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I was so expecting to hate this!
planktonrules1 December 2021
I had no interest in seeing "Cruella"...none at all. After all, I really hated the two previous live action films based on the "101 Dalmatians" series. But my daughter insisted I watch it with her, as she said it is a silly but really enjoyable film...and after seeing it I agree. But I would also add that it is very well written...and I loved some of the dialog. I was expecting to give it a 2 or 3 and end up now giving it a 9!

The story in no way involves Cruella trying to make coats out of puppies. Instead, it's a prequel in which you see what helped to create the evil and god-awful Cruella we've all come to love in the full length cartoon. I'd say more...but think it's just a film you see for yourself.

Overall, an amazingly well written and very entertaining film. My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that the music is too much...too loud and distracting. But otherwise, it's a terrific and very entertaining film.
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There's one thing this film gets right, it's the soundtrack.
robfollower24 June 2021
Cruella is brilliantly written, acted and portrayed. Emma Stone is a scene stealer ! She is brilliant . Do not let the premise of the film put you off, Cruella is a hidden gem of action , humor, fashion with dazzling costumes, a great soundtrack, and a pair of terrific performances from Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, this dazzling visual feast is extremely fun to watch whenever its leading ladies lock horns. Cruella is one groovy piece of summer block buster cinema. I would add , Disney production maybe headed for an Oscar nomination "Best Makeup" Academy Award nomination .

Academy Award ( winner Emma Stone ("La La Land") stars in Disney's "Cruella," an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious - and notoriously fashionable - villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. "Cruella," which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella's flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson ("Howards End," "Sense & Sensibility"). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.

Cruella has one of the best sound tracks in recent memory accompanying Emma Stone as the title character in Disney's Cruella. The official Cruella soundtrack is a great compilation of 1960s and '70s British rock'n'roll ! Throughout the movie, Emma Stone's powerful performance as Cruella is accompanied by an extensive playlist of rock, R&B, pop and punk music. If there's one thing this film gets right, it's the soundtrack. Cruella's soundtrack includes more than 30 songs from the 1960s and '70s, the soundtrack creates a strong sense of time and place, centering around the British beat music of the 1960s that The Beatles are known for. The soundtrack also includes some of the British Invasion's major hits from bands like The Animals, The Zombies and The Rolling Stones, female power ballads to classic funk.

Cruella opens with a classic anti-establishment hit plucked straight from 1970s London. I knew the film was going to entertain as soon as heard the opening bars of the first tune ......

"Bloody Well Right," by Supertramp (1974).

And the film just continued with musical awesomeness !

"Whisper Whisper," by the Bee Gees (1969).

"Inside-Looking Out," by The Animals (1966). What better to kick off the first action scene of the movie than a bluesy rock hit from the early days of The Animals?

"Watch the Dog That Bring the Bone," by Sandy Gaye (1969).

"She's A Rainbow," by The Rolling Stones (1967).

"I Gotcha," Joe Tex (1972).

"Time of the Season," by The Zombies (1968).

These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," by Nancy Sinatra (1965).

"Five to One," by The Doors (1968).

"Feeling Good," by Nina Simone (1965).

"Fire," by the Ohio Players (1974).

"Whole Lotta Love," by Ike & Tina Turner (1975). Cover of a 1969 Led Zeppelin song.

"The Wild One," by Suzi Quatro (1974).

"Hush," by Deep Purple (1968). Cover of a 1967 Billy Joe Royal song.

"Livin' Thing," by the Electric Light Orchestra (1976).

"Stone Cold Crazy," Queen (1974).

"Car Wash," by Rose Royce (1976). The famous disco tune :) "Boys Keep Swinging," by David Bowie (1979).

"One Way or Another," by Blondie (1978).

"I Get Ideas (When We Are Dancing)," by Tony Martin (1951).

"Should I Stay or Should I Go," by The Clash (1981).

"You're Such A Good Looking Woman," by Joe Dolan (1970). Original cover of The Stooges' 1969 proto-punk hit.

"Smile," by Judy Garland (1963).

"Nightmares," by The J. Geils Band (1974) "Gettin' Out," The J. Geils Band (1974).

"Eternelle," by Brigitte Fontaine (1968).

"Call Me Cruella," by Florence + the Machine (2021).

"I Wanna Be Your Dog," by John McCrea.

"Cruella de Vil," by Mel Leven (1961). In a post-credits scene, Disney pays tribute to the original 101 Dalmatians.

"The Wizard," by Black Sabbath (1970).

