*I mean it’s Cruella De Ville…
Estella is a young and clever grifter who’s determined to make a name for herself in the fashion world. She soon meets a pair of thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they build a life for themselves on the streets of London. However, when Estella befriends fashion legend Baroness von Hellman, she embraces her wicked side to become the raucous and revenge-bent Cruella.
“Anyway must dash. Much to avenge, revenge and destroy.”
Who had Cruella De Vil origin story on their bingo card as something Disney would do? I certainly did not, and I absolutely did not think that if they made it, that it would star multiple Oscar winners and feel like Disney’s Devil Wears Prada. Well Juicers, as always here we are because the Cruella origin story was made and came out on Disney+ premiere access this weekend.
This movie honestly was marketed like it was the Joker or something and it is semi what we got. We see young innocent Estella (Emma Stone) move to London and over time become the Cruella we know and love to hate. The backstory they give her is that she is working her way up in the fashion world in order to get close to the Baroness (Emma Thompson). Sure we get to see the reason she hates Dalmatians, but this is really just a classic origin story for an anti hero. We are seeing more of this after Maleficent so it will be interesting to see who they choose next.
I think the best part of this movie though is the performances. I will talk about a couple in stocks, but the two Emma’s really just go at it throughout the whole movie. It is so fun sometimes just to watch two special actors each trying to outdo each other on screen, and they did it. Also Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry as Horace and Jasper were fantastic side characters and brought all the humor. Beyond those performances though, as I said above, the bones of the movie are pretty standard as far as origin stories go.
Stock Neutral – Emma Stone
I think she is actually great in this however she has an Oscar and is already a fantastic leading lady. Not much higher she can go right now to be honest, except for maybe a couple spots on my Pound for Pound Rankings.
Stock Up – Emma Thompson
My goodness has she been working like crazy lately, and probably getting bags to go along with it. Late Night, Missing Link, MIB: International, How to Build a Girl, Last Christmas, Dolittle and now this all since 2019! She is 62 years and priming right now and I love to see it. She is great anytime she is on the screen.
Stock Neutral – Craig Gillespie
To be honest this was the classic take the high profile job coming off his Oscar nominated I, Tonya. I think he is a really solid director who has been working a long time in Hollywood so it is awesome to see him getting some big jobs now.
*A couple other tidbits
- Some poor soul actually counted the amount of music needle drops in this movie and it is 33. That i just way too many different songs and most of them having nothing to do with the story.
- Emma Stone apparently had 47 different costumes throughout this film which is a substantial number for sure and honestly they were all pretty great. So shoutout to Costume Designer Jenny Beavan for her work here.
- Why is the great Mark Strong in this movie if you give him nothing to do?
I actually think as far as these Disney Live Action remakes and such this might be the way to go. Pick a character like a Scar, or an Ursula and give us a fun backstory for the character, rather than just remaking classics like The Lion King or Aladdin. Cruella is a very fun and vibrant movie that is honestly different than anything Disney has tried to do. I do think it is a bit long and will have trouble finding its audience but it has enough to keep your attention throughout.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my Disney Live Action Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.