By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
The live-action, dramedy, “Cruella”
brims with plenty of fun, fabulous fashion, and tons of music. Any Disney movie that features even a snippet of the late, great Joe Tex soulful, hit song, “I Gotcha” scores big with me.
The entire movie soundtrack rocks with an eclectic offering from The Clash (“Should I Stay Or Should I Go”), Rolls Royce (“Car Wash”), The Ohio Players (“Fire”), Annie Lennox (“Walking on Broken Glass”), to Nancy Sinatra (“These Boots are Made for Walking”), and Florence +The Machine’s original cut, “Call me Cruella.”
Emma Stone (“The Favourite” and “La La Land”) is wickedly delightful in this reimagined origin story of one of Disney’s most treasured villainesses. Directed by Craig Gillespie (“I Tonya”),
“Cruella” is set in the 1970s London at the height of the punk rock scene and follows Estella De Vil (Stone) an orphaned child who dreams of someday becoming a designer of haute couture.
While on the streets of London she encounters Jasper (a funny Joel Fry, “Yesterday”) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser, “Da Five Bloods” and “Silk Road”). They’ve got quite a racket going and even Estella is rather taken back by these smooth criminals.
They play a big part in helping Estella land an entry-level job at the swanky, downtown Liberty emporium. Only thing is she gets drunk one day and decides to redo the window display and it doesn’t go over well with her bosses.
However, Estelle’s luck reigns when she crosses paths with the legendary fashionista, Baroness Von Hellman (an outstanding Emma Thompson, Upcoming, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”). After seeing the eccentric display, she offers Estella a job at her design house.
Estella continues to impress at her new job. She wins over a tabloid journalist named Anita Darling (Kirby Howell-Baptiste, TV’s “The Sandman”) and even the Baroness’ valet (Mark Strong, “1917” and “The Kingsmen: “The Golden Circle” ).
However, when Estella discovers the Baroness isn’t all that she’s cracked up to be and the connection to her past, Estella transitions to her wicked side as Cruella and devises some rather funny and elaborate schemes—including kidnapping the Baronesses beloved dalmatians—to shut down this haughty, fashion diva once and for all.
“Cruella” is an absolute blast and the film’s stylish production, and costume design is stunning. Everyone else better step up their game as “Cruella” is the one to beat in these categories when Awards Season rolls around.
“Cruella” arrives in theaters May 28 and you can also order it on Disney+ with Premier Access.
Look At This Trailer For "CRUELLA"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.