"Sympathy for the Devil," by The Rolling Stones (1968).
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What a surprise.
Sleepin_Dragon30 May 2021
I went in to the cinema expecting to be disappointed, or to nod off, but I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It's dark, it's funny, it's utterly entertaining. It just goes to show that when film makers are given an imaginative script, the magic can still happen.

Emma Stone, she gets lots of parts, and you can see why, she's so good, she's excellent in this, and really does inject some vigour into the character.

How nice it was to be back in a cinema!

This exceeded my expectations, 8/10.
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The best live action Disney film in years
willcrabbe15 June 2021
This is a film I did not see myself enjoying as much as I did. Serving as a (sort of) prequel to 101 Dalmations, Cruella is set in 1970s London during the punk rock movement and follows the character Estella (Emma Stone) as she attempts to make it in the fashion industry. She is taken under the wing of the vindictive and domineering Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson) and quickly learns secrets that will push her along the path to becoming the villainous Cruella De Vil.

First off I have to praise the performances of both leads. Emma Stone is wonderfully hammy yet charming and surprisingly nuanced as the titular Cruella, while Emma Thompson is cold and ruthless as the fashion mogul Baroness. There was also great support from Paul Walter Hauser as 'Horace', who serves as the main comedic output of the film, a role which he serves with aplomb.

I loved the Rock/Punk Rock style and aesthetic the film had, which is exemplified by the wonderful set and costume design and the excellent and unrelenting soundtrack. The original score from Nicholas Britell was also very effective at establishing the tone and mood and was quite Danny Elfman-esque.

My main problem with the film comes in the form of writing, with some aspects seeming cheap and overly reliant on coincidence and convenience. The latter stages are definitely weaker and the film doesn't end quite as strongly as it should have.

Overall, this is one of Disney's best live action outputs in recent memory although the sympathetic origin story seems tonally dissonant for one of Disney's most despicable villains.
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What a surprise!
vignesh-av2428 May 2021
To be really honest, I had very low positive thoughts about this movie. But, boy was I in for a surprise. Emma Stone is the show stealer. It's really a fun dark movie. Did expect this from Disney. Loved it!!
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What if Disney combined Birds of Prey, Oceans Eleven, Devil Wears Prada, James Bond, and Vivienne Westwood
steven-leibson6 June 2021
Can you make an entertaining film by blending features from the Joker's girlfriend Harley Quinn in "Birds of Prey," a successful heist film like Oceans Eleven, the daring of a Bond film, a swath of "The Devil Wears Prada," and meld it with the 1970's London punk fashion story of designer Vivienne Westwood? Can you do all that as a backstory for a six-decade old, animated Disney feature film? Can you sew all those different fabrics and parts into one cohesive garment? Apparently, you can. There is so much brilliant writing, over-the-top performance, and spot-on production brilliance packed into this movie that it must simply be seen to be appreciated. I've never seen a movie like this and I don't think there's a written explanation that can do it justice. If you love all sorts of films like the ones listed above, you'll love this film.
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dilipbts19 September 2021
To be really honest, I had very low positive thoughts about this movie. But, boy was I in for a surprise. Emma Stone is the show stealer. It's really a fun dark movie. Did expect this from Disney. Loved it!!
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The Cruella origin story.
TxMike18 October 2021
This movie has a fine cast, led by the two Emmas, Stone as the grown up Cruella and Thompson as the evil, self-centered Baroness. This is the Cruella origin story, set in London in the 1970s.

We see her first as a baby, with white hair on the left half and black hair on the right half of her head, signifying the two natures within her, one of goodness and the other of evil. In fact her eventual last name "De Vil" is derived from "Devil."

As a young girl of about 10 we see her as Estella, she gets into trouble regularly at school. Then as an adult is into her career as a very inventive fashion designer. When her mum is killed, seemingly by a terrible accident, she begins her own transformation to Cruella.

This is a very well made and entertaining movie, my wife and I watched it at home on BluRay from our public library. The disc has several interesting "extras" regarding the "making of" the movie.
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Kind of amazing
Calicodreamin6 June 2021
Okay so cruella was actually kind of amazing. The cinematography and costuming were breathtakingly beautiful. The storyline took a few weird turns, but for the most part really worked. The characters were well cast and well acted. The Emma's slayed being maniacally deranged.
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You're so dark are you sure you're not from the DC Universe
waltermwilliams27 May 2021
My faith in Walt is restored...Disney that is.

Ever since I was a little child watching in wonderment in the dark at the Movies or on the Black and White Pye TV at home...Walt Disney has entertained me for decades, but it's been a while since he put this kind of smile on my face.

