’Cruella’ is the most fashionable party you’ll attend this summer

'Cruella' is the most fashionable party you'll attend this summer

As candidates for image rehab go, 101 Dalmatians‘ Cruella de Vil poses a particularly vexing challenge. The lady is most famous for trying to make coats out of stolen puppies — vile stuff even by villain standards, and difficult to explain away. So the new Cruella hardly bothers to try, choosing instead to tiptoe around it in killer stilettos.

Cruella, a character once memorialized in song as “an inhuman beast,” is reimagined as Estella (Emma Stone), a fashion genius who’s not so much evil as misunderstood and maligned — not unlike Tonya Harding in director Craig Gillespie’s last film, I, Tonya. Her backstory is framed as a more unhinged Devil Wears Prada, with Emma Thompson filling the role of the boss from hell. (In fact, The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna gets a “story by” credit here.) As a prequel, it’s half-baked nonsense. As an excuse for the two Emmas to trade ever-bitchier quips and ever-more-outrageous outfits, it’s a ball. Read more…

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