I enjoyed this reworking of Sleeping Beauty for the most part, and appreciated its efforts to take the Frozen route of showing women they don’t need a Prince Charming to save them. The eponymous villainess is given plenty of backstory, as if every fantasy character now needs a fully developed origin, but Angelina Jolie looks sensational and gives it her all in a role far more complex than the classical Disney portrayal. Sam Riley’s crow lackey Diaval is a welcome addition, while first time director Robert Stromberg proves perfectly capable of delivering a suitably visual spectacle.
It doesn’t all work, Aurora herself is given precious little to do beyond grinning inanely and marvelling at the magical world around her, and the final reel confuses its message somewhat, but I think the target younger demographic – particularly girls – will respond positively to Jolie’s performance and the film as a whole.
Fernando and I discuss the film on this week’s podcast.