Disney’s empowerment of female protagonists, which snowballed in the delightful Frozen, continues apace in this fantastical fairy-tale.
Inspired by the studio’s 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is a visually stunning fantasy, which re-imagines the Brothers Grimm through the mascara-ed eyes of the eponymous villainess, who curses a fair princess to 100 years of slumber.
Lines between good and evil become blurred in Angelina Jolie’s delicious portrayal of the vengeful fairy queen, whose belief in the power of “true love’s kiss” is corrupted by the betrayal of the man she loves.
Naughty has seldom looked and sounded so nice.
Her nemesis is King Henry (Kenneth Cranham), a greedy monarch, who yearns to expand his kingdom by conquering the forest realm where Maleficent holds sway.
Maleficent is anchored by Jolie’s tour-de-force theatrics.
She casts a stylish shadow over every frame and her twisted maternal bond with infant Aurora (“It’s so ugly, you could almost feel sorry for it!”) mellows into something genuinely moving and heartfelt.