Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jamie Demetriou
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Disney’s live-action crime comedy prequel directed by Craig Gillespie based on the character Cruella de Vil from the classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians animation. Set in 1970s London, Cruella (2021) follows Estella (Emma Stone), a clever and creative young fashion designer. However, after she meets fashion legend, Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the ruthless and revenge-bent Cruella.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'It's funny how those happy accidents can change the whole direction of your life.' - Cruella Click To Tweet 'The good thing about evil people is you can always trust them to do something, well, evil.' - Cruella Click To Tweet
Cruella: From the very beginning I’ve always made a statement. Not everyone appreciated that. But I wasn’t for everyone.
Cruella: From an early age, I realized I saw the world differently than everyone else.
Catherine: [to young Cruella] Your name’s Estella, not Cruella.
Cruella: How does the saying go? “I am woman. Hear me roar.” Well, that wasn’t much
of a thing back in 1964, but it was about to be.
Cruella: You could say I pretty much roared my way through all of primary school. Almost.
Cruella: Being a genius is one thing. Raising a genius, however, does come with its challenges.
Cruella: [referring to the Baroness’s fashion show] I had no idea where I was, or what it was. I just knew that for the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged.
Cruella: [after Catherine dies] There are no words. It was my fault. I had killed my mother. And in that moment, the best I could think to do was run.
Cruella: Sad story. Genius girl turns into stupid girl who gets her mother killed, and ends up alone. But a new day brings new opportunities, or at least a couple of petty thieves. Horace and Jasper.
Cruella: Horace was generally annoying. Jasper was the insightful one. Which was also annoying. And Wink was just plain friendly. Again, annoying. But they were a better option than being in jail.
Young Cruella: I wanted to be a fashion designer, not a thief.
Young Jasper: You don’t got that many options. Just us.
Cruella: He was right. I was a fugitive.
Cruella: Granted, being a thief is not exactly a mother’s dream, but she was gone.
Cruella: Don’t worry, we’re just getting started. There’s lots more bad things coming. I promise.
Cruella: Before I knew it, ten years had passed. You could even say we had made a home for ourselves. We were like a family. A family that’s good at stealing stuff. Really, really, really good.
Cruella: But as good as things were, I felt I was meant for more in this life. That my mum would have wanted more for me. I just didn’t know what.
Jasper: [to Cruella] Now, I might have padded out your CV a bit. As in, completely. Invented it.
Horace: We’ve all done it.
Jasper: Yeah, we’ve all done it. Everyone does it. Invented a few references. If they ask you how you know Prince Charles, you just say it’s a polo thing.
Gerald: Clean my office, top to bottom. And when you come in tomorrow, try and remember to bring a brain.
Cruella: That seems uncalled for. I believe that lurking underneath that starchy, half-size-too-small, bum-clencher of a suit, lies a kind man who wants to give a brilliant kid another shot.
The Baroness: You’re sweating, and I can smell you.
Gerald: Brilliant. Thank you.
Cruella: It’s funny how those happy accidents can change the whole direction of your life. Although, looking back, “happy” may be the wrong word.
The Baroness: [referring to the dress designs] It’s foolish. Unhinged. Well, you’re fired.
Artie: I’m Artie, or Art, as in “work of”.
Cruella: Wow. You look incredible.
Artie: I hear that all day, so I guess it’s true.
Cruella: How does that look go on the streets?
Artie: Some abuse, and insults, of course. But I like to say that normal is the cruelest insult of them all, and at least I never get that.
Cruella: I couldn’t agree more.
The Baroness: My feedback. You’re short, you’re fat, you smell like an anchovy, you’re color-blind, but you pretend you aren’t.
The Baroness: You’re a man who can’t take responsibility. Your revenues are down fifteen percent, your foot traffic by twelve and a half. Yes, I do my own research. Your store hasn’t been refurbished since the Blitz. People don’t know whether to buy a frock, or duck and cover. And most of the funds meant for refurbs are being embezzled by you, stashing them in Swiss bank account number three, two, two, five, four, seven, double six, to be precise.
