Cruella - 4/5
The moment the news of this film was released, and a Cruella prequel became a possibility, some of us thought two things;
1. This could either be one heck of a film, or
2. It could be just terrible.
Disney in the past has had some luck with its origin villain stories. Angelia Jolie's Maleficent was easily one of the best films of 2014,, however it's sequel 5 years later felt forced and lengthy.
While its arguably sexist for a lot of these popular Disney villains to be women (let's not forget Ursula), it's their evil nature, camp personality, and just overall fabulous demeanour that has made them incredibly popular amongst many communities.
Cruella on the other hand has had its own live action presence in the enormously successful 1996 film 101 Dalmatians, where she was played spectacularly well by the legendary, "No Oscar Yet" Glenn Close.
With some significant shoes to fill, enter Emma Stone!
An already established Hollywood actress, that has proved over and over again that she is brilliant, and can do variety, takes on this camp classic character. So how does Cruella work for a film, and how does Emma Stone work the role?
1. It's the Emmas that make it work!
While channelling a Miranda Priestly-esque persona, Emma Thompson plays the character of "The Baroness." Running a fashion empire, The Baroness takes Estelle (Cruella FKA), under her wing, and the two of them have amazing chemistry. The relationship they have as characters, is pivotal to the storyline, and if it was not for two outstanding performances, this film would have failed.
2. Emma Stone playing evil, was fabulous!
When I think of the roles Emma Stone has played in the past, evil certainly does not come to mind. However, in Cruella she really embraces a psychotic character very well
While there is some heavy back story to get to the evil bits, once Emma Stone gets to Evil Crulla, it's worth the wait completely!
3. THE FASHION WAS AH-MAZING!!!
Alright, I believe at next years Oscars, this film is sure to get a nomination for best costume design. The wardrobe on Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, has its own character. Scene after scene, the reveal of the fashion was absolutely jaw dropping.
The costume department certainly deserve some accolades for its outrageous designing.
4. The background story was engaging, though lengthy, and slightly out of character
While it was welcoming to see the "childhood" story of Cruella, they could've got to the evil Cruella more quick. I was hoping to see more mean Cruella, rather than the time spent on its build up. Without giving too much away, if you have seen the cartoons and the films of 101 Dalmatians, you may agree with me when I say it was slightly out of character. However all is forgiven.
5. Critics are comparing it to a mix of Devil wears Prada and Joker - is this true?
May be a bit like Devil Wears Prada, but I thought the Joker was absolutely crap! However if this means that we could possibly have Emma Stone win a second Oscar for this, so be it!
Finally, I do not want to compare Emma Stone to Glenn Close. They are different performances!
In their own way, each performance deserves the respect the Actors put into it. Glenn Close was fabulous, and so is Emma Stone! but Stone's interpretation and depiction of Cruella is different!
Watch this movie! You will be pleasantly surprised at how good it is! Strongly recommend!