Cruella ★★

Toothless, and irrevocably pointless, director Craig Gillespie (of I, Tonya) makes the most out of the nonsense in this origin story about the infamous Cruella de Vil of 101 Dalmatians. Despite the efforts of Disney to put forth an engaging backstory (with the help of writers Tony McNamara who co-wrote The Favourite and Dana Fox), Cruella misses the mark and undeserving of its bloated two hour running time. What stood out is Jenny Beavan’s creations who stole every moment making Cruella, a better show than Project Runway.

Oscar darlings Emma Stone and Emma Thompson give camp performances, but I wished there was more plausibility to their motivations and actions. The story itself is dark and unorthodox for Disney, but it never reaches a satisfying emotional crux. Stone’s monologue, before turning into full Cruella mode, is a wonder but everything else feels hollow and tedious. Thompson relishes on her villainy, but still even at her best intentions felt thin.

Cruella’s technical side is inconsistent with noticeable CGI background and self-aware visual effects. But above that is Beavan’s costuming that reached stratospheric heights with its ambition, depth, detail, and eye-popping command. That’s all I can remember with Cruella, JENNY BEAVAN.

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