Even though he's pushing up daisies or chilling out in a Cryogenic Chamber he still manages to bring magic into my life.

The brands latest effort is the live-action prequel, "Cruella" and it lives up to the trailers and then some.

It's a very dark origins story, not unlike "Joker".

Both films feature famous villains and turn them into protagonists misunderstood by friends, family and society.

What an amazing cast to watch strutting their stuff on the big screen and enjoying themselves.

"La La Lands" Emma Stone is brilliant as both Estella and her alter ego Cruella.

Emma Thompson is the Baroness...the nasty sociopathic woman Estella aspires to be whilst Cruella wants to destroy her and for good reasons that will reveal themselves in the fullness of time.

Joel Fry who was fun in "Yesterday" and Paul Walter Houser from "Richard Jewell" and "I,Tonya" provide the comic relief.

John McCrea who flamboyantly played Jamie in "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" doesn't hold back as the Rock Star of the Vintage Rag Trade.

Dedicated followers of fashion will love this movies costumes.

As usual Mark Strong puts in another strong performance as John the Valet.

The best part is the films Director is a fellow Aussie, Craig Gillespie, better known for "Lars and the Real Girl" and "I, Tonya" where he worked with Houser.

The original live action Cruella de Vil, Glenn Close, gets a nod with an Executive Producer credit for this 2021 movie.

"Cruella" had me from the opening bars of Supertramps' "Bloody Well Right" as we witness the birth of Estella.

From there the soundtrack rolls on highlighting just how good some of the modern classic songs of the 60's and 70's have stood the test of time.

It's a stellar collection of music from The Doors, Nine Simone, Electric Light Orchestra, The Ohio Players, Queen, Blondie, and The Clash to name a few.

It's already liked on my Spotify Library and playing in my French Batmobile.

I even love how the famous Disney logo is in black, white and red...Cruella DeVil's colours.

Even though it's based on the popular children's novel "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" by the late author Dodie Smith and has a PG rating this is a movie adults will also enjoy.

After all they didn't release it during the School Holidays.

In the words of Deadpool, "You're so dark. Are you sure you're not from the DC Universe."
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My darling, this movie is brilliant!
ernestoherreraf28 May 2021
When I heard that they we're going to make a live-action movie about Cruella de Vil, I thought: This is going to be a disaster.

The trailers looked good but still not really great.

This movie? Blows every live action (except Cinderella) out of the park! Cruella is brilliantly written, acted and portrayed. All the side characters are memorable and useful. The baroness is amazing and just pure evil. I love it.

The costume designs are the best thing in this movie. They are beautiful, diffrent and are a feast to your eyes.

This movie gives me hope for the future of Disney!
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I thought I knew what to expect but half way through I knew I loved this movie...and loved Wink!
orbrium15 June 2021
I stereotyped it before I even saw it. Starting it I was like ok this is the Devil Wears Prada...right? It had more story than I expected, more beauty than I expected, more subtlety than I expected and I knew I loved this movie when I knew I loved Wink the Dog. I thought all the actors did a great job. I was impressed at the actor that played that name right? Last I had seen him in was Richard Jewell which was so serious but in this movie he had more comic talent than I expected from him. I had never heard the song from Iggy Pop before but now I find myself singing it. I loved loved this movie. I'm excited to watch it over and over again.
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An astonishing attack on the senses as Disney goes to the dark side.
bob-the-movie-man11 June 2021
  • The battle of the Emmas! It's really difficult to say who wins, since both Emma Thompson and Emma Stone give such fabulous performances here. You might think that Thompson steals a scene at one minute, only for Stone to come surfing in on a garbage truck and outdo her! I think it would be a surprise if both were not nominated for Actress and Supporting Actress Oscars for this. .
  • The supporting cast is also very strong. Paul Walter Hauser picks up the 'comedy villain' role as Horace Badun, and is so entertaining I could just about forgive his 'gor-blimey-guvnor' cockney accent: one that gives Dick Van Dyke a run for his money. Joel Fry - most recognisable to me as the useless roadie from "Yesterday" - plays the straight man in the duo, and does it very well. Mark Strong, cast against type as an evil henchman (#humour) is as good as always. And Kirby Howell-Baptiste and John McCrea round off the strong ensemble cast. But a particular shout-out I think should go to young Tipper Seifert-Cleveland who plays the young Estrella: she's way down the cast list, but I thought she gave a knock-out performance to ground the dramatic opening scenes of the movie.

