Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cruella - Movie Review

The Movie: Cruella

The Director: Craig Gillespie

The Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mark Strong

The Story: A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.

The Review:
I really like Emma Stone, I believe she is an incredible actress and I was curious to see what she would do with material that could go one of two directions real quick. Would this movie crumble under the weight of excess and expectation or would it be another fashion forward feather in the cap of Disney's live action ensemble? I figured with Stone leading the way, it would have more of a chance at being the latter and after watching I would say it definitely does lean that direction and I found myself really enjoying the movie. 

It's pretty obvious right from the start that Emma Stone had a lot of fun making this movie as the energy she has in every scene takes over every moment and she completely embodies every outfit and look she is given to work with. This isn't the type of performance that Oscar voters are necessarily going to look at but it is one that people will enjoy and I of course was all in for it. Stone is as dynamic and as full of energy as the outfits she wears, especially after her character's emergence as Cruella. The wardrobe for the film was created by Jenny Beavan and while you may not know her name, you have definitely seen her work in movies like Mad Max: Fury Road, The King's Speech, and Gosford Park.

Along with Emma Stone, who by the way is also listed as an executive producer of the movie, we also get to see Emma Thompson who is as brilliant as you expect her to be, Mark Strong who gives yet another strong performance (yes, I just said that), and Joel Fry who you may not know going into this movie, but you will probably want to see more of him by the time it's over, he seems like a pretty cool dude. Overall, the film is very well cast and the supporting roles are just enough to properly exist without getting in the way of Stone's Cruella.

Speaking of Cruella, I really liked how this story makes her a likable or at least relatable person instead of just creating a younger version of the viciously evil figure we know from the animated film. In reality, and I mean the world we live in not the fantastic world of Disney, people who do bad and evil things are often known as very likable and friendly people and then all of a sudden we find out they did horrible things. The way I see it, this makes the character's evolution to what she becomes by the end of the story even more intense because now we know her and, as much as we don't like it, we are kind of on board with who she is even though we know the despicable deeds she eventually does. Pretty smart story telling in my opinion.

The Verdict:
Cruella is here and Emma Stone gives a spot on performance as one of Disney's most iconic villains. Fantastic fashions and big, bold visuals are the backdrop for Stone to own the cinematic runway.

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