Walt Disney's definitive 1950 animated classic gets a live-action, nonmusical remake, elegantly directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Chris Weitz with wit and graceful fairy-tale simplicity. This new version can't improve on perfection, but it can stand beside Uncle Walt's original and complement it—a gloriously sumptuous confection, played miraculously straight without irony, revisionism or cynicism, telling its familiar story as if for the first time. The casting is spot-on, headed by Cate Blanchett as an icy, imperiously cruel stepmother. In the title role, Lily James is a revelation: sweet without being sugary, simple without being simple-minded and beaming with what must be the most radiant smile in movie history. Dante Ferretti's breathtaking production design adds to the general wonder. J.L.