6 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
‘Ella Enchanted’ Receives US Release
08 Apr 2004 :
Enchanted receives it's Stateside release on Friday the 9th of April following mixed reviews from US critics.

Production of Ella Enchanted was based in Ardmore Studios and was shot on locations around Ireland in early 2003. It tells the story of Ella (Anne Hathaway) whose Fairy Godmother (Vivica A. Fox) casts a spell on her giving her the gift, which is more of a curse, of total obedience. She must obey every command no matter what. Set in a magical kingdom with Elves, Goblins, Fairies and Giants it is designed for a young, predominantly female, audience.

The film is adapted from the best-selling book by Gail Carson Levine, and it is in this adaptation that the film receives the majority of its criticism. Taking leads from other successful films like Shrek and A Knights Tale it is criticised as doing nothing new. The film’s setting is a re-imagining of a Mediaeval world with contemporary elements added to the settings (shopping malls, teen mags), story (70’s retro) and language (“Bite Me”). Variety says this “dilutes the romantic-magical chemistry of the book” The Hollywood Reporter says “Unfortunately, Ella's adventures generally lack inspiration, acting more as plot devices than sequences of enchantment or moments of magic. Revisionist fairly tales such as this probably work better in animation, but nobody is doing fairly tale cartoon these days other than Shrek.”

Positive elements in the film reviews come from the Irish locations, Art Direction and Cinematography:

“Visuals -- including Norman Garwood's colorful production design and Ruth Myers' period costumes graced with 1960s and '70s flourishes -- are plenty vibrant and the Irish locations are handsomely captured by John de Borman's sweeping camera” Variety.

The lead cast members are given high praise and singled out as highlights in the film:

“Hathaway shines as a heroine with spunk and sass. She plays this fluff with such disarming ease that it will be fun to see how she handles sterner stuff.” Hollywood Reporter.

“the glue that holds the sweet teen-fantasy together is star Anne Hathaway, who continues to evolve into a luminous young lead …..Hathaway lights up the screen. A thoroughly charming performer with a bracing freshness about her that carries the film”. Variety

The film is expected to do well in US Box Offices with an already established fan base due to the popularity of the original book. An Irish release date has not yet been announced.



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