Tag Archives: Emma Thompson

CRUELLA (2021): The Thing I Liked…

Cruella (2021), Emma Stone, Walt Disney Studios
Cruella (2021), Emma Stone, Walt Disney Studios

Cruella, the movie about the rebellious earlier years of one of Disney’s favourite and most stylish villains, Cruella De Vil is quite far from the movie I’d hoped for. 

I enjoyed some well-executed set pieces, visually stunning cinematic moments, and director Craig Gillespie’s film gets a tad better towards the end. Yet, my overall feeling through to the end was one of disappointment.

For me, Cruella has a disappointing air of silliness to it. A quality that I imagine isn’t helped by Emma Stone and Paul Walter Hauser’s over-the-top British accents. And they’re not the only accent offenders; Estella/Cruella’s boss at Liberty of London also did his part to bring home my realisation that so many of the people in the film play like caricatures. 

Given that the ‘this is so disappointing’ reality of the movie hit me soon after the film started, I couldn’t wait for Emma Thompson’s The Baroness character to show up and help proceedings. Thompson did a superb job, as she always does. Still, my growing distaste for Gillespie’s movie remained.

The story edit felt rushed throughout. The early camera work inside Liberty of London proved unnecessarily dizzying. The way the movie deals with mental illness leaves plenty to be desired. And, what nonsense to expect the audience to believe that for a very long time, thanks to different clothes and makeup, none of the characters could see that Cruella is clearly Estella. I know, I know… a very similar thing happens in the Superman/Clark Kent movies. But those movies are actually good.

I’m sure it’s crystal clear by now, but I did not enjoy Cruella. My disappointment led to the very whiny thought: ‘But when will another Disney movie delight and move me the way Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella did? WHEN?!

I wanted Cruella to be more grounded than it is. And a big part of the issues with Gillespie’s Cruella arise because the film never decided whether it was going to be for kids or adults. It went for both in a way that resulted in a movie that I feel failed more than it succeeded. 

Have you seen Cruella? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Film Loving

G

CRUELLA (2021): New Trailer From Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, Paul Walter Hauser…

Cruella (2021), Emma Thompson, Walt Disney Studios
Cruella (2021), Emma Thompson, Walt Disney Studios

Set in 1970s London, England, amidst the punk rock revolution; Cruella is the latest Disney animated film to become a live-action movie.

Starring Emma Stone, Paul Walter Hauser, Emma Thompson and Mark Strong; director Craig Gillespie’s comedy/crime story focuses on the rebellious early days of the notoriously fashionable villain, Cruella de Vil.

I’ve missed seeing Stone in a leading role, and based on this impressive trailer, Cruella looks like a great way to make her presence felt.

Glenn Close is the Cruella that comes to mind when I think of de Vil, thanks to 101 Dalmatians (1996). Now, I can’t wait for this new version of the story to take us back to the earlier years of the devilish de Vil.

Emily Beecham, Joel Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jamie Demetriou, Gianni Calchetti, Michelle Greenidge, John McCrea, Tony McCarthy, Chloé Booyens, Haruka Abe and Niamh Lynch also star.

Cruella Release Dates: May 28th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MISSING LINK (2019): The Things I Liked…

Missing Link (2019), Hugh Jackman
Missing Link (2019), Hugh Jackman

Missing Link, the story of Mr Link (a Big-Foot-like character) and his adventures with explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), plus adventurer Adelina Fortnight is an animated movie I found to be fun in parts and watchable.

The reason I’m not more enthused by writer/director Chris Butler’s film is that story-wise, it felt oddly superficial and more basic than I expected.

What I did enjoy are the interactions between Lionel and Link, plus the moments of heart, most of which happen in the more engaging last quarter. Emma Thompson’s character is another welcome highlight, and it proved quite satisfying to see Lionel’s growth/evolution as the story continued.

I watched Missing Link because the cast which also includes Zoe Saldana and Zack Galifianakis intrigued me. Yet, overall, I wish I could include Butler’s film on my list of favourite animated movies I’ve seen in recent years, but I cannot. Nevertheless, I say give Missing Link a chance if you’re particularly curious. It may just be what you need when you’re after an easy-viewing animated film experience.

