Maleficent – 2014 – English
Film directed in 2014 by Robert Stromberg, and starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Sharlto Copley, Kenneth Cranham, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Sam Riley, Ella Purnell, Brenton Thwaites, Christian Wolf-La’Moy, Scott Bradley, Sarah Flind, Hannah New, Isobelle Molloy, Michael Higgins, Jackson Bews, Angus Wright, Oliver Maltman, Gary Cargill, John O’Toole, Harry Attwell, Anthony May, James Hicks, Stephan Chase, Mark Caven, Chris Leaney, Jamie Maclachlan, Shaun Smith, Tim Treloar, John Macmillan, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Marama Corlett, Liam McKenna, Steven Cree, Eleanor Worthington-Cox…
Synopsis: Maleficent is a beautiful fairy with a pure heart and amazing black wings. She grows up in an idyllic setting, a peaceful kingdom in the forest bordering the world of men, until one day an army of human invaders threatens the harmony of her country. Maleficent then stands as the protector of her kingdom, but one day she is the object of a ruthless and unexpected betrayal, a sad and painful fact that will harden her heart to stone, and that will lead her to launch a fearsome curse.
Review: Maleficent is magnificent. The story is sophisticated enough to delight adult audiences with a brilliant take on the beloved tale with a delightful twist including the meaning of true love. The characters are sympathetic and there is enough excitement.
The art direction and cinematography are beautiful. The fairy land scenes resemble a pre Raphaelite painting. The castle was a bit generic CGI. The right blend of human faces with CGI so it didn’t look too animated. The director Stromberg who did Oz the Great and Powerful did an even better job here.
Angelina Jolie’s expressive face is the perfect showcase for the character – it is the role of her lifetime. Like the way they did her cheekbones to make it like the Disney cartoon. Sam Riley as her sidekick morphs into many fairy tale creatures crow, dragon horse. The creatures are well done not awkward in movement and not overwhelming. Elle Fanning is sweet and picture perfect for the role of Aurora and Brenton Thwaites plays her prince. The fairies including Juno Temple and Imelda Staunton are cute too.
Maleficent is the perfect blend of excitement and fairy tale. Most enjoyable film of the year.