music friday: billie eilish, happier than ever: a love letter to los angeles

geezer cinema: cruella (craig gillespie, 2021)

I know I'm out of touch when it comes to a movie like Cruella (and it doesn't help that my brain is addled from too much cannabis to deal with too much post-op pain). There's nothing really wrong with Cruella, outside of its ridiculous 134-minute running time. And the two Emmas in the lead roles (Stone and Thompson) ham it up quite properly. But I don't know that there was any reason to make the movie in the first place, which is evidence that I am out of touch.

I mean, the reason Cruella exists is easy to find. 101 Dalmatians, the live-action remake of the 60s animated hit, with Glenn Close as Cruella, returned $320 million on a reported budget of $75 million. The box office for the sequel (102 Dalmations) wasn't as promising: $183 million on an $85 million budget.

Cruella is a prequel to those movies, an origin story if you will. An origin for a villain, which means it's tricky to get the audience on Cruella's side. You have to show that there was something good in the beginning, you have to show the evil Cruella emerging, and you have to do this while retaining the audience's sympathy for the title character. It's something like Joker, but Cruella isn't nearly mean enough. The costume design is in your face, and to the extent I know anything about costumes, I'd say Cruella's best shot at an Oscar would be for costumes. Meanwhile, a sequel is being planned.

[Letterboxd list of Geezer Cinema movies]


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