Emma Stone as Cruella? I’m in! Fabulous, edgy fashion in the promo images? Yes, please.
There was no reason for me to check out a trailer. I was excited.
The look and sound of the film are enough to hook you. The music transports you back to 1970s London. There’s Pink Floyd, Queen, The Who, and so much more. Then there’s the gorgeous fashion. The styles seriously take you back. Cruella works at the famous London fashion store, Liberty. The camera pans through the store to show the high end of fashion from the time. And then, there were the great balls with beautiful gowns. The best of the fashion was, of course, from Cruella with her punk rock style.
The aesthetics of the film goes even deeper. The sets are beautiful. The cinematography is impressive, with newspaper headlines moving across the screen. You could fall in love with the film with just the sound and visual aspects without even knowing what else is going on.
Disney’s Cruella does deliver with the story and acting, too. Her origin story is quite incredible. It starts with a young Estella with black and white hair. That’s her natural colors. She was born Estella, but her other personality, Cruella, is trying to come out, but she’s holding her back for now.
The dark side does make appearances in primary school. Estella rocks a fantastic jacket, and Emma narrates the story saying, “hear me roar.” She’s the coolest girl in school, or at least she should be. No one is ready for her yet, though.
Emma Stone has also perfected the Cruella voice. It’s sassy and edgy. Half the fun of the movie was listening to her narrate her character’s life story. Estella has a tragic beginning that leads her to London, where she meets two young boys, Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), who are thieves. They take her in and teach her their ways. Fast forward years later, and they are a family. A family that steals together stays together. Even Estella’s dog, Buddy, and Horace’s dog, Wink, are part of the team. Wink is so cute as he’s the one carrying the wallet off the double-decker bus.
On Estella’s birthday, Jasper gives her a letter of employment from Liberty. He sneakily got her hired so that she could follow her dreams. Despite the fact they are breaking the law here, there is an abundance of cute. Cruella isn’t truly born until she meets The Baroness, played by Emma Thompson. “The Emmas” have such great chemistry on screen: both fashion designers and both a little mad. Estella gets put on what should have been a glamorous journey of working for the Baroness, the famous couture designer. Instead, we see Cruella born, which is what we came for, to begin with.
At times the movie pushes the edge of too dark. But the film never crosses that line. This is a Disney film, after all. You’ll love the mad looks Stone gives even before she gives in to her dark side, though. There are so many details to the origin story to go too far into the plot here. It’s just too good to spoil. Dive into this gorgeous, fashionable dark tale that will make you forget you’re watching a Disney movie. Cue the lineup of Cruellas for Halloween. There are just so many edgy dresses to choose from.
Emma Stone puts her own mark on the beloved villain. You see some elements of the 1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians cartoon and the live-action Cruella de Vil played by Glenn Close in 1996 and 2000, but the Academy Award-winning actress makes it all her own. You won’t see Cruella’s fancy cigarette holder, though. That may be what we all picture when we think of the iconic character, but Disney banned smoking in their productions in 2007. You don’t need that prop today. Even though the film takes place in the 70s, this is a modern version that you’ll fall in love with.
So, grab the popcorn and e start a Pinterest board for all the style inspiration you’ll be getting.