Runtime: 97 minutes
Robert Stromberg has previously worked the visual effects for masterpieces such as Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire (to name a couple), Maleficent is his first directing adventure.
Angelina Jolie (a household name by now that anybody who has ever watched movies has heard of, known for many movies including Salt, Mr & Mrs Smith (where she met her husband) and Wanted) plays Maleficent, the wicked fairy from Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent shows the story from her point of view. Jolie did a fantastic job in this movie, and this is probably my number one Jolie movie as of now. I also want to offer credit to Isabelle Molloy and Ella Purnell, for both playing younger versions of Maleficent. Without these younger versions to show the back story, this movie would have been dead in the water.
Sharlto Copley (star of District 9 and Elysium) was really good as King Stefan. The love of maleficent's life. I'm a fan of Copley, just due to his accent, although his acting repertoire contains some top notch movies.
Elle Fanning (from Ginger & Rosa and We Bought a Zoo) played Aurora, or as the less seasoned fairytale reader may know her, Sleeping Beauty. Fanning's performance was also rather good to watch, I was surprised by how well she did as I don't know a great deal about her from other movies.
The chemistry between Aurora and Maleficent was really convincing. Maleficent does care really. This movie was really well portrayed, I loved how it showed the relationship developing between the two main characters, Jolie and Fanning. I was pleased that it showed the 'wicked fairy' to not be so wicked after all.
My favourite characters in this movie were definitely the three good fairies, played by Lesley Manville (Flittle), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass) and Juno Temple (Thistletwit).
Having seen Temple put on an excellent performance in Magic, Magic this was a completely different role to my previous knowledge about her as an actor. She has proved to me that she probably can play anything and/or anyone.
Imelda Staunton's character amused me, purely because I am so used to thinking of her as Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter.
Finally, the character of Diaval (played by Sam Riley - Byzantium) was an interesting take on Maleficent's 'crow' or I suppose he could be looked at as similar to a witches familiar.
All in all my final verdict on this movie would be that it was really well put together and presented in a fashion that could be watched and understood by both children and adults alike. This is definitely a movie I would watch with my children when they are a bit older.