Cruella: The Baroness said she thinks I’m something. I think that’s good. Everything’s going so well, mum. I’m really trying to be the Estella that you wanted. Mostly. It’s working. I just wish you were here to see it.
The Baroness: [referring to the necklace] Family heirloom. Funny story, actually. An employee once stole it.
Cruella: No, she did not. Sorry. Slight tone delivery problem. I meant, “No. She did not.”
Cruella: [referring to Catherine] Maybe she just really loved her kid.
The Baroness: Maybe she only had one person to take care of, and she failed dismally.
Cruella: My mother hadn’t failed dismally, I had. And I wasn’t going to fail her again.
Cruella: [referring the Baroness’s necklace] It’s mine. So I’m taking it back.
Jasper: Taking it, as in…
Cruella: Stealing it.
Horace: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the angle.
Jasper: Right, so what is the distraction?
Cruella: I’ve discovered she likes to throw women who offend her sensibilities out of her parties. Old women. Women in gold. Sad women. Women who carry poodles. But also stunningly dressed women who pull the focus off of her.
Horace: What about one of the elderly broads?
Cruella: Me, Horace. I will be the distraction.
Cruella: Besides, wreaking havoc at galas is my personal specialty.
Horace: Kind of vermin I deal with, they don’t wait for an invitation. What they do is, they get in, they bite posh people, who then froth at the mouth, their eyes spin in the back of their heads, and then the posh people die.
Security Guard: That’s a beautiful story, mate. I almost welled up.
Horace: Heck of a rat, yeah? The size of a dog. But it’s a rat.
John: You look ravishing, Baroness.
The Baroness: Master of understatement, as usual.
The Baroness: [toasting] Here’s to me.
Cruella: Do you have a light?
[takes the match offered and lights up her dress which transforms into a red dress]
The Baroness: Get her.
George: This doesn’t have to be a scene.
Cruella: It really, really does.
Cruella: I’d like to remind you all that I’m doing this in heels.
Jasper: Horace, how’s it going?
Horace: How’s it going? Well, I’d say badly.
The Baroness: Who are you? You look vaguely familiar.
Cruella: I look stunning. I don’t know about familiar, darling.
The Baroness: What do you want? I mean, you clearly wanted to get my attention.
Cruella: I want to be like you. You’re a very powerful woman.
The Baroness: Let me give you some advice. If you need to talk about power, you don’t have it.
Cruella: Well, I don’t have it, which is why I need to talk about it, which is why I’m here. Am I going to have to catch you up a lot, or can you keep up?
The Baroness: You’re funny.
The Baroness: Where are you from?
Cruella: Oh. Well, up north. Well, sort of. It’s a bit south, really, of north, which is basically west.
Horace: [to Wink] You’re the bravest rat I’ve ever known.
Horace: Well, here’s hoping there’s a plan C.
Jasper: Why, what’s plan C?
Horace: Well, what I’m saying is, “Is there a plan C?”
Jasper: I didn’t know you knew how to drive.
Cruella: I don’t.
Cruella: They say there are five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Well, I’d like to add one more. Revenge.
Jasper: [referring to the Baroness] You’re not going to kill her, are you?
Cruella: It’s not part of the current plan, but we might need to be adaptable.
Jasper: So, that’s a no?
Cruella: If you heard a “no”, it is.
Cruella: Now, the necklace. One of the Dalmatians ate it. Not sure which one, so you’ll need to kidnap all of them.
Anita Darling: You know, I kept staring at you at the party, and then it came to me. That’s Estella from school.
Cruella: It’s not Estella. That’s the past. I’m Cruella.
Cruella: [to Anita] I’d like to start my own label. Why don’t we work together to create some buzz for this old rag that you continually fill with that old hag?
Anita Darling: Well, I’m starting to remember that you have a bit of an extreme side.
Cruella: [laughs] Well, then you remember what fun that is?
Artie: You look amazing. You certainly made a splash.
Cruella: I’m just getting started, darling. And I need help. I want to make art, Artie. And I want to make trouble. You in?
