A second trailer for Cruella has arrived, now that we know this movie is coming out, for sure, on May 28 (in theaters and on Disney+ for a surcharge). I am rooting for this movie, I hope it’s good, because the aesthetic is ENTIRELY my sh-t and I’m going to be so bummed if this delicious eye candy is hard to sit through. In the plus column for Cruella are, obviously, the Emmas Stone and Thompson, the clothes, and Paul Walter Hauser, who has rapidly become someone I will watch in anything. In the minus column is the fact that I don’t think anyone has ever really cared about Cruella DeVil’s backstory. She’s just a bad person which you can tell from all the animal cruelty. Maleficent made two more or less functional movies out of a Disney villain’s backstory, but I really don’t know how much anyone cares about what makes the Disney villains tick. Well, maybe Ursula. She was just trying to get by on the fringes of Triton’s dictatorship. She made some good points.
What I really love about Cruella so far is the aesthetic. I’m into the rival fashion designers and their rival styles. Emma Thompson is rocking Charles James-inspired frocks and structured suits that are vaguely New Look, and here comes Emma Stone in glam-punk straight out of 1970s London, and no, the symbolism does not escape me. The punk revolution killed the last vestiges of mid-century structure in fashion, and what I am getting from Cruella is that Cruella is going to usurp Emma Thompson’s character (whose name has not imprinted on my mind) in the fashion world. I am super uninterested in Cruella’s backstory—do we NEED to explain why she has a thing for Dalmatians? Isn’t it enough that she wears real fur?—and maybe this is a heist movie, which is always fun. But let’s not pretend we’re here for plot. It’s all about the lewks. The clothes, the cars, the styling, it’s a mishmash of mid-century references and I am INTO IT. I will watch this movie on mute if I have to, but I can’t wait to get it on my TV, where I can pause to my heart’s content and study every detail.