Ever After

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Ever After may lack the literal magic of most Cinderella stories, but I never miss the fairy godmother or stroke of midnight rule when watching the film. In the s, when Disney sold an awful lot of princess costumes to little girls, Ever After was a more-than-necessary alternative for girls.

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Even today, despite some clunky dialogue, pacing problems, and a weird accent, the movie is both more inspiring and entertaining than the recent classic retelling that reinforces a Disney image from 65 years ago. Lesley Coffin is a New York transplant from the midwest. Alfred Hitchcock and the Hollywood Studio System. Ever After is actually something of a rare mainstream role for O'Brien, who has spent much of his career doing smaller projects. It's generally only a movie's transition to television that sees its content get neutered rather than the other way around.

So what needed to be done to earn that new rating? Apparently, it only took the removal of a whopping three curse words in order to satisfy the MPAA's requirements for a PG movie. Not surprisingly, there is plenty of dark stuff in the Brothers Grimm's version o f Cinderella that makes us wonder how it was ever actually intended for children.

At the end of the movie, they have been banished to do the laundry for the royal palace. It wasn't lost on the writers of the movie that the chemicals used in cleaning clothes in those days would often result in blindness after prolonged exposure. Not only do the Brothers Grimm make their appearance in the beginning, but even in the actual story itself there are famous names like Leonardo da Vinci, Prince Henry, and King Francis. There's just one small problem: He also had a different wife in that year than he does in the movie.

Obviously, this means that Prince Henry would've only been a child. But it was his pre-directing movie career that is even more fascinating. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. The mostly forgettable movie got a boost in popularity after the tragedy surrounding actress Sharon Tate, who appeared in the film. Whether that changes following the release of the upcoming da Vinci biopic starring that other famous Leonardo -- DiCaprio-- remains to be seen. Often, the people who actually write movies get lost in the shuffle and don't receive as much credit as the director or the stars.

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She really proved her prowess at adaptation when she adapted the story of activist Erin Brokovich into the film of the same name, which earned numerous award nominations. These days, American audiences are no strangers to the work of actor Toby Jones. When Danielle picks Henry up after being told she can leave with "anything she can carry". It's not clear exactly who the woman telling the story to the brothers Grimm is they address her as "Your Majesty," while the credits identify her as "Grande Dame" , but at the end she refers to Henry and Danielle as being her great-great-grandparents, adding that by the time of "the Revolution," "the truth of their romance had been reduced to a simple Fairy Tale.

It would make sense, since she would be the direct descendant of Henry and Danielle, and would qualify to be "Your Majesty", since she was, by marriage to her cousin, Queen Consort of France. Her headstone declares her "Queen Dowager of France" in recognition of their brief reign. The movie is about one of Cinderella's descendants telling The Brothers Grimm about her real life.

Rodmilla laments that her own mother was so hard on her and feels like the position of Baroness is a sign of her hard work paying off. In addition, it's implied Rodmilla was saddened that she barely knew her second husband and wished that he did love her. The first moment we see Pierre Le Pieu, a donkey can be heard braying in the background. Danielle and the other de Barbarac servants do this a few times to Prince Henry over the course of the film, but they do so out of necessity to hide Danielle's true status as a servant. Two prominent examples include: Danielle, disguised as "Nicole de Lancret," letting Henry think he's crazy or imagining things by denying they've met before, because she can't let him realize she was the servant who chucked an apple at him earlier that morning.

Later, when Henry stumbles across Danielle tending livestock at the market, she throws a chicken in his face before he can register what he's seeing and runs away while Paulette and Louis make a big commotion to cover her retreat, and they pretend afterwards like they were always the only two servants there all along. These are usually Played for Laughs. What are you two doing?! Trying to scare the prince to death?!

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We were startled, that's all. Were there just the two of you? And the chicken, Your Highness. This is Played for Drama when Henry learns Danielle's true identity at the ball, and slowly realizes all the gaslighting she's put him through, and is seriously angry to learn how thoroughly he was deceived. According to the de Barbarac servants, Danielle looks almost exactly like her mother. Meanwhile, Rodmilla — in the single moment of remote kindness we see her show to her stepdaughter — remarks that Danielle has a lot of her father in her.

Marguerite behaves a lot like her mother, cruel and vain and placing social status above all else. Inverted by Jacqueline, who resembles her mother in coloring, but doesn't act like her; she proves to be very kind, simply lacking the courage to stand up to her mother and sister. Getting Crap Past the Radar: Le Pieu says that he may no longer be young, but that he is "well-endowed".

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Is he talking about his wealth and holdings, or something else? While meeting Henry, Jaqueline places a white feather from her head in-between her breasts, Marguerite also has a brooch in the same position, but it completely sticks out of her dress. Several are worn by Danielle to look the part of a courtier.

Her family wears them too. Rodmilla will never forgive Danielle for the fact that her husband loved his daughter more than her, nor for the fact that he turned away from Rodmilla to tell Danielle he loved her with his dying breath. She also becomes jealous of Danielle's success wooing the prince over her own daughter. What bothers you more, stepmother? That I am common, or competition? As punishment for his disobedience, the king tells Prince Henry that he'll "deny you the crown and I don't want it!

