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Ella (Lily James) begins with the mournful death of her mother (Hayley Atwell). Her father (Ben Chaplin) works as a tradesman of sorts, traveling to neighboring lands and supporting the family to live in the house his family has owned for over 200 years. Lo and behold, his loneliness begins to dominate his personal life and he seeks out a fellow wealthy widow that needs help, and the two marry. Ella’s new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) is a vile woman that uses the young woman as a servant around the house, which grows overwhelming after her father’s death leaves her alone with the wretched matriarch. Her new stepsisters, Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger), are nightmarishly materialistic and idiotic, forming a trifecta of awfulness with which Ella must cope.