maleficentAfter being betrayed and violated by a boy who wants to be king, a fairy (Angelina Jolie) gets her revenge years later by cursing his newborn daughter. A dark interpretation of the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale that turns the tables and humanizes the wicked Maleficent. As in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), there is a feminist ambition behind it that gives strength and complexity to traditionally weak female Disney characters, but it’s all lost in a pompous attitude that turns the story into a medieval war adventure in 3D. Still, grand to behold, and Jolie is perfect.

2014-U.S. 97 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Robert Stromberg. Screenplay: Linda Woolverton. Song: “Once Upon a Dream” (performed by Lana Del Rey). Cast: Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Juno Temple. Narrated by Janet McTeer.

Trivia: Co-executive produced by Jolie. Jude Law was allegedly considered for the part of Stefan. Followed by Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019).

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