Cruella

Cruella ★★★½

The criminally entertaining Cruella contains costumes to die for, set pieces of pizzazz, and a cunning cackle from the iconic villainess. A sparkling Stone thrusts herself into the spotlight to showcase a masterclass in making👏 an👏entrance👏.

De Vil's origin story has an aesthetic that is embellished in haute couture with Stone serving some punk rockstar realness evocative of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. Everybody is dressed fabulously and I would not be surprised if Costume Designer Jenny Beavan and Hair and Make-Up artist Nadia Stacey get some serious recognition come next awards season.

Stone superbly commits to the role of Cruella, delivering delirious monologues with a badass attitude to beat. Thompson meanwhile, is terrifically prickly with shades of Miranda Priestly. Paul Walter Hauser is also a highlight. For somebody who doesn't necessarily look like Hollywood's traditional vision of a lead actor, I give serious credit to Hauser for maximising his opportunities. He's always seems well suited to the roles he's cast in and merits many a laugh here as Horace.

Despite the "lewks" and performances on offer, there is an overstitching in the fabric of the film, lagging in places where it isn't especially lavish. It seems like a case of too many cooks in Cruella's storytelling.

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