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Tear Jerker / Ever After

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  • Danielle's father's death at the beginning of the film. It's sort of a Foregone Conclusion for anyone vaguely familiar with the Cinderella story, but still, her weeping and holding his hand to her cheek as he dies is tragic.
    • Even before that, his marriage to Rodmilla is one big cruel dramatic irony. He married her believing he'd found a loving wife and the perfect mother for Danielle (she wasn't).
  • Maurice's reunion with his wife early in the movie.
  • Danielle's book gets burned. The look of absolute anguish on Danielle's face as she has to choose between the shoes (her one gift from her mother, and the only way she can remember her) or her copy of Utopia (her one gift from her father, and the only way she can remember him), and then how broken she looks as she gives up the shoes; only to see Marguerite throw the book into the fire anyway. Danielle gives a heartbreaking scream as she reaches for the book, and then just as the audience feels a Hope Spot, the Baroness restrains Danielle and forces her to watch it burn.
    • The context of it all: Danielle had tried for 10 years to please her stepmother, she really did. Yet, by allowing Marguerite to burn Danielle's book, the Baroness has actively severed all of Danielle's hopes that they could ever get along as mother and daughter.
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    • From here on, all of Danielle's respect and politeness towards Rodmilla goes out the window. Previously, she would've never so much as raised her voice towards her stepmother. It's almost sobering to see Danielle give in to hatred after 10 years of hoping she could earn any sort of motherly love.
  • Following this, we cut to a scene where Jacqueline tends to the whipping scars of Danielle's back. Although it's a heart-warming moment where the former's kind nature comes to a head, it's still a sad implication that the Baroness wasn't bluffing when she said Danielle would be whipped either way. As if burning her book and taking her mother's slippers wasn't a cruel enough Gut Punch.
  • The goodbye that Danielle bids Henry before the ball is already sad enough, then he unknowingly aggravates her whipping wounds when he embraces her. On top of everything else, the Baroness has (indirectly) kept Danielle from being able to walk away with any small comfort and dignity from what she thinks will be her last encounter with the man she loves.
  • The incident at the Masque:
    "DO NOT address me so informally, Madame!"
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    • This scene hits its lowest note when he belittles her even more.
      "And you...are just like THEM [the scheming courtiers]."
    • Left with no choice, Danielle quickly flees the scene in tears. It always yanked my heart during that scene because despite everything that she has gone through during the whole movie (fighting against the enormous odds to go to the ball and tell the prince the truth), all of her efforts have been wasted.
  • There's also the scene right after that, when she's back to doing chores and the Baroness is taunting her. When Danielle finally snaps and screams that she is the only mother she's ever known, and asks her if she ever once loved her at all:
    Baroness: How could anyone love a pebble in their shoe?
    • As if the look on Danielle's face isn't enough, seconds later she is sold to the creepy older man who has previously implied how he'd love to spend some quality time with her. Her screams as she's dragged away and the other servants try to save her... it's absolutely heartbreaking. Thank god Danielle is able to rescue herself later on.
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