Emma Stone is breathtaking in Cruella [critique]

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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Craig Gillespie offers us a prequel to 101 Dalmatians, starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson.

First broadcast on television tonight for cruellathe free and live adaptation of 101 Dalmatians by Disney studios, on Canal +. First recommend it, especially if you like Emma Stone (La La Land) and Emma Thompson (Love Actually).

London, 1970s. Emma Stone takes on the memorable role of Glenn Close, who played Cruella d’Enfer in 1996 (and who left her long fur coat to become executive producer of this prequel). In the new cruella of Craig Gillespie, the young Estella grows up and evolves in the English capital, in an incredible world of fashion with a festive feel. The director plunges us into the beginnings of a life, that of Estella/Cruella De Vil (her name in the original), before she became the one we all know: the famous Dalmatian thief. Sublimely supported by a quality cast, the film features two Emmas: Stone, in the title role, and Thompson in that of Baroness von Hellman.

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cruella is reminiscent The devil wears Pradawith an imposing and impressive figure embodied by Emma Thompson, which plays its role to perfection. That of a baroness, haughty and despicable, obsessed with her own success. She is anything but modest and we can only hate her – a performance at odds with her usual roles – so cruelly lacking in humanity, from beginning to end. Emma Stone, meanwhile, once again confirms her reputation as a great actress. With this score, she proves that she is indeed an actress-chameleon, perfectly embracing the almost schizophrenic character of Cruella. But, accompanied by her two lifelong acolytes, she also forms a touching trio, which punctuates the film. All in grandiose outfits that bear witness to the thoughtful work of costume designer Jenny Beavan. A detail that is important in a film that takes place in the fashion world.

Based on an original story, quite gripping and not at all childish for a film inspired by the Disney universe, cruella brings us back enough to the original cartoon, if not the physical aspect of its protagonist – from the hairstyle to the makeup – or the three unfortunate Dalmatians. We do not see the 2h14 pass, and we feel that Gillespie had fun with the staging, just as the actors took pleasure in playing in it, and even the very young actors – only ten years old – who endorse the roles of the child protagonists. A successful project, and somewhat surprising for the director, whose last film was the Oscar-winning biopic, Me Tonyain 2017.

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Gillespie also took liberties with Cruella’s life, as evidenced by the plot, the costumes and the music. This last point is one of the other great successes of the film: passing the 60s, 70s and even 80s in review, the soundtrack is perfectly chosen and comes to crown, like a cherry on the cake, this diabolically led project from start to finish. A film that no one was asking for but which stands out as the essential fun bite of this post-health crisis summer.

By Craig Gillespie. With Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry… Duration: 2h14. Released June 23, 2021.

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