Before the bell at the door, the horn and the screech of the engine of the Panther De Ville, parked hastily in front of the driveway, warn of his presence. Pongo and Peggy immediately understand who it is. As well as Rudy, who, looking out the window, recognizes a thin figure, pale as if he had malaria on him, with a white and black fur that gives it volume, sucking it inside like a carnivorous plant. You will probably remember the scene: it is the first appearance of Crudelia De Mon born 101 Dalmatians, the 1961 Disney film that managed to set a precedent: make the villain more memorable than the protagonists, to ensure that that woman with an obsession for furs – a figure who probably would never have passed the scrutiny of right-thinking people today – was no longer just the antagonist, but a style icon «who of a scorpion “.
Where does Cruella come from, though? Where did she grow up? Who are his parents? What trauma did you go through to mature such a profound torment that it bordered on madness?
The fourth episode of We divan, the new Vanity Fair podcast dedicated to cinema and TV releases, is about this: Disney’s live-action movie from May 26 and available with VIP access on the Disney Plus platform from 28: The cruel, directed by the director of Tonya Craig Gillespie and written by screenwriter de The favourite Tony McNamara. To lend the face of the protagonist who in 1996 was played by Glenn Close – who reappears here in the role of producer – is Emma Stone, who accepted the role a few months after winning the Oscar for La La Land. With that slightly Burtonian and a little punk style, Stone is perfect to play the villain who, to be honest, in this new film is called Estella. Cruella is her most Mephistophelic and uncontrollable part, the one that her mother Emily tells her to put under lock and key as a child, remembering not too distantly the myth of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. However, things change rapidly with the sudden death of Emily and the arrival of Estella in London: alone, orphaned, lost and with the now opaque dream of becoming a stylist. Thanks to the help of Jasper and Horace, played by Joel Fry respectively, the Hizdhar of Game of Thrones, and Paul Walker Hauser, il Richard Jewell by Clint Eastwood, Estella grows up juggling scams and raids in the marvelous London in the 1970s, dyeing her hair red and trying not to awaken but more Cruella. At least until his ambition comes knocking on his door again.
After being hired at Liberty, the most fashionable warehouse in London, the girl meets, in fact, the Baroness, the most important designer in the world, a sort of Miranda Priestly of the Devil wears Prada brilliantly interpreted by Emma Thompson, who managed to land the role by defeating fearsome rivals such as Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore. Sensing Estella’s artistic potential, he decides to take her under his wing and exploit her genius until she suspects that the Baroness could have something to do with her mother’s death. From here The cruel turns into a race that will lead Estella to welcome Cruella back into her heart and lead a battle to become the brightest icon in fashion and to shed light on the truth. Unlike Maleficent, the 2014 live-action with Angelina Jolie, The cruel it rests on more stable foundations and, above all, on a scenic setting that is captivating is an understatement. Thanks to the scenography by Fiona Crombie, to the ultra-dark photography by Nicolas Karkazanis and, above all, to the wonderful costumes created by the Oscar winner Jenny Tremble (two above all, the blood red dress she wears for her official debut and the one with a 12-meter train that Emma Stone wears hooked to a garbage truck) The cruel breaks the traditional canons becoming, probably, the least Disney film in the catalog, but also the most successful live-action of recent years, thanks to a protagonist who seems to follow in all respects the nonconformist spirit of Vivianne Westwood and a soundtrack that, together with timeless classics such as Feeling Good by Nina Simone, also counts on a version of I Wanna Be Your Dog rebuilt by Damiano dei Moonlight, fresh winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, and, Call me Cruella by Florence and The Machine. That the Disney live-action after The cruel, will they meet a turning point?
These and many other questions are answered by “Divaniamo”. Have a good listening!
The Vanity Fair podcast «Divaniamo» is available on iTunes, Spreaker and Spotify.