This first appeared as part of a multi-part series on Filmotomy.com.
Glenn Close / 101 Dalmatians
I’m surprised there was still scenery left when the credits rolled—that Glenn Close didn’t set everything aflame with her rampant energy then inhale it all through her extravagant cigarette holder is… remarkable. She is truly unmatched. I have a hard time believing she was given even a spot of direction. I prefer to think she just went wild. Every John Hughes-penned line (for example: “You’ve won the battle, but I’m about to win the wardrobe!”) is uttered with such an uncaged, camp-filled fervor.
To paraphrase a minor character, it’s not simply a hatred for a villain that makes them a great antagonist, but rather the desire to see them annihilated. And Close serves us several reasons for wanting to witness Cruella’s defeat. Her scheme to murder a hundred-odd puppies to make a coat for the sake of, um, fashion is, you know, one of the big ones, obviously. But, unfortunately, the rest of this film cannot keep up with her. Everyone else is there doing their job, making a fun family-friendly picture, but Close is on another level as she sashays her way through like Norma Desmond on steroids.