Steen: Jolie so wooden you risk splinters

While there are a couple of charming moments, this is not a show with any depth.


I really wanted to like this film.  No, I’m not a fan of Angelina Jolie—I find her acting to be wooden and lacking in depth, with the exception of her role in Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Brad Pitt (and we all know why she came alive in that one!)

Jolie in Maleficent

I do, however, admire her humanitarian efforts and I wanted to see the back story to Sleeping Beauty.

While there are a couple of charming moments, this is not a show with any depth.  There is way too much animation to be anything but a show for 10-14 year olds, and perhaps that was the audience it was created for.

Angelina, of course, plays Maleficent, a lovely young girl who, through the evil act of someone she trusted, became the wicked witch we all know from Sleeping Beauty.  Why does this sound like the stage play “Wicked”?  Because it’s very much the same plot.  The difference is that Wicked is wonderfully written, witty and remarkably played, all that this film is not.

So why did it bring in over $70 million in box office revenues this past weekend?

Who knows, but the Disney folks are happy and it will be interesting to know how this film plays outside North America. Or who cares? The one thing that was awesome were Angelina’s cheekbones—not sure how they got to be so angular, but make up trickery was at its best.

Angelina and Brad’s daughter Vivienne Jolie Pitt plays the young Aurora at age 5.  The older Aurora is played by Elle Fanning.

While I can’t find much to redeem it, if you are going to see it, make sure to get to the showing in 3D as that does add a touch of something to the dreariness but so do the burning trees,

We do have to wonder what’s next?  The story behind the evil stepsisters in Cinderella (did they start out as lovely young girls only to be turned into evil monsters)? Or how about that bad one in Hansel and Gretal (was she misunderstood and only became evil because someone hated her cooking)?

I could go on, but I know you don’t want me to. See this at the peril of wasting a perfectly good evening.

I give Maleficent two reels.


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