The score was gorgeous, and Cinderella's theme was just dreamy and magical enough. However, I wish they would have utilized some of the original music from the animated classic outside of the credits. Using "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" would have pushed the cathartic impact even more (and would have just been nice). I think it would have added to what is already a nostalgic experience for older audiences.
Of course, Cate Blanchett was great as the wicked stepmother. The filmmakers and Blanchett added dimension to the character, doing a touch to humanize her by giving her visible reasons of intent and allowing her character to be visibly hurt and react to that feeling. The stepsisters weren't completely despicable, also, as they added comedic relief in scores. Lily James and Richard Madden were marvelous, as well, although Madden as the prince was more penetrable, rounded, and human than James as Ella.
The movie was a proper fairy tale. It was nice and romantic and triumphant and it transported you to a place of magic and childhood and dreams. It wasn't surprising in any way, but it didn't disappoint me at all, either. The filmmakers accomplished what they set out to do. Just as her stepsisters looked upon Cinderella with utter and sheer heartfelt, desperate longing right after the Prince named her his fiancé, the film made the audience wish we were in her place and that we were in fact Cinderella herself. There were tears and laughter, and at the end, huge smiles, reminding us that the kind thing to do, is always the right thing to do, and that a little bit of love and belief can go a long, long way.