Andy Tennant directed this Cinderella variant. The Brothers Grimm arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl before telling the "true" story of her ancestor. In flashback, the story then focuses on eight-year-old Danielle, daughter of a wealthy widower, a 16th-century landowner. After returning to France with his new wife Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) and her two daughters, he dies of a heart attack. Ten years later, Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is now treated as a servant by the trio. Fortunately, she has an encounter with Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who is fleeing an arranged marriage. Later, when Danielle poses as a Lady, the Prince takes an interest in her. Inventor-artist Leonardo Da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey), accepting the French court's patronage, offers advice to Prince Henry on matters of the heart.
Well-written, well-acted. Beautiful location/ scenery. Musical score is outstanding - perfect period/era fit & exquisite performances. A worthwhile and entertaining movie. Drew B, Angelica H. and cast including some soon-to-be-famous colleagues never seem trite or campy, but very authentic. Comic moments & surprising twists on the traditional Cinderella story make this a gem.
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