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REVIEW: Maleficent

This ain’t your mom’s “Sleeping Beauty”. It’s a gorgeous , lush (though the 3-D as usual is a wasted money-grubbing add on)  completely different version of the long treasured fair tale.

Sporting horns,  huge wings , yellow eyes and impossibly sharp cheekbones, Angelina Jolie is enchanting as the  queen of the fairies who finds her own human prince charming, only to be spurned  and betrayed  not for another woman but his quest for power and domination. She takes revenge by cursing his daughter, played as a young child by Angie and Brad’s youngest daughter, Vivienne.

From there, the story deviates from the one we’ve known all our lives.  It’s not just about vengeance but good and love triumphing over evil, even the evil in ourselves. It also raises the question : does  true love exist. The answer may surprise you.

Angelina Jolie is just superb . Every expression, every reaction hits the mark.  She was born to play this role.

Elle Fanning is luminous as the  winningly sweet Princess Aurora.  Providing  comic relief (other than Angelina’s asides) : Temple Juno; Imelda Stauntpon and Lesley Manville as the three fairies who raise and protect Aurora . British actor Sam Riley is also wonderful as a raven Maleficent saves in order to serve her.

Parents will enjoy this every bit as much as kids. It’s the latest and one of the strongest of the girl-empowers.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s too scary for the kids.  I just loved it.

 

4 stars

 

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