Happy Film Loving 

G

MEN IN BLACK – INTERNATIONAL (2019): The Things I Liked…

Men In Black - International (2019), Emma Thompson, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Men In Black – International (2019), Emma Thompson, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Instead of the focus being solely on a big alien threat that needs eliminating, in Men In Black – International, there’s the pressing matter of a mole within the MIB organisation to deal with.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson, my favourite thing about Men In Black – International is the visual effects and Emma Thompson’s character. All the other key characters weren’t terrible but unfortunately the script for director F. Gary Gray’s movie just seemed overly complicated and not as exciting as initially hoped. 

Hemsworth and T. Thompson’s chemistry did help matters. Nevertheless, approximately twenty minutes into the movie, I realised I was missing Will Smith’s Men In Black (1997) performance. There’s something about his comedic expertise that I feel would have added an extra layer of humour and fun to this film. To be clear, I’m definitely not saying ‘Put Smith in this movie and it would have been great overall’, because for that to be true, a much better story and script is required. I just think that Men In Black – International could have been better, more exciting and funny.

One other little highlight is the well choreographed fight scenes. They helped me to stop dwelling too much on some of the dodgy dialogue, my general disappointment and the cheap plastic toy gun noises made by some of the MIB weapons early on in the movie.

Watch Men In Black – International if you’re curious. It’s kind of fun. It’s just not especially good.

Happy Film Loving

G

LATE NIGHT (2019): New Trailer From Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Amy Ryan, Megalyn Echikunwoke…

Late Night (2019), Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson
Late Night (2019), Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Late Night (2019).


Late Night is a new comedy / drama starring Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Amy Ryan.

Directed by Nisha Ganatra; at the centre of Late Night is talk show host Katherine (Thompson). Katherine is convinced that she may soon be losing her long-running show…

The comedy, the two actors and the fun dynamic between them is my reason for watching.

Ike Barinholtz, Hugh Dancy, Paul Walter Hauser, John Lithgow, Max Casella, Denis O’Hare and Reid Scott also star.

Late Night Release Dates: June 7th, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MISSING LINK (2019): New Trailer From Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Zach Galifianakis…

Mr Link (2019), Zach Galifianakis
Mr Link (2019), Zach Galifianakis

Read my spoiler-free movie review of  Missing Link (2019).


From writer / director Chris Butler, Missing Link is the story of Mr. Link and his adventures with explorer Sir Lionel Frost and adventurer Adelina Fortnight. The three of them travel the world in search of Mr Link’s relatives.

Key cast includes, Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zack Galifianakis, Emma Thompson…

I’m in because of the impressive cast and the promise of something a little different to the Disney Pixar stories I often enjoy.

Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia, Stephen Fry and David Walliams also star.

Missing Link Release Dates: April 12th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE CHILDREN ACT (2018): New Trailer From Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead…

The Children Act (2018), Emma Thompson
The Children Act (2018), Emma Thompson

Written by Ian McEwan and directed by Richard Eyre (Love, Actually (2003), The Children Act stars Emma Thompson as a High Court judge who must decide whether or not to force a teenage boy to have the blood transfusion that will save his life.

Other key cast includes Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ben Chaplin

I like Thompson and the plot is interesting. I also know how a Jehovah’s Witness / blood transfusion storyline was handled on Grey’s Anatomy but… how will they do it here?

The Children Act Release Dates: August 24th, 2018 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (2018): New Trailer From Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson…

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018), Rowan Atkinson
Johnny English Strikes Again (2018), Rowan Atkinson

In director David Kerr’s latest instalment of the Johnny English franchise, Johnny English Strikes Again (2018), English is forced to come out of retirement to find a mastermind hacker following a major cyber-attack.

The main stars include Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson…

It’s really the beautiful shots of my beloved London, England that has me thinking about watching this. I like that Emma Thompson is in the cast, however, I do find myself distracted by my love of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

I could be wrong but kind of feel as though the humour in this movie is the type that will likely make me smile; whereas I’d really much rather laugh my head off, so to speak.

Lastly, is it me or does the plot of this movie sound quite a bit like the plot of one of Daniel Craig’s Bond films?

Johnny English Strikes Again Release Dates: October 12th, 2018 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G