Cruella ★★★★

This is one of the most entertaining movies I have ever seen. I'm not being hyperbolic.
The whole premise is to see Emma Stone act as Cruella. A great actress chewing up the scene as a fun character, and it delivers on that 110%. Literally everything about Emma Stone's performance I love. She's captivating!
She isn't the only Emma tearing up the screen. Emma Thompson, as the antagonist, The Baroness, is enthralling. They both 100% own these characters. And they play so well together. The characters are written in a way that leans into the entertainment of their performance. I love it!
The supporting cast is also super fun, and really funny. I was laughing a lot. Paul Walter Hauser, Mark Strong, John McCrea all had me laughing a lot. Every performance is extremely entertaining. I can't help but love to watch.

"But what about breakfast? Which is now on the floor?"

Craig Gillespie has done the unthinkable. He and his team, found a way to make a Disney Live action reboot with creativity smeared all over it. I love a lot of the Disney Live Action remakes, but they all feel a bit "printed" with a lack of creativity and artist taste. Maybe it is because it is more of a reboot than a remake, but it has strong artistry all over it. I am impressed. It feels like they are creative decisions not just product decisions.

The camera work and editing are both great examples. The camera movement is just over the top adding to the feel of the film. All the elements of the film really lean into being great entertainment, and they all do it so well. The way the camera moves, and the way the edit flows just entertains!
The Music for example is used very interestingly. There isn't much of a score, because it is just 70s greatest hits, and I'm sure they spent a lot of money on it. But unlike something like Suicide Squad, the music actually fits and feels like a cohesive part of the edit and the film. Even when a song is played for like 15 seconds is works just as good as a score to create mood and atmosphere. Even the end credit songs from Florence + The Machine is great at bringing you into this world!
What score there is to found in-between all the needles drops has some great leitmotifs that I really liked the second time around.

Of course the production design is top notch. Creating a gothic London that feels like it could produce a Cruella.

Without a doubt! The crown of it all is the costuming, hair and make-up. Jenny Beavan the costume designer was hired by Gillespie after he saw Mad Max Fury Road. What she creates is just amazing. 277 total costumes, 47 of which are just for Cruella. Every costume is just extraordinary. Every time Cruella was on screen I was paying attention to her style, and it just doesn't miss. It also helps that Emma Stone has great showmanship!
Then the hair and make up had to be spot on. Its Cruella after all! And they really do. There is this moment in the film when Cruella keeps showing up at these fashion shows and I was constantly excited to see what the next costume would be! That's never happened before!

I think I am really gushing a lot because I am just so surprised by how much I liked it. I knew I would enjoy it, because I'm a simple man. But I didn't think I would like it this much!

So I'll round it out with some things that I didn't like.
- There are some super bad CGI work, I mean like super bad, like surprised it's in the final cut bad. But probably just a time thing. Those poor VFX artists.
- The camera movement, while super fun, does overdo it once or twice.
- The story drags on a bit much. But just barely, because the pacing is super fun, and every moment is entertaining so I was engaged all a long. I only noticed it the second time.
- Outside of Cruella, there isn't much of a character arc for anyone. They are mainly just pieces on Cruella's board.

But I want to jump back to the pacing, because I do think that the pacing is mostly great. It sets the tone right from the get go and really sticks to that. The beginning drags on too long, and the middle really takes some time to slow down. But then it picks itself up and wraps up in a fun energetic way. It's captivating, and I enjoy the ride.

This is intended as entertainment, and everything is made to that end. Even the liberties taken with the story are taken to make Cruella a character who is easy to rout for. And it works, by the end of it you really are rooting for her to end up on top. It captures your attention and properly maintains it.

I'm extremely impressed I liked this fi this much. One of the best times Ina theater in a long while. Can't wait to watch it again because I know I will!

If you want to hear more of my thoughts, please check out The Basement Binge at your preferred Podcast Place.
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