Artie: I do love trouble.
Horace: There’s no “I” in team.
Cruella: Well, there is an “I” in imbecile.
Cruella: Keep your enemies close.
Cruella: Cruella was in a box a long time, now Estella can be the one who makes guest appearances.
Cruella: I was going to take the things she loved most. Her business. Her status. Her confidence.
The Baroness: Gratitude’s for losers.
Cruella: Oh. Good advice. Thanks.
The Baroness: What did I just say?
Cruella: Don’t thank you, so. Got it. Thank you.
The Baroness: Cruella. What sort of a name is that anyway? Okay. A proper competitor. I’ll just have to destroy her, as we have so many before.
Cruella: But I was on my lunch break in a public space.
The Baroness: Yes, I own the alley.
Cruella: Really? You can own alleys?
The Baroness: Alleys, designs, people, their souls. Check your employment contract.
The Baroness: I need you to stop talking, Roger.
Roger: You do?
The Baroness: So I have a gap to fire you. There’s a gap. You’re fired.
Cruella: Roger always blamed me for getting him fired, but the real reason Roger was fired is because he’s Roger.
The Baroness: [referring to Cruella] Who is she? And more importantly, where is she?
Anita Darling: I don’t know.
The Baroness: Did you just lie to me?
Anita Darling: No. I…
The Baroness: Don’t cry.
Anita Darling: I’m not.
The Baroness: You will.
The Baroness: Here’s to me. Who the hell else would I drink to?
Cruella: To me? For creating your signature piece?
The Baroness: You’re helpful to me, is all. As soon as you’re not, you’re dust.
Cruella: Inspiring talk.
The Baroness: You can’t care about anyone else. Everyone else is an obstacle. You care what an obstacle wants or feels, you’re dead. If I had cared about anyone, or thing, I might have died, like so many brilliant women with a drawer full of unseen genius, and a heart full of sad bitterness.
The Baroness: You have the talent for your own label. Whether you have the killer instinct is the big question.
Cruella: I hope I do.
The Baroness: Correct response. Well done.
The Baroness: We just have to get rid of this Cruella person. Don’t you think?
Cruella: I guess you must hate her.
The Baroness: Honestly, I’m conflicted. She is good. Bold and brilliant. But she has made it me or her, and I choose me.
Jasper: I miss Estella.
Cruella: [referring to the dalmations] They really would make fabulous coats.
Jasper: The dogs?
Cruella: [laughs] I’m joking. You know what I miss? The Jasper who had a sense of humor.
Jasper: You know, we’ve all had bad things happen to us. Me, him, you. But we’ve always been there for each other.
Cruella: That’s all I’m asking. Is it so hard to back me up?
Jasper: No. Not Estella, that’s easy. But to help Cruella, it’s a nightmare.
Cruella: Cruella gets things done. Estella does not. And I have things to do. So if you’re done chatting. And by “if”, I mean you are.
The Baroness: She killed my dogs. And made a coat.
Horace: [referring to Cruella] After all we’ve done for her. Whatever happened to that cute little girl crying on a bench?
Jasper: She’s gone, mate. We should’ve left her on that park bench.
Cruella: Wow. You really are a psycho.
The Baroness: Why, how nice of you to say.
The Baroness: [referring to killing Catherine] Oh, that’s why you’re peeved. Hence this little show.
Cruella: I’m going to kill you. And your dogs.
The Baroness: I’m waiting.
The Baroness: [as she’s about to set Cruella on fire] I’ll tip off the press. I’d love them to know that you went out in a blaze of glory.
John: Tea, Miss Cruella?
Cruella: Why am I alive?
John: Because I dragged you out of the smoke and flames before they consumed you.
John: You are the rightful heir to the Baron’s entire fortune. The mansion, the title. Everything.
Cruella: That psycho cannot be my mother. No.
Cruella: So this is a confusing day. My nemesis is my real mother, and she killed my other mother. I guess you were always scared, weren’t you, that I’d be a psycho like my real mum? Hm? That explains all the “tone it down, try and fit in” stuff. Love me into shape, I suppose, was the plan. And I tried. I really, I tried because I loved you.
