In a Disney animated version (1959) she is NOT your idea of a fairy, neither of a god-mother. She is pure evil. I always dreaded her laughter but admired her make-up. Disney’s Maleficent has become an icon – even if an icon of malicious, devilish, ill-willing forcess.
And suddenly, we are to forget it. Disney is giving us the story retold – this time advertised as “the truth” rather than “the tale”. Maleficent (2014), starring Angelina Jolie, is a revised version of the famous theme. The film aims to justify Maleficent’s actions and to exaplain to us what made her curse a baby to die in the first place. The director of the movie, Robert Stromberg, said: I think that we now understand what drove her to that point, and I think we understand what the consequences are and what emotionally she had to go through. We have to explore what a person can do to, let’s say, redeem themselves [source].
It has always interested me how we tend to psychologize the actions of fictitious characters. “Why did Hamlet treat Ophelia so harshly?” is one of the questions I often ask in class. We do it, because we treat them as if they were real people. We are entitled to do it, but it’s still fascinating how the truth of fiction often prevails in our thinking about the real world.
Actors know it best when they have to build their roles. Anna B. Sheppard, who is nominated for this year’s Academy Awards for the costumes to Maleficent, said in one of the interviews that Angelina “was so immersed in Maleficent that sometimes, it was scary to be around her. She was wearing the costume and prosthetics day and night.” [source]
Trivia: All the children on the set (except for Angelina’s own children) were terrified of Maleficent.
The costumes that a Polish designer created are astounding. She says she was inspired by the animated Sleeping Beauty, as well as by Renaissance art and Alexander McQueen past and present collections. Her Maleficent resembles the Maleficent we know, but Aurora is not a classic pink-dressed princess. She is very girly, both naive and ephemeral. Her clothes are more earthly – in colours and texture, and Anne Sheppard says she was thinking of Ophelia when designing them.
Take a look at the costumes which are my inspiration for today (all photos via here; Disney press release):
When I was thinking of the movie and its images, I had three colours in mind – black, white, red. But there are also the colours of the earth and of the changing seasons. There is a transformation – a process of mental and physical development; of Good becoming Evil and Evil becoming Good. For most of the movie, Maleficent represents the dark side – wounded, hurt, revengeful. Aurora is “never blue, always happy” and, in Anne Sheppard’s words, “like light, almost”.
Thus, what a better metaphor of darkness and light can we find than in these movie-inspired beautiful lamps and chandeliers? Pay attention to the vintage 1950s and 1960s look.
Queen Decor has prepared a special treat for my readers – a 10% off coupon. Visit her shop, choose something beautiful and type “queenlove11” at the checkout.
As a bonus, things I couldn’t resist:
Awaiting the Oscar night, I wish you all the magic of the world.
EDIT: Regretably, Anna B. Sheppard did not get an Oscar for her costumes to Maleficent. It went to Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel.