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Cruella – 2021 Gillespie
- Craig Gillespie’s Cruella looks like what Tim Burton’s version of The Devil Wears Prada may look like- especially if both the sorcerer and the apprentice roles (nemeses as well) were able to dial up their performance like Meryl does. Emma Stone plays the apprentice and titular character- Estella Cruella. She gets the deliciously sardonic George Sanders or Jeremy Irons-like voice over. Emma Thompson plays The Baroness. And certainly, one of the film’s strengths is the pleasure of watching these two great actors crow. Thompson has a hilarious scene where she’s holding her reading glasses about a yard away. She also unexpectedly throws food out the window of a moving vehicle that is comic gold as well.
- The film is about costume design-and Gillespie and Disney should get some credit for getting Jenny Beavan for the tall task. Beavan has worked on Mad Mad: Fury Road, The King’s Speech, Gosford Park, and just about every good Merchant Ivory film in the 1990s and 1980s (including Howards End).
- The Project Runway-like costume work is the show- but secondarily, if it isn’t the two great actors doing big, diva work- it is the curated pop/rock soundtrack that deserves praise. The Rolling Stones are here with “She’s a Rainbow” and then “Sympathy for The Devil” near the end but there is not an opportunity missed by the team putting this together.
- Paul Walter Hauser is back working with Gillespie (2017’s I, Tonya) – he’s doing a sort of Bob Hoskins-like Cockney accent.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2021