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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister 

A look at the classic "Cinderella" story from the perspective of one of her 'ugly' stepsisters


Gavin Millar


Gregory Maguire (novel), Gene Quintano (teleplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stockard Channing ... Margarethe Fisher Van Den Meer
Azura Skye ... Iris Fisher
Trudie Styler ... Fortune Teller
Emma Poole ... Ruth Fisher
Jenna Harrison ... Clara Van Den Meer
Jonathan Pryce ... Master Schoenmacker
Matthew Goode ... Casper
David Westhead ... Van Den Meer
Malcolm Tierney ... Van Stolk
Mark Dexter ... The Prince
Helen Lindsay ... Dowager Queen Maria de Medici
Janine Horsburgh ... The Tutor
Ann Overstall Comfort Ann Overstall Comfort ... Dame Pruyn (as Anne Comfort)
Chris Bearne ... Doctor
Pieter Riemens Pieter Riemens ... Merchant


In this variation on Cinderella, Margarethe Fisher Van Den Meer is a former lady of means who had to accept a position as housekeeper, but manages to spike her Master Schoenmacker's drink and marry him; alas his shipment of priceless tulips turns worthless overnight, so their last chance is to marry of one of either's daughters, hopefully to the prince for whom the Dowager Queen Maria de Medici throws a great ball. Both Iris Fisher -who is in love with painter Casper for whose master she sat as a model- and Clara Van Den Meer make a good impression... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Canada | Luxembourg



Release Date:

10 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Confessions See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A mish-mash
26 April 2002 | by willow_chick88See all my reviews

I have to judge this movie as both a book adaptation and as a tv-movie. As a book adaptation, I give this movie a 5 or maybe even less. Several things that were changed from the book bothered me. One major one was the use of magic in the film, when the gypsy "magics" the shoes for Clara. The lack of magic was in the book for a reason. Gregory Maguire wanted his meditation on beauty and ugliness to take center stage in the story. Another major change was how Iris and Casper meet. If you've read the book then maybe you can understand why. I feel that their introduction in the movie makes Iris too self-conscious thus making her aware of herself whereas in the book she is taken by surprise and Casper catches a glimpse of the "real" Iris. Other changes bothered me as well such as the narrator of the whole story, where Clara's mother was, the attitudes of Clara and Margarethe. I also wish that the Margarethe's rumor about Casper had stayed in the film. However, the movie, when one forgets Maguire's magnificent work, succeeds. The costuming and the acting of Stockard Channing and Emma Poole make this movie a treat to watch. If you are disappointed by the way that some of the characters look such as I was with Casper(Matthew Goode was fine in the movie, but I envisioned something completely different), be glad that they didn't cast someone who wasn't even close to ugly, as Iris. A disappointment to Maguire's fans, but a treat to all others, I hope that if this book is ever made into a movie that Maguire himself adapts his book. I'm just glad that they didn't do "Wicked." I shudder at the thought.

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