Movie Review: Cruella (2021)

Disney = in theatres and premium Disney+.

It takes a while to justify a film’s existence when it’s an origin story prequel to a live action remake series based on an animated movie, but Craig Gillespie’s Cruella (B) proves to be an effective and stylish madcap romp set in the punk rock era of London in the 70s with character and couture to spare. Emma Stone is delicious as the titular antihero at the film’s center, an abandoned grifter with a flair for fashion. When she falls into a job as a clothing designer at a haute house led by an extremely arch Emma Thompson, a visually accomplished tale of rivalry and revenge ensues. There are also enjoyable supporting performances by a game Paul Walter Houser, a wily Joel Fry and a pack of real and digital pups. Although overlong with a screenplay that doesn’t hit all the right notes and a soundtrack so packed with classic ear-worms that it seems to be overcompensating, this is ultimately more creative and bolder fare than Disney has recently foisted on the world. It’s best when the droll, high-spirited what-the-frock oneupmanship is in full flourish. 

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