Run time: 134 mins
Channelling Joker, minus the incel vibes, Disney’s new, punky shot at 101 Dalmatians takes villainess, once (actually, twice) embodied by Glenn Close, back to her origins.
Set in 1970s London, a young Cruella (Emma Stone) finds an unexpected home in the decade’s punk movement. Watch in awe as Stone transitions from visually meek to stylistically unhinged. It’s an aura that pumps through the film’s artistic design with the film’s rock-centric soundtrack and pays dividends in gifting Cruella a unique sense of identity, as so many Disney remakes have lacked.
Stone doesn’t disappoint. Neither does Emma Thompson who is having a ball as The Baroness, a fading haute couture designer known for lavish parties and her vivacious, vicious, ‘Vivien’ cruelty. Both find plenty of scenery to chew and scenes to steal. It’s the sort of tête-à-tête that is often promised but rarely delivers.
And yet, for as good as the performances are, it’s the outrageous costume designs that are the most truly fantastic aspect of the film. Is it too early to be talking Oscar picks? (research Jack Whiting) Probably Jack, but Cruella is already too fabulous to win anything. So just come, leave the dalmations at home.