A Mars Vs Venus look at Maleficent

A Mars Vs Venus look at Maleficent
Movie Still: Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie.

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton

DIRECTOR: Robert Stromberg

The skinny: The supposedly villainous Maleficent (Jolie) is a beautiful fairy whose wings were stolen by a childhood friend (Copley) who goes on to become king. In order to get revenge, she curses his daughter Aurora (Fanning) to sleep forever after she turns 16. As the years pass, Maleficent ends up liking the girl and regrets her decision to doom her.

Rating: PG

Mars look by Jason Johnson
Fairies are kind of my favourite thing.

I recognise that this is an odd admission for a middle-aged man, but so what?

Free to be you and me.

Anyway, I only tell you this so that when I say that Jolie's Maleficent is the most splendid fairy I've ever seen, hopefully my words will have some weight.

Of all the movie fairies out there, she's the best.

Director Stromberg isn't much of a storyteller, but he's an incredible designer, and the movie looks perfect.

While he spent his career in visual effects and production design - for which he's won multiple awards - this is his first gig as director.

Stromberg won two Oscars in art direction for both Avatar, which was basically a story about big blue space elves, and Alice In Wonderland.

He also did the design work on Oz The Great And Powerful.

He obviously has a feel for fantasy aesthetics.

From Maleficent's whimsically-spiralling horns to the truly powerful-looking wings to the flared cheekbones to the elegant robes, she's a stunningly beautiful and uncompromised creature.

She's not cutesy; she has dignity and poise.

Certain shots of her are downright painterly, and will leave you in awe.

When she loses her wings, I actually wept.

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