Cruella: But the thing is, I’m not sweet Estella, try as I might. I never was. I’m Cruella. Born brilliant. Born bad. And a little bit mad. I am not like her. I’m better. Anyway, must dash. Much to avenge, revenge, and destroy. But I do love you. Always.
Horace: I still can’t believe she’s dead.
Jasper: Pull it together, H. You can’t cry in prison.
Horace: [to Wink] You’re getting kissed, right on the mouth! I don’t care where it’s been!
Cruella: There’s no easy way to say this. The Baroness is my birth mother.
Horace: You just blew my mind.
Jasper: It does explain a lot.
Cruella: We’re in a kill-or-be-killed situation here.
Jasper: Yeah, and she’s a homicidal maniac, and you’re not.
Cruella: Well, we don’t know that yet. I’m still young.
Jasper: It’s funny. Or it would be, if I knew you were being funny.
Horace: No, not funny.
Cruella: I’m joking. I’m joking!
Cruella: I went a bit mad. I’m sorry. You’re my family. You’re all I have.
Jasper: She used the family card.
Horace: Yeah, she did. It’s working.
Artie: I was just reading about you, the puppy killer.
Cruella: Oh, well, I do love spots.
Artie: You didn’t.
Cruella: I didn’t. But people do need a villain to believe in, so I’m happy to fit the bill.
Artie: Small point, aren’t you dead?
Cruella: I am. Yes. Sad, really. But also helpful.
Cruella: Now, Artie, I have a plan.
Artie: Of course you do.
Cruella: And you’re going to help me with it.
Artie: What do I get?
Cruella: A night of fabulousness, and mayhem, and possible death.
Artie: Check. Check. Not quite sure about the death though.
Cruella: It won’t be you.
Artie: I’ll get my coat.
Jasper: I know you’re in pain. And I know that she caused it. But, you know, killing her is not going to make that go away.
Cruella: I won’t. I promise.
Jasper: Alright, cool. Groovy.
Cruella: Unless I really, really have to.
Horace: When I fixed it, I noticed a name. Do you know what this car’s called? A Devil! Jasper: It’s DeVille, mate. DeVille.
Cruella: I like that.
The Baroness: Why am I the only one who’s competent?
John: Must be very tiring.
Horace: [to George for tossing Wink aside] That dog is like a son to me. You’re dead!
[Artie knocks George out]
Horace: I had him.
Artie: Did you, though?
Cruella: Hello, Mother.
The Baroness: It all makes sense now.
The Baroness: That you’re so extraordinary. Of course, you’re mine.
The Baroness: I’ve longed for someone in my life who was as good as me.
Cruella: You left me to die.
The Baroness: A mistake. And one we can get past. I know it.
Cruella: I disagree.
The Baroness: You’re not here for revenge. You’re here because you’re a brilliant designer, and a wicked genius, and you need to be among your own kind. Me. Your real mother. Who made a mistake, and let something extraordinary go.
Cruella: We are very alike, I suppose.
Cruella: You’re not going to push me off the cliff, are you?
The Baroness: [hugs Cruella] You’re so funny, dear. So funny. I love it. Idiot.
[pushes Cruella off the cliff]
Cruella: So I told you I died. Estella, that is. Poor thing. She couldn’t even get anyone
to come to her own funeral. That seemed like an unhappy ending. Murdered tragically, by her very own mother.
Cruella: The good thing about evil people is you can always trust them to do something, well, evil. Estella would die like her mother did. But not quite.
Cruella: [referring to the Baroness] She’d go to prison for throwing someone off a cliff. Wrong someone, but there’s something about poetic justice that’s just so poetic.
Cruella: Goodbye, Estella. She was with her mother now. I’ll take it from here. But Cruella was alive.
Cruella: [at her graveside] Alright, we should put on some music, or something. Lighten the mood.
Cruella: And I call that a happy ending.
Jasper: So, what now?
Cruella: I’ve got a few ideas.