Cinderella, Sir Kenneth Branagh & a Bucket List

Jewish Journal, 4 March 2015
By Ilana Angel
* Thanks, Ngoc

This week I went to the premiere of the new Disney live action 'Cinderella' movie. It is spectacular and I recommend it to young and old alike. Apart from the tension that might come from women catching their breath at the sight of Prince Charmingís blue eyes, it is also a great date movie. It is beautiful, majestic, and I absolutely loved it. It is a classic story and this version is worthy of your time and money.

Cate Blanchett is perfection, Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger are hilarious, Richard Madden is divine, Lily James is forever Cinderella, and Helena Bonham Carter is magical. My favorite part of the movie is when the clock hits the final stroke of midnight. I started clapping during that scene it was so great. I actually clapped a lot throughout the movie because it was so good. It truly is a lovely and timeless story.

The premiere party was beautiful and even though LA was under a torrential downpour, it was a great night. I was with wonderful people who are important to me, some of which worked on the film, and I was very proud of them. I was honored to be invited to share the moment. Disney throws a great party and it was fantastic to see so many little girls dressed as Cinderella for the event. Serious cuteness over load.

As I enjoyed the pre-party I became a little nervous as I knew the director of the film, Sir Kenneth Branagh, would be there. I love this man and even though I cannot seem to recall the moment my love for him began, I have loved him for as long as I can remember. I think he is talented, smart, funny, charming, and fabulous. I was so excited to see him that in a moment of panic I had a glass of wine, or two.

I've met a lot of celebrities living and working in LA, and while I have been tickled pink to meet many of them, I donít get star struck as a general rule. I did get a little freaked out when I met Oprah and when she shook my hand I began to sweat a little bit. When I met President Bill Clinton I actually felt week in the knees, and I giggled like a schoolgirl when I sat for lunch with Tom Hanks, but overall Iím cool.

Ken Branagh however, is on another level. I love him. I've never met him and though I imagined it a million times, there was always a part of me that didnít want to meet him as I have placed him on a pedestal and I didnít want anything to knock him off of it. If I loved him from afar he would always remain perfect and be the best celebrity crush of all time. Nobody was going to ruin our love, not even him.

So I waited, I drank, and I became increasingly excited. Then it happened. I saw him on the red carpet and started to shake. My hand literally started shaking and I felt my face get hot. It was crazy, as I have never had this reaction before. I was quite simply a mess, certain I was talking too loud, and somehow under a spotlight where everyone was watching me make a fool of myself. It was ridiculous.

As Mr. Branagh approached, my friend stopped him to make an introduction. She said my name and he leaned in and said hello Ilana. When he said Ilana I almost fainted and my chin started quivering. I stared him in the eyes and memorized every inch of his face in a second. As I held his hand, longer than I should have, I professed my love for him. Before I could stop myself, I told him I loved him.

He told me he appreciated it, then put his hand on the small of my back and said we should take a picture. My heart stopped beating for a second. I was clearly unstable but he knew the moment mattered and looked around for a photographer to take our picture. I had my cell phone in my hand and started to take selfies should the moment pass without documentation. I was a teenage girl meeting a Beatle.

I told this wonderful man I loved him and his response was to capture the moment for me. The truth is I may have asked for the picture myself but donít remember. I donít remember anything as I tell you about it. It was an out of body experience, as if I were floating above the red carpet watching him watch me. He was perfection. He could not have been kinder or more charming. He was my dream come true.

I am not one to have a bucket list. I like being in control and having a list of things to do that is not completed would make me nuts. I would obsess over it until it was done, so I save myself the aggravation just donít do it. If I were to have one however, meeting Ken Branagh and having him be all I imagined him to be, would be on the list. He did not disappoint me and in the end only made me love him more.

I have been touched by the magic of Disney and this 'Cinderella' will always be a film of importance as it allowed me to complete my newly created bucket list. Go see 'Cinderella'. I guarantee you will love it. I'll see it again because it was so good, and because I want to support the man I love. To Sir Kenneth Branagh, thank you for loving me back in our moment. You are my Prince Charming and inspire me to keep the faith.

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