderella, and although there have apparently been complaints about her not doing much as a character, I thought she did pretty well for an adapted Disney fairy tale princess. She isn’t just lovely and kind and sweet; she has moments of struggling with that, and moreover, there’s a rather beautiful moment where she walks the wire between kind and nice, and does something that is kind but arguably not at all nice.

But for me, Richard Madden as the Prince made the film. I absolutely, utterly believed he had fallen madly in love on the spot with Cinderella, and that she was equally taken with him. Like with the Stepmother, there was a great deal more to his character than one would expect (especially coming from the Disney cartoon!). His relationship with his father (played *wonderfully* by Derek Jacobi) was incredibly poignant. It was far more than I expected from the movie!

There are more people of color in this than in any live-action Disney movie I’ve ever seen, the most prominent of whom is Nonso Anozie, who is the fencing master you’ll have seen in the previews. He’s also clearly not only the Prince’s Captain of the Guard, but best friend. He’s wonderful in the role and he is, all thanks be to heaven, in tights that show off his magnificent thighs at least once. He also makes the prince look like a Wee Fella, but I just looked it up and that’s because he’s SIX FOOT SIX. Oh. And also because Richard Madden is not quite 5’10”, so he’s not *short* but he’s certainly not Tall. Hah! :)

Anyway, the ballroom scene in particular (although not exclusively by any means) has a pretty diverse extras cast, and possibly all but one of the princesses invited to the ball were women of color and from visibly (via their mode of dress) different cultures. I was really happy with that, and even happier that the general crowd had enough people of different ethnicities that I couldn’t pick anybody out as “Oh, there’s the token person of color in this room.”

(One could argue that the princesses being primarily women of color makes the Prince wanting to marry Cinderella all the more racist and exclusionary because he picks the white blonde girl over the princesses, but I’m not going to argue that, because 1. he’s met and fallen in love with Cinderella before he even lays eyes on any of the others, 2. Disney was never going to break *that* far from the mold, and 3. when somebody, perhaps particularly when a giant corporation, is trying to do things *better*, I do not think condemning them for failing to be perfect is an especially good use of my time.)

It’s perhaps a little too long, not just for my active 4 year old child (who made it through the trailers, the Frozen special, and 90 minutes of a 113 minute movie; I had to go back later and see it again to see the ending), but in general. It probably could have dispensed with a little of the early staging and a little of the stepfamily schism stuff, but we’re talking maybe eight or ten minutes, not twenty or thirty, which is often how much I feel a film could be cut by without hurting it any. Overall, though, really a successful film!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)