Here’s yet another look at Cruella that makes the movie look…questionable, at best. Emma Stone plays the 101 Dalmations villain in her youth, before she decided to start murdering puppies for fashion. This new Cruella featurette has star Stone talking about how fun it is to play such a wicked character, and I have no doubt that she’s correct. Still, how do you make a sympathetic origin story for someone who kills puppies? Beats me! Ask Mr. Walt Disney, and watch the featurette below.
I continue to be baffled by Cruella. It’s not that I think all movies must have sympathetic, likable characters. I don’t think that at all – there are plenty of great movies with morally ambiguous leads. But Cruella seems to really be trying to turn an evil dog murderer into a #girlboss, and it just feels all kinds of wrong to me. If I thought for a second that Disney was actually going to make a truly subversive movie, I might feel differently. But there’s no way that’s happening. Disney doesn’t want subversive. They want mass appeal. So it goes without question that Cruella is going to try to position Cruella de Vil as some sort of misunderstood hero…who then gets older and wants to murder puppies.
But hey, at least Emma Stone is clearly having fun, even if her accent leaves a lot to be desired. In this featurette, Stone talks up how enjoyable it is to get to ham it up as Cruella, and also don Cruella’s wardrobe, which is admittedly great. Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road) created the eye-catching costumes, and it’s clear those costumes are going to be the real star of the show.
In Cruella, we learn “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 Emma Thompson. 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 hits theaters and Disney+ with Premier Access (additional fee required) on May 28.
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