First Wave Of MALEFICENT Reviews Shower Angelina Jolie With Praise
London Film Review: "Blast from Start to Finish"
Reviews for Walt Disney Pictures latest film, Maleficent, have started to pour in. This first batch mainly consists of international film critics. Be careful as many of these reviews contain a fair amount of spoilers.
"Maleficent is a blast from start to finish. A terrific, visually stunning fantasy story that slyly subverts and rewrites a classic Disney tale, Maleficent is anchored by a fantastic performance from Angelina Jolie, who is truly magnificent. Far from the one-dimensional villain we already know, Maleficent is a more complex character and Jolie nails it brilliantly in a scenery-chewing, show-stealing performance. She’s having an absolute ball with this one, and it really shows; given a strong character that she can sink her teeth into, Jolie goes to town. Her portrayal of the fun-to-be-bad girl tempered by the acknowledgement that Maleficent’s wickedness comes from a place of injury and pain is a real joy to watch." - Dave Ollerton
Telegraph: "Lacks True Enchantment"
"For a reminder of how wonderful Frozen is, watch Maleficent. This summer blockbuster season, Disney has turned out a live-action reimagining of their own animated version of Sleeping Beauty, from 1959. As recently as six months ago, this might have felt subversive, even significant, although after seeing Elsa and Anna letting it go on icing-sugar mountains and finding endings happier than any standard-issue handsome prince could provide, the fun on offer here feels relatively thawed. " - Robbie Collin
First Post: "Frozen felt Clever, Charming, and Fresh. Maleficent, Less So"
"But Fanning as Aurora is too boringly sweet — especially compared to the fabulous-in-every-way Maleficent, with her blazing lips, fashionable black headgear and exaggerated cheekbones, not to mention her way around a quip. In the end, Maleficent is fun for its appealing visuals — especially in the forest — and for watching Jolie. But that's not enough to make the whole film interesting. As the minutes tick by, you might even start feeling a bit like Sleeping Beauty herself comes to feel: Drowsy." - Jocelyn Noveck
Hollywood News: "Jolie pumps Pathos and Venom"
"Had Jolie not been cast it’s not certain that there would be quite so much of a buzz around this film or that an audience could empathise with the character in the same way. In many ways it feels like a part that Jolie was born to play, with her being known for both her positive charitable efforts and her wild-child eccentricities. An accomplished Oscar winning actress, Jolie pumps pathos and venom into the character in equal measures making it clear that even when she is bad, you know why. Surprisingly there is also a great deal of humour within the film, most of it coming from Maleficent’s interactions with young Aurora." - Kat Smith
Movie Waffler: "Performance of Her Career"
"The actress gives the performance of her career, ranging from malevolent but melancholy rage to hilariously deadpan comic timing. A scene featuring an encounter between Maleficent and the infant Aurora (played by Jolie's daughter Vivienne) is one of the year's standout movie moments, the type of simple human encounter we see all too rarely in modern Hollywood productions." - Eric Hillis
Village Voice: "It's a Beautiful Snooze"
"For now, Maleficent is Jolie's last scheduled on-camera performance, and despite its eye-rolling silliness, it certainly sends her out like a star. It's less kind to the promising Elle Fanning, whose Princess Aurora is a grinning, passive fool. We're meant to love her for her innocence — even Maleficent herself slowly comes around — but with the grown woman hogging the show, she never resonates as anything more than a lunatic toddler." - Amy Nicholson
Digital Spy: "3D effects Look Atrocious During the First Third"
"Much like the character of Maleficent veers between hero and villain during the story, the film straddles the line between magnificence and misery. Yet the consistent splendour of Jolie's spellbinding portrayal, the energetic presence of Fanning and a rousing climax that reinforces classic moral values go a long way to salvaging this uneven production." - Ben Rawson-Jones
Flicks & the City: "One of the Most Visually Beautiful Films"
"Disney has exceeded itself in this enchanting tale that will delight both the grown ups and children in the audience in equal measures. Visually stunning to watch, Maleficent transports you into a fairytale realm and Jolie’s heartfelt and alluring performance will captivate you from start to finish." - Stephanie Soteriou
“Maleficent” is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.
Maleficent is being directed by Robert Stromberg, based on a screenplay by Paul Dini and Linda Woolverton. The cast includes: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, Miranda Richardson and Imelda Staunton. Will land in theaters May 30, 2014.
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