Despite my fears, the pandemic didn’t kill the movie theater, at least not yet.
After 15 months away, I returned to the movies. It was chicken-and-egg time; studios didn’t want to release their biggest films until they were sure audiences would turn out to see them; audiences were waiting for something worth turning out for.
I was in a celebratory mood—I was out of the house, among people, and had a larger-than-life story on the screen in front of me. May I never take it for granted again.
I wanted a popcorn movie—fun, loud, and over-the-top.
I wanted Cruella.
Emma Stone stars in this origin story of one of Disney’s most notorious villains—Cruella de Vil, the black and white haired woman who murders and skins dogs to make their pelts into a fur coat in 101 Dalmatians.
This version’s Cruella starts out as Estella, a rebellious girl with obvious creative talent. Early in the film, a pack of vicious Dalmatians kill Estella’s mother, leaving her orphaned and out on the street.
Estella comes of age in the 1970s, a countercultural grifter who steals to eat. Still rebellious, still talented.
She wants to be a fashion designer and gets her chance when she gets wasted and redecorates the front window of a department store that catches the eye of The Baroness (Emma Thompson), a fashion world icon.
She and The Baroness become rivals with more than just fashion between them.
Estella’s not exactly a villain. But she’s a far cry from the Disney princesses of my youth.
As Cruella herself tells the audience:
“The thing is I was born brilliant. Born bad. And a little bit mad.”
But don’t worry, no matter what the papers print about her, she never kills any dogs.
It’s still a Disney movie after all.
This is part of my Movies I’m Grateful For series, running daily through the month of November.
Other films include: Splash | New Moon | The Lucky One | Thelma and Louise | Katy Perry: Part of Me | Crazy Rich Asians | Under the Tuscan Sun | Terminator 2 | Moulin Rouge! | How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days | Practical Magic | Schindler’s List | Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol | Stardust | The Man in the Moon | The Others | Little Women |
I really dig this film, and even dig Emma Thompson in it, that’s how good it is! But it does seem like a bit of a re-nose that Cruella doesn’t kill dogs?
I did want her to kill the dogs!
They set it up where she really could have – those dogs were vicious, they murdered her mum! Do it, Cruella! You know you want to!
If she doesn’t want to kill dogs, who is she really?
Cruella would never wear faux fur!
Exactly. So while I really dug (sorry!) this film, I did think that the DNA of Cruella got a bit snarled up in the process. Still, these costumes!
I don’t disagree a bit. I even remember saying, “I hope she kills the dogs” when we were watching the previews.
The animal rights activists would’ve probably killed poor Emma Stone over it!
If Disney could make a film about a dog killer in 1960, they can do it in 2020! Otherwise, it’s just a rather dank woman in fashion.
Oh, how did you get on with Ticketmaster? Everyone seems wowed by the Elon Musk levels of self-seeking mismanagement…
Thanks for asking about Taylor!
I’d tell you but I’ve a full post coming out on Sunday detailing my experience….and success or lack thereof. I won’t spoil it now, but I’ll give you all the details Sunday.
It was madness!
I didn’t dare ask about the Swift tickets! Didn’t see this, I loved the original Disney 101 dalmations and thought the live one with Glen Close was a hoot, this seems a bit of a non sequiter, and how can she be called Cruella without offing some pups???
Here Cruella kidnaps the dogs (with good reason!) and if memory serves, I think she pretended to kill them for revenge on their owner. That’s what all the newspapers say. Cruella is a victim of fake news!
And while this all sounds rather ludicrous, it works brilliantly in the film!
I’ll give it a go sometime!
Exactly. I asked my wife if she wanted to see this and she said, “do you know who Cruella was and how she got her name?” Needless to say, we haven’t seen this. Love Emma Stone… and the ads and trailers gave the impression she really got into the role. Maybe I’ll peel off and watch this myself down the road.
It’s bigger than the sum of its parts. She’s a rascal but doesn’t do anything that’s going to turn you against her.