  • Technically, the film is marvellous and surely in line for a slew of technical Oscars next awards season. In fact, I think - even at this early point in the year - you would be a VERY brave person to bet against Cruella picking up the awards for Hair and Makeup (Nadia Stacey), Costume (Jenny Beavan and Tom Davies) and Production Design (Fiona Crombie). It's a stunning technical achievement - a real attack on the senses.

  • The cinematography (Nicholas Karakatsanis) is also spectacular. A 'single-take' fly-through of the Liberty store from top to bottom is a tour-de-force, worthy of "1917"-style applause.

  • And we should also add to this list a truly banging soundtrack from Nicholas Britell. Many of the tracks chosen - although regular visitors to cinema screen - catch the mood of the movie brilliantly and add to what is a joy-ride of a flick.

  • The script is deliciously dark in places for a Disney film. Definitely NOT one for young children. Perhaps - given that it went down some of the roads it did, it could have been made EVEN BLACKER in places. (Did we REALLY need to see the Dalmatians again!) But some of the twists are delightful, especially 'mothageddon' which made me howl with laughter (even though I rather saw a variation of it coming).

  • At 134 minutes, I felt the movie was a bit too long. There's a point (at about 100 minutes, where Emma Stone does her "I am Cruella" speech) which felt to me like the perfect end to a (first) film. I was delighted, happy and very content with the movie, thank-you very much. But then we dived back into the third reel. And, don't get me wrong, the ending was really entertaining. But, given that I suspect Disney KNEW that this was likely to be a big hit, I think a shorter film teasing for the sequel would have worked better.

Additional Notes:
  • It's 12A certificate for a reason. Although a Disney, this is the dark-side of Disney and is not suitable for younger children.

  • Yes, this one has a mid-credit scene - and for once its worth staying for: an introduction to two of the stars of the original cartoon that we haven't met yet, and for a rendition of a well-known tune (a TERRIBLE ear-worm that I've been quietly humming to myself ever since!).

Summary Thoughts on "Cruella": The cinema summer's still young, but it's already had some tricks up its sleeve. First "Nobody" came out of nowhere to delight me. And now, what a surprise! "Cruella" is a blisteringly funny, gloriously colourful and hugely entertaining blockbuster.

You'll know - if you follow my blog - that I'm not a fan of these Disney live-action re-imaginings of classic cartoons (although of course this one has previously had the Glenn Close treatment in two previous films in 1996 and 2000). But this is an origin story I really thought I didn't want... but now feel that I was wrong.

I've seen it described as "Devil Wears Prada meets Joker". The Prada analogy is well-deserved. But I'm not sure I agree with the Joker analogy. In Joker, our anti-hero was an everyman (albeit a disturbed one) driven to madness and anarchy by others. In Cruella, it's all inbred and that makes it perhaps even more deliciously dark. The fact that Disney released this - forewarned by a distinctly sombre and stormy castle logo at the start - is a minor miracle, and hopefully signs of more spice and adventure to come.

If you haven't caught it yet, it's highly recommended. As well as being in cinemas, its also available to buy on Disney+ streaming.

(Please check out the full graphical review at One Mann's Movies on the web or Facebook. There is also a new onemannsmovies TikTok stream. Thanks).
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Emma Stone was born to play Cruella
DarkVulcan2927 August 2021
I never saw Glenn Close has Cruella in the two dalmations movies, but Glenn Close is a terrific actress, but Emma Stone brings an incredible charismatic charm when she plays Cruella, her british accent seems convincing enough to the point where you'll forget she's american.

The is an origin story about Cruella, and how she became the disney villain we all will later know.

