Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action ‘Cruella.’ Photograph: Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserve

”I am not Estella. I am Cruella.”

This quote repeated by the villain-ish protagonist may sound like something from a six-year-old’s fantasy world, but in Disney’s Cruella it summarizes it all.

Estella (Emma Stone) is kind and smiling, but Cruella (Emma Stone), like she says, “gets things done.”

Cruella goes toe-to-toe in her burgundy dresses against Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a fashion legend, described as being devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute.

Beats by Ike & Tina Turner, Nina Simone, Ohio Players, and others, move the scenes and envelop the action on the streets of 1970’s London.

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While the film directed by Australian Craig Gillespie maintains a nice rhythm and the costume designers wait for their Oscar nominations, the power derives from the two Emmas;  from Emma Stone’s adaptability to a villain and back, and from Emma Thompson’s deep dive into not-so-disguised wickedness.

‘Cruella’ premieres in cinemas on May 28.


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