Ella lives with her wealthy parents in a peaceful kingdom, and is taught by her mother to believe in magic. After Ella's mother passes away due to an illness, her father marries the widow of an old acquaintance, Lady Tremaine, who has two daughters of her own, Drisella and Anastasia. Ella's father dies shortly afterwards as well on a business trip.
Lady Tremaine quickly reveals her cruel and jealous nature, reducing Ella to a servant and forbidding her from eating with the rest of the family. She is also spitefully dubbed "Cinderella" after waking with covered in soot one morning. A heartbroken Ella flees into the woods, where she meets Kit, the crown prince of the kingdom. The two quickly become enchanted by each other, and both wish to see one another again.
Kit's father, the King, insists that he find a bride at the upcoming royal ball. Kit persuades his father into allowing every eligible maiden to attend the ball, hoping to meet Ella again. However, Ella's stepfamily refuse to allow her to attend the ball, causing her to retreat into the garden in tears. There, she meets an old beggar woman, who reveals herself to be Ella's fairy grandmother. The fairy grandmother transforms Ella's shredded dress into a beautiful gown and gives her a pair of magical glass slippers, and sends her off to the ball. As she goes, the fairy grandmother warns Ella that the spell will be undone at midnight.
At the ball, Ella reunites with Kit, as well as learning his identity as the prince. The two share a romantic evening at the ball, but before Ella can tell Kit her name, midnight begins to approach, forcing her to flee the ball just as the spell wears off. In her hurry, she forgets one of her glass slippers, which is picked up by Kit. Ella returns to her estate and hides the remaining glass slipper under the floorboards as a keepsake. Shortly afterwards, the King dies, but not before giving Kit permission to find and marry Ella.
Becoming king, Kit announces his plan to marry whomever maiden can fit the glass slipper. Ella hurries to retrieve the other glass slipper to prove her identity, only to find Lady Tremaine holding it. Having deduced Ella's identity as the mystery princess, Lady Tremaine demands that she be made head of the royal household in exchange for Ella marrying Kit. When Ella refuses, Lady Tremaine destroys the glass slipper and locks Ella in the attic before blackmailing the Grand Duke into making her a countess and giving him the shattered remainds of the slipper. The Grand Duke shows the remains to Kit and attempts to convince him to forget about the mystery princess, but he refuses and becomes even more determined to find her.
The Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guards lead a garrison to fit the remaining slipper on all the maidens in the land, but it refuses to fit. Arriving at Ella's estate, the slipper doesn't fit either of Ella's stepsisters. As the garrison prepares to leave, they hear Ella's singing in the attic, and they free her from the attic so that she can try on the glass slipper. Lady Tremaine forbids Ella from putting on the slipper on the grounds that she is her mother, but Ella replies that she has never been, nor will ever be, her mother, before leaving the attic.
Kit recognizes Ella before she even tries on the glass slipper, which fits perfectly. The two are reunited and Ella leaves the estate, but not before forgiving her stepfamily for their actions. Afterwards, Ella's stepfamily and the Grand Duke leave the kingdom, and Ella and Kit are married and become the kingdom's most beloved monarchs.
- Lily James as Cinderella.
- Richard Madden as Prince Kit.
- Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine.
- Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother.
- Holliday Grainger as Anastasia Tremaine.
- Sophie McShera as Drisella Tremaine.
- Hayley Atwell as Cinderella's mother.
- Derek Jacobi as The King.
- Stellan Skarsgård as The Grand Duke.
- Nonso Anozie as the Captain of the Guards.
- Ben Chaplin as Cinderella's father.