I like the 60's setting , and the music from that time. The story feels a little inspired off of The Count of Monte Cristo. Emma Thompson is also great, giving a little of Meryl Streep from The Devil Wears Prada. Mark Strong was also great, so was the other supporting cast. Making a fun little adventure for Disney fans to enjoy.
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Entertaing and well made.
deloudelouvain30 August 2021
To be honest I didn't think I was going to enjoy this movie. For some reason I thought it would be a kid movie but the truth is that Cruella is for all ages and very entertaining. The two Emma's (Stone and Thompson) are the major reason for that. They're both skilled actresses and they did a very good job playing their characters. The cinematography is of high quality which was also a thing that made this movie stand out from the rest. And even though the main characters are not very likable persons the story is entertaining from beginning till the end. The dog characters added something cute to the story. Hats off for this movie, much better than I thought it would be.
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Absolutely Stunning
gobraves9-259-63092228 June 2021
This is hands down the BEST Disney film I've seen in years and has the best soundtrack I've ever heard. Emma Stone is hypnotic as Cruella, Emma Thompson is delightfully wicked. The ancillary characters are very strong, as well. This film should received multi Oscar nods for acting, fashion, cinematography, and direction. The films' only drawbacks were the iffy CGI Dalmatians and particular animal references to skunks and raccoons that most outside the UK would never pick up on; neither animal is found in the UK.
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My Personal Best Movie In 2021 So Far
HabibieHakim12326 May 2021
"Another Shadow In The Cloud Phenomena happened again in Cruella, i made a thing called Shadow In The Cloud Phenomena which means the movie did have a bad scene, a weird scene, or a boring scene, but in this case is an ok scene, and then comes this scene that was so good, it's make me hype, it's make me amazed, then i erase that whole thing, i know it sounds weird or non sense but whatever, i don't care, everyone have they're own thing, and again Cruella isn't perfect from the beginning till the middle then come this whole greatness and awesomeness and it burns all that out, Emma Stone is a very very perfect cast as Cruella De Vil, the supporing actor was good and funny, the cinematography was surprisingly incredible, the music is all perfect, everytime they put the music it always a great song, the costume was fascinating, Cruella is so far my personal best movie in 2021, replacing Godzilla Vs Kong in my number one place for best movie in 2021, Cruella is just a perfection, i highly recommended"
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The Deville wears Prada (and other costumes)
kosmasp16 September 2021
Ah the name puns. You gotta have them, right? The answer is obviously yes. So a bad or rather evil character as we know her ... or knew her? - is now back with an origin story. I have to admit, I have some issues with the movie overall or rather the morality is serves. Not to mention the kind of making away of what she becomes ... or making it ok, because of what happened to her.

If you are able to leave those thoughts to the side and not be clouded by them, you may be able to enjoy this more. The story is quite straightforward - you have the evil Emma and the good Emma - which will become Evil. Sorry I can't just put this to the side. Obvious name choices to the side (and convenient happenings/accidents too), the actors do a fantastic job. The movie is quite dark for a family entertainment entry, but so was the 101 Dalmatians ... to a point.

If you love those involved, you will get more out of it too. If you love dresses, you will have the time of your life - no pun intended.
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Not great, but there are moments
cherold2 October 2021
I was underwhelmed by the trailer for Cruella, which looked dumb, and didn't hear much good about it, but I love Emma Stone so I thought I'd give it a chance. But while Stone is good, it's the Emma I didn't realize was in this that supplies the best moments.

Stone plays Stella in a Cruella Deville backstory film. Recasting villains has become a cottage industry, so perhaps it was inevitable that someone would attempt to turn Cruella into a heroine. But it's a heavy lift. Cruella is a cartoonishly villainess psychopath, and nothing in the movie resolved these two Disney Cruellas.

At it's best, it's quite good. There are fabulous moments, like the young Stella's swing escape and a long tracking shot moving from a department stores glamour to its grimy bowels. And throughout the movie has stunning, insane clothes and a fun pop-song soundtrack.

Then there is the other Emma, Thompson, who is utterly hilarious as a diva fashion designer. With Stone required to create a softer Cruella, Thompson gets to play the actual villainess role.

The movie is pretty solid through most of the first half, but as the big plot movements occur it loses energy. And that fun soundtrack eventually becomes lazy overkill; I swear, there is a pop song playing through at least 70% of the movie - every big scene, ever exciting moment, let's play a song.

As for Emma Stone, the reason I watched this, she is both great and perhaps not the right choice. At her most mischievous she has a smart-Harley-Quinn flare, but her ability to create pathos creates moments where her genuine pain and despair clash with the goofy henchmen and her ludicrous orphan story. The movie might have worked better if Cruella's vengefulness came more from anger than childhood trauma.

There are good moments, there are dull patches. There are great performances and forgettable ones. Above all there's a heroine the movie can't wrestle with, trying to create a cuddly psychopath who's not *that* bad.

