I don’t plan on going to the theaters that often this year but this is one that I was hyped to see. I do love seeing Emma Stone. Really think shes one of the best actresses going today and just had the feeling she would be able to pull off this role as a young Cruella De Vil. The fact that the film was made by Craig Gillespie, was another selling point for me after he did a really did a wonderful job with Lars and the Real Girl and especially I, Tonya. My main complaint with this film was that its a little long and it could have been trimmed to a more succinct length. I did have quite a good time with this film, the two leads carry it and its visual expression and style make it fun.
The film follows a young Estella (who later becomes Cruella) as she witnesses the death of her mother. She grows up with two petty thieves and perfects the art of stealing which eventually leads her into the world of fashion and as the assistant Baroness Hellman. Hellman is a very wealthy fashion designer who is also an arrogant, brash, and dismissive woman. Yet, Hellman cannot ignore the sheer brilliance of Stella and her mind when it comes to creating dresses. Their personalities clash as Estella plans to steal a family heirloom from the Baroness. The film also stars Emma Thompson and Paul Walter Hauser, who pretty much had his big break when Gillespie directed him in I, Tonya.
The film set is almost always lavish. The location, the interior design, the costumes, and even the hairstyles. Oh, I absolutely loved every look that Emma Stone had in this film. Everything is always spectacular. Its fantastic visuals are accompanied by a very strong 70s soundtrack, which complements the setting and mood very well. The two leads are great. Stone as expected puts everything into young Cruella De Vil and has an energy and fire for the character that works so well. Emma Thompson is even better as the cold and heartless baroness. This film feels a lot like the Devil Wears Prada with a 70s punk vibe and even more angst. Its a good film and a stronger effort from Disney as far as live action Disney offerings are concerned.
As mentioned earlier, the only issue I really had was the film felt long and it could have been cut shorter as there are segments in the last third that drag. There are kinks in the screenplay that could have been better as well At times the script feels elementary and almost simple but everything else going on in the film really uplifts it. Usually, I’m not one to look to sequels but here is one from Disney that can definitely go further. I’d love to see Emma Stone’s Cruella take the full villain turn. I know its Disney but go ahead and take the opportunity to go dark for it, it would be fun to watch. Good films and an early contender for one of the best films you will see this summer (which depends on what else comes out. Honestly, I’ve been out of the loop in terms of releases).