Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA/, 2019, Story by , Screenplay by , , Linda Woolverton.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by ,

Having accepted her own contradiction as a vengeful Fey with a heart of gold, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) ignores the local human gossip about her threatening presence and enjoys her time on the moors with the adopted daughter Aurora () whom she has made its queen. Their tranquil life in what looks like a feminine deodorant commercial is plunged into sorrow when Aurora announces that handsome Prince Philip ( filling in for Brenton Thwaites) has asked to marry her and the horned, winged matriarch, recalling her own past experiences with the love of mortals, refuses to give her blessing. Aurora is welcomed with open arms by Phillip’s parents, the king () and seemingly benevolent queen (Michelle Pfeiffer, who positively drips with stylish calculations), but an early attempt at uniting the families by inviting Maleficent to dinner goes terribly wrong:  the queen’s pointed conversation ignites our heroine’s anger, leading to her storming out in a rage that puts the king in what appears to be the same coma she once put Aurora in and which leads to a war between mortals and fairies that could destroy their entire world. The familiar concerns about tolerance and fear-based politics make up the unsubtle basis of this overlong and overly complicated film, one that could learn a thing or two from the fun Pfeiffer is having in the role and not take itself so seriously or, even better, learn from its predecessor’s refusal to present women’s morality as good or bad.  Excellent production values as always, plus an improvement in comfort from Jolie in the lead role, but most of the cast seems confused as to how they fit into the very big, overpopulated story that flits between subplots without ever finding its centre.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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