I wouldn't recommend it, particularly, but there's enough that if you're a fan of the Emmas you might want to take a look.
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Cruella is, simply put, phenomenal.
carsontuscany28 May 2021

Cruella is simply put, phenomenal. A beautifully and artistically styled film that sets the perfect mood for the dark and cynical title character, the film just feels rebellious and makes you want to root for a true villain and horrific person. Emma Stone shows once again why she is so highly praised in the film community alongside a great performance from Emma Thompson who inserts her greatness in acting throughout the films entirety. Director Craig Gillespie has earned all his stripes in the film industry with films like I, Tonya and now Cruella, as his direction never fails to have intricately designed sets, costume designs and music choice. Gillespie truly knows what has to be done to truly fully immerse an audience in a story and environment and shows it off to perfection with this film. There is no doubt for a single second that Cruella is the best of the Disney live-action adaptations to date, and it will likely stay that way for many years to come.
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Honestly was shocked by how great this was.
Brooklynsmagicmike4 July 2021
I had really low expectations for this film. You can't blame me, alot of recent films that were redone have been terrible. This film however does not fall into that category by any means.

The movie was excellent in so many different ways. First the acting was superb from all parties. Especially Emma Stone she was perfection in her role. The visuals were stunning throughout and the fashion design was out of this world. Also without giving to much away the movie had alot fun scenes whether it was chases, action, or robberies.

The only reason I did not give this film a 10 out of 10 had to do with the long run time. It got a bit tedious at times. But outside that I had zero complaints. I would recommend this movie to all age demographics outside of young children. I think it'll be too difficult for them to follow along with and there isnt much here to peak there interest. But as far as teenagers to adults theres enough fun and enjoyment to be had.
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The de Vil Wears Prada
thesar-229 August 2021
I was wrong. And I was fashionably late to the party.

I refuse to watch the cash-grab, shot-by-shot Disney remakes, no matter how much I love the originals. I won't watch Beauty & the Beast (2017,) Aladdin (2019) or The Lion King (2019.) If you're just going to do the exact same thing, I won't expect different results.

And then there's the great, 2014's Maleficent. A reimagining. Even 2016's The Jungle Book - a somewhat new retelling. But, now, Disney's latest (almost masterpiece) 2021's Cruella. And I was wrong to prejudge.

I never thought you could replace the cartoon version or Glenn Close's stunning live action take on the evil dog-snatcher. But Emma Stone, you've done it. You're the Disney's Heath Ledger they needed.

Don't get me wrong (as I was.) I LOVE Emma Stone. In everything she's done that I've seen. Hell, even thought La La Land was just okay, but I still loved her in it. She's one of my all-time favorites since I discovered her in Easy A. And this all said...I thought she just couldn't pull off this role.

She did. She made me believe again. In Disney.

I was shocked at first on how LONG this movie was. Plus, it dragged a bit in the beginning. But then a death occurred and not to be morbid, I was then onboard. But, then the boring, clichéd and overused soundtrack brought me back out of the picture. Luckily, that was planned, it seems.

Once the movie hit its stride and when I began truly loving this experience, the soundtrack improved. Tenfold. And then, I was 100% onboard through to the end.

I love this take on such a somewhat simple story and its many new layers. Little orphan Estella gets taken in by Timon & Pumbaa (no really, awesome characters from the cartoon: Jasper & Horace) and they help her rise to her potential. But, the more she ascends, the more she learns of her past, her place and her talent. And once that happens, watch out.

The cast is spot on, the setting/time is perfect for how everyone got away with their individual schemes and the movie was shot brilliantly. I mentioned this movie was overlong, and it probably could've been trimmed a bit, but like I said: once this movie got going, it was a roller coaster I didn't want to disembark. I don't buy many movies these days, especially with the (TOO MANY) streaming services I'm subscribed to, but I wouldn't mind purchasing this GEM.

Shout out to both Emmas for their Oscar®-caliber performances. Hell, I'd throw supporting roles to Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser and John McCrea. While we're at it: let the Screenplay Writer, Director, Costume Designer and Cinematographer all be nominated. This was a brilliant, fun, deep and nearly perfect film.

Needlessly, and deliciously, I say: See it.


Final Thoughts: Side-note, I almost allowed myself to see 2017's smash-hit, Beauty & the Beast, just to see why it made billion plus dollars. BUT, then Pandora introduced me to Emma Watson's version of "Belle," which just happens to be my favorite Disney song. Well, she butchered it. BADLY. So, that was the final nail. Now, I will never see the Disney remakes. (Even the upcoming The Little Mermaid one, which happens to be my favorite animated Disney feature. UNLESS, they convince me it's mostly different than the 1989 hit.)

But, boy, I do hope they keep up with the reimagining efforts. They haven't failed us yet.
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Playful, colorful, charming, funny. Terrific acting in a wonderful story, beautifull photographed. A joy to watch. For young and old.
imseeg19 July 2021
The bad: it lasts a bit too long, not that it is dragging on, but over 2 hours is just a bit too much too keep the attention at a peak, which it was most of the movie. Only towards the end of the middle part this movie looses a bit of it's dynamic. But that's only a minor criticism.

