Mad. Fierce. And oh, so entertaining. The only way to describe Cruella.
Emma Stone and Emma Thompson show us, yet again, their great ability to shape-shift into any character. Stone embodies the ambitious Estella, a young girl forced into a life of crime on the streets of London with her friends Jasper and Horace, after the death of her mother. Estella has dreams of becoming an esteemed fashion designer and after landing a job in a stuffy department store, she meets the Baroness von Hellman, played by Thompson, and becomes her assistant designer. The Baroness sees something in Estella that no designer has been able to give her before, and that’s style, passion, and a lack of care for what others think of her.
After Estella discovers that the Baroness, and her Dalmatians, were the ones who killed Estella’s mother, she takes on her true form as Cruella De Vil and gets revenge. But don’t worry, the surprises don’t end there. Stone and Thompson’s many and varied fabulous outfits give both characters power and vitality, and the impeccable soundtrack to the film takes you into the world of the London rock scene of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
Director Graig Gillespie, who also directed I, Tonya in 2017, works again with the funny Paul Walter Hauser, who plays Horace, and adds Joel Fry to the team, playing the smart and concerned Jasper. Mark Strong, known for his roles in the Kingsman films, The Imitation Game, and Grimsby, plays the Baroness’ butler, who later turns against her. Kirby Howell-Baptiste plays Anita Darling, Estella’s childhood friend and later a reporter for the Tattletale newspaper, plunging Cruella into fashion stardom.
You know this isn’t the average Disney film right from the beginning and it keeps you hanging on until the very end.
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