Danielle and Henry clearly establish that they're going to be this in the first few months of their marriage that we see. It's implied that Jacqueline and Laurent will end up this as well. Maurice and Louise, definitely. Just look at how overjoyed Louise is when Danielle brings Maurice back to her. Jacqueline wasn't a terrible person to begin with - just withdrawn and somewhat whiny - but she becomes much more sympathetic to her stepsister after the Sadistic Choice incident Marguerite puts Danielle through.

If this movie is to be believed, Cinderella's fairy godmother was really Leonardo da Vinci. The Cinderella story minus the magical elements and thus also count as Demythtification Humiliation Conga: Happens to Rodmilla and Marguerite in the end; permanent service in the Palace Laundry, as well as Rodmilla being stripped of her Baroness title. I Gave My Word: Danielle asks for this from the Gypsy leader to allow her anything she can carry.

He agrees and does nothing to stop her from lifting the Prince to carry him away. He's so impressed, he offers Danielle and the Prince a horse and a meal. Baroness Rhodmila of Ghent externally acts like she has money to burn when in actuality she secretly sells possessions and even a servant to pay off her debts.

Gabriella, the Spanish Princess, because she's forced to marry someome other than the Spanish courtier she's in love with. Can you really blame the poor girl? Danielle is an old hand with the sword, though we never see her use one and it is only mentioned once.


It's entirely possible that she's bluffing, given that she claims she was trained by her father, who by her account would have had to have taught her well before she was eight. Delivered by Jacqueline - see Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch. Rodmilla and Marguerite, with the latter being much less subtle about it than the former. Rodmilla kicks several dogs through out the movie. After Danielle has been rejected by Henry and utterly humiliated in front of the entire French court, Rodmilla decides to sell her - to her Stalker with a Crush.

When Danielle asks Rodmilla if she has ever loved her, even a little bit, Rodmilla's response is a cold "How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe? Even after a satisfying sock to her right eye by Danielle, Marguerite throws Danielle's favorite and only book, the last gift she ever got from her father, into the fireplace, even after Danielle surrenders her mother's shoes to her.

Then Rodmilla gives her a lashing that occurs off screen.

Ever After

Early on in the film, Rodmilla advises Jacqueline who is much softer-spoken than her sister "not to speak unless she can improve the silence. Not just the book incident; she also tells Danielle that Jacqueline who was actually upset that her mother was trying to give Danielle's dress to Marguerite didn't want Danielle to go to the ball. Rodmilla de Ghent refuses to tend to the manor because it requires too much work. Plus, she considers it beneath her as a Baroness. So she spends all her time trying to set Marguerite up with Prince Henry.

She does this by constantly hawking anything that'll fetch a price to buy eye-catching jewelry and dresses, bribing footmen to spy on the prince for her, stalking the prince's whereabouts, and playing games and intrigues to get the royal family's attention. Imagine how much she could get done if she put a fraction of that effort into actually running the manor and bringing honest income. Everybody gets what they deserve.

Rodmillla and Marguerite are forced to work in the palace laundry. Monsieur le Pieu traded everything he bought from Rodmilla for Danielle, then lost it all when she escaped.

Meanwhile, the kinder stepsister Jacqueline and the Barbarac servants who essentially raised Danielle all get to live with her in royal comfort, while she and her Prince get their Happily Ever After. A regal celebration at which Henry's engagement is to be announced. The copy of Utopia which was Danielle's last gift from her father; also Danielle's mother's shoes.

We first meet Danielle, her stepsisters, and her friend Gustave as children, before Danielle's father's death ushers in a ten-year-long Time Skip. Some of the traditional elements of the Cinderella story show up in different places than usual. For instance, in this version Danielle's trip to the ball doesn't end with her exclaiming at the time and doing a runner, but her earlier meetings with Henry does. The 'Cinderella' title is invoked when we learn that this is Marguerite's nickname for her stepsister.

It comes into play when they're having tea with the Queen, who asks them if they know the woman who has so enraptured Henry. She's been around for years. And, staying with us as a matter of fact. Whom you like to call 'Cinderella'. Rodmilla frequently blames, punishes, and sells her servants for her own poverty and debt, even though her own neglect of the manor which has the best soil in the province and tendency to sell off the servants she needs to work the land which would bring income are the cause of her misfortune.

Nice to the Waiter: Most nobles aren't, since they believe their station gives them the right to treat peasants as property. Danielle believes in this, though that's not surprising given her station. Since Prince Henry doesn't know this when they first officially meet, he's fascinated by the "walking contradiction" of a courtier preaching the importance being nice to the help. As she grows on him, he visibly makes an effort to be nicer to peasants and servants he encounters.

Danielle's father dies of a heart attack about fifteen minutes into the film.

Pierre le Pieu sniffs Danielle's hair this way after she is sold to him. After Danielle is whipped not shown for punching Marguerite in the face, Jacqueline nurses the lash-marks on her back, adding that Marguerite should never have said what she did about Danielle's mother.

Rodmilla gets a single moment of this when she tells Danielle that she looks a lot like her father.

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Subverted immediately afterward when she appears to catch herself and explains that what she really meant is that Danielle's appearance and mannerisms are mannish. Another brutal subversion in the final act of the film; The morning after the masquerade, Pierre le Pieu arrives at Danielle's father's estate with all of the possessions Rodmilla had secretly been selling to him.

While Danielle is aghast at her stepmother's actions, she thanks le Pieu for his kindness in returning them Please Don't Leave Me:

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