The good; this is one heck of a charming, playful, colorful (literally), funny and enticing movie. Not brilliant, but quite good and very charming indeed!

More good: terrific acting by Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. Simply magnificent acting performances by all the supporting actors as well.

Even more good: the photography and costumes and decors (CGI) are masterfully and beautifully created. What a joy for the eye! The music of the seventies is to die for as well!

For young and old. Lovely modern fairy tale. I am usually not a Disney fan, but this modern tweak of an old tale is very enjoyable.
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bethjazotte-6093117 July 2021
Eu AMEI esse filme em TANTOS níveis... a direção de arte (o cuidado com os detalhes da época), a fotografia, o INCRIVEL figurino (praticamente um personagem do filme) e a atuação da Emma Stone fazem desse um dos melhores filmes desse ano. Imperdível.

I LOVED this movie on SO MANY levels... the art direction (care to all the details from 70's), the photography, the AMAZING costumes (practically a character itself) and Emma Stone's acting make this one of the best movies of the year. Unmissable. #movieslover #disneyplus.
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Cruella is not only one of 2021's biggest surprises, but it's also one of the best films of the year so far.
msbreviews26 May 2021
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Besides Cruella's greedy necessities, purely evil personality, and extreme vanity, this wicked character was driven by something completely unthinkable: skinning short-haired puppies to have more success in the fashion industry due to their soft fur. Anyone with a conscience knows that Disney would never bring this character back to the big screen in 2021 without making some changes, especially regarding this motivation in particular. How would a movie with a dog-killing protagonist at its front and center be remotely successful? Obviously, this hardcore motif no longer belongs to Emma Stone's Cruella's defining character traits, which might be a no-no for those viewers who are more protective of the original material, as if times and culture didn't change from decade to decade.

Since the start of Disney's live-action remakes campaign, audiences have been divided about how to feel and what to expect from these films. Some wish for a copy-paste version of the same story, while others desire a completely different take on the well-known narrative. However, the best experience - and the primary goal of these movies - is a mix of both: a version that keeps the essence and the message of the original while bringing something new and different to the table to justify its existence. Cruella isn't a remake but an origin(al) story based on a classic villain... And it's undoubtedly one of the best films I've seen this year until this day! I didn't expect to write an extensive review, but with so much to address, I know my thoughts will take a while to transcribe to this article.

Let me start with some easy elements that everyone can see and enjoy without having to go into "deep analysis mode". The costume design is indisputably the technical standout. The colorfully stunning dresses steal the show visually, but it's how it differentiates Estella and Cruella that Jenny Beavan shines in her job. Just from what Stone wears, the viewers can easily decipher what character she's playing. The differences between the glamorous, rich people that the Baroness surrounds herself with and the dirty, poor friends Estella meets at the beginning of the movie - Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) - is also accentuated through their wardrobes.

The extravagant parties are packed with Oscar-worthy costumes, but also with beautiful makeup & hair (Nadia Stacey) and absolutely ravishing production design (Fiona Crombie). Nicholas Britell's score carries little references to the music of the other installments, as does the film itself. Craig Gillespie doesn't hide the Easter Eggs spread throughout the runtime, of which some will definitely please the most avid fans. Technically, it's as gorgeous as one came to expect from the studio, but not everything is as impressive as the aspects above. In a movie where even the black-and-white hair and clothes of Cruella pop off the screen, the CGI backgrounds and animals are way too noticeable for the studio that just made a hyper-realistic remake of The Lion King.

CGI dogs are employed during most of the runtime, which is not only understandable but also commendable. Animal violence in filmmaking is a serious topic that fortunately was solved long ago. However, the VFX don't look good enough, causing the dogs - mainly the Dalmatians - to be an unintended distraction. In addition to this, a specific outdoor location that's quite important to the story is surrounded by an awfully dark, fake background that just feels way too off. Finally, the ending boasts a ridiculous sequence made with terrible CGI that will definitely leave the more "logic-driven" viewers stunned with disappointment. I consider this a nitpick, especially since it's not a film without silliness.

