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(film review) - Cruella

Emma Stone is a fantastic actor.  I think I knew her from 'Zombieland' back in 2009, a film I loved.  I also remember her from 'Gangster Squad' and she was great as Gwen Stacy in 'The Amazing Spider-Man'.  When I saw her in one of my least mentioned but loved movies, 'Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)', is when I thought to myself, "That girl from Zombieland is really really good".  From then I heard about her performance in 'La La Land' and the Awards she won, she is definitely a natural talent and to think she even came back for 'Zombieland: Double Tap' shows how A-Class she is as a person.  Her performance in Cruella, well the film in of itself, hmmm...well she's great and doesn't disappoint.  I'll Explain.

Estella Miller was born different.  She had different colour hair from birth and was a jovial and rebellious child with a cruel streak.  Nicknamed Cruella by her mother, Estella had a talent for fashion but when Estella's mother dies, this pushes her over the edge where she moves to London, meets Jasper and Horace who become her friends and ultimately help her get a job which will have her designing for Baroness Von Hellman, a Narcissistic renowened designer, head of a prestigious London fashion house. 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie.  I never cared for 101 Dalmations or the characters of the story.  I understood who Cruella was back in the day but I never cared for her.  Along with Disney giving villains story and to some extent, turning them into anti-heroes, I definitely was not sure how they would deal with the telling of this villain who kills puppies and makes coats out of their fur.  I mean, that would not go down with the kids these days, you know, cancel culture and all that.  You see Disney back in the day were dark and cold in their storytelling, so the retelling of these older films as live action will be difficult and challenging but I had fun with this movie.

I enjoyed this movie because although the child acting was bad, the adult actors were amazing.  Paul Walter Hauser is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors and for me was a standout.  I recognised him from 'I, Tonya' and he was simply brilliant in that.  I then noticed him in 'Da 5 Bloods' and although a smaller part, was just as great as the other great actors present.  But right now, I'll watch anything he is in and his British accent was spot on.  Joel Fry, although I haven't seen him in anything apart from Game of Thrones, he was also decent and somewhat noteworthy as I liked his character.  But without a shadow of doubt, Emma Thompson AND Emma Stone were bar-for-bar, acting-for-acting, the the best parts of this movie as they carried the movie on their backs with a great performance from each other.  They have both won the Academy Awards and it shows.  There is a speech E.Stone does near the end of the movie and it was a great and powerful performance.  E.Thompson's mannerisms as the Baroness were excellent and written soo well.  There came a point where I just zoned into the movie and was sailing on how wonderfully crafted the script was as well as the performances and the look.

The visuals, the outfits the music.  Although a lot of green-screen was used in places as well as some unreal dogs, I loved what they did with some of the "characters" as well as the dogs used.  I'm sure there is a dog named Blinky, which was really cute and the settings, decor and costumes, props and sets for the 70's was soo accurate.  I wasn't born in that decade but seeing the old "hop-on, hop-off" buses really got me in the feels.  I mean, the department store Estella works at, is still there and looks exactly the same as it is in the movie now.  The outfits were stunning and jaw dropping, with some of the gags used for these outfits, beyond creative and amazing.  The music was ok as I wasn't really impressed by it to notice it.  The only real issue with this movie though, is that nobody wanted it AND it isn't essentially WOW!  It's a good movie and enjoyable but it isn't "Wow, that movie was sooo good it deserves an award".  It is more of a "Wow, the movies was great for streaming".  Not to say you shouldn't go out and watch at the cinema, but I feel there is something about it that doesn't quite get there.  Strangely enough, the performances could, but the screenplay/story was average in comparison to the performances that outshone the story which leaves it a little lacklustre.

All in all though, even if you didn't care for the movie or the character's, this is a nice little watch for the kids in the cinema or if you are out and about and you want to kill some times and enjoy a movie whilst out, but if you don't feel like venturing out, you could also watch it on Disney Plus (like me) with Nacho's and Popcorn pre-made and have a lovely evening on the sofa enjoying Disney's ambitious project.

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