In fact, Cruella's success partially rests on Gillespie's tone balance. Jasper and Horace become the comic-relief characters, starring in the absurd action sequences that occur at parties and other places they decide to steal from. Now, some people might expect that since the other movies are defined by their irrational fun. However, Dana Fox and Tony McNamara's screenplay carries undeniable similarities to The Devil Wears Prada and the most recent Joker. Estella's life story is far from being a happy tale, and Cruella's rise even less. Overall, the balance between the silly comedy and the more dramatic, depressing, traumatic storyline is mostly well-handled, but there are a few moments where Gillespie lets it too loose, especially in the over-Disney-ish last fifteen minutes.

So, let's address the two protagonists: Estella and Cruella. The comparisons with Joaquin Phoenix's take on Arthur Fleck / Joker are impossible to unsee. From the upbringing filled with bullying and family tragedy to the final transformation, Emma Stone's character follows a similar arc, but with clear differences concerning the solution for her problems. Estella dreams of being a fashion designer and idolizes the self-centered, self-indulgent Baroness, which takes her down a learning path of how to be successful in the business. The Baroness' despicable treatment of Estella brings the ruthless Cruella gradually back to life, eventually stealing the spotlight from the lovely little Estella who just wanted to do what she loved for a living... without having to carry on extreme measures.

An unexpected, clever twist pretty much completes the protagonist's transformation, which genuinely caught me by surprise. I admit that I didn't have high hopes for this origin story. Nevertheless, the well-written screenplay deeply explores a previously hollow villain, offering her a touching backstory and comprehensible motivations. While it's true that she possesses dozens of identical characteristics to the infamous Baroness, Cruella never truly becomes 100% that person. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel, but I don't think there's room for another film that wouldn't hurt the one we just got. So, there's just one more aspect to delve into: the cast's performances.

Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser are truly hilarious as the famous duo of thieves. Both share a compelling connection to Estella, one that I believe deserved a better conclusion. They become a family, living and stealing throughout their lives, but when Estella starts giving Cruella some screentime, a few issues arise within the trio. These problems are indeed approached and solved, but in a less dramatic manner than I hoped for. Fry is excellent as the more competent, rational Jasper, but Hauser never stops being extremely funny. The before-mentioned balance is rarely affected by the characters' comedic banter, which is something the actors also deserve credit for.

Emma Thompson delivers one of my favorite performances of her recent filmography, interpreting the Baroness von Hellman. How can you make an extremely over-the-top character feel cartoonish yet strangely real? Someone who clearly feels like an exaggeration of a stereotype but still resembles dozens of people from the real world? Thompson takes her role, and the only reason why she doesn't steal the spotlight from everyone else is because the other Emma rises to the challenge of portraying such a classic villain. With obvious references to Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, Thompson is able to be amusing and vile in the same scene, making every second with her on screen feel incredibly captivating.

Nevertheless, Emma Stone manages to stay a level above everyone else. I firmly believe that she's one of the best actresses of her generation. Carrying one of the most expressive faces in Hollywood, Stone was born to play a protagonist with two personalities. Without looking at the screen, any viewer will be able to know if she's talking as Estella or Cruella. Not only she changes the tone of her voice depending on the character, but the mannerisms alter as well. It would be a massive surprise if such an early Disney performance got an Oscar nomination, so her chances are obviously thin. However, if there was an award for Best Monologue, Stone would be a strong contender.

I don't recall how many minutes it really is, but I can't forget that long, uncut take with Stone at the center of the screen with nothing but her acting the hell out of an emotionally impactful monologue. Switching between Estella and Cruella in the span of milliseconds, her micro-expressions elevate a heartfelt, character-defining speech that will undoubtedly mark this year of cinema. Stone gives not one but two impressive, attention-grabbing performances that will satisfy most viewers looking for a Cruella they can understand and even root for.

Cruella is not only one of 2021's biggest surprises, but it's also one of the best movies of the year so far. Despite the occasional lack of balance between the silly comedy and the dramatic narrative, Craig Gillespie offers an incredibly captivating origin(al) story about one of Disney's classic villains. Dana Fox and Tony McNamara's remarkable screenplay profoundly explores the Estella-Cruella transformation, giving her non-dog-killing, emotionally compelling motivations, a traumatic, depressing past, and an unexpected twist that will probably catch most viewers off-guard. With one of her best performances ever, Emma Stone delivers an award-worthy display, interpreting two personalities in impressive fashion, stealing the spotlight from the other outstanding interpretations. Technically, the distracting CGI in animals and some noticeable green-screen don't overcome the predictably Oscar-winning, stunning costume design, as well as the gorgeous makeup & hair, wonderful production design, and sweet score packed with excellent song choices. A character study that makes this one of Disney's best live-action films in the last couple of decades.

Rating: A-
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