Elle Fanning poses in fairytale Reem Acra gown

Elle Fanning stars in ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.’ (Getty)
Updated 23 October 2019

Elle Fanning poses in fairytale Reem Acra gown

DUBAI: Hollywood actress Elle Fanning, the star of Disney’s latest fairytale flick “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” just posed for a photoshoot in an ethereal gown by Lebanese designer Reem Acra.

The star posed alongside Angelina Jolie for People magazine wearing a blush gown by the designer.

In the series of playful images, Fanning wears a horned headpiece — usually worn by Jolie’s character, Maleficent — and a gown with a sweetheart neckline and beaded bodice. The geometric beading runs across the length of the gown, which also features a barely-there belt to cinch in the waist and a spray of tulle at the hip.

“Fairytale magic. @ElleFanning wears #ReemAcraBohemianDisco while promoting her latest film #Maleficent2,” the Lebanese fashion house posted on its Instagram account.

In “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the sequel set six years later, Maleficent hardly lives up to that title, but rumor would have it otherwise. The story of the sleeping beauty Aurora (Fanning) has spread across the land, painting Maleficent as the villain, rather than the one whose love saved her. Now, as Aurora plans to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), Maleficent must meet the neighboring Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), who wishes to destroy Maleficent and her magical world.

While the film features a lot of violent spectacle, the inner conflict of the lead characters themselves is whether they are strong enough to resist becoming violent, rather than the inverse.

“That’s something that isn’t portrayed a lot on screen — a lot of princesses grew up and they said, ‘Well, we’re going to make her a strong princess, and we’re going to make her tough, so we’re going to make her fight!’ Is that what being a strong woman means? We’re going to have to have a sword and armor on and fight? Aurora can do that in a different way, in a pink dress. It’s beautiful that she keeps her softness and vulnerabilities as her strengths,” Fanning told Arab News in a previous interview.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted atop the North American box office at the weekend, but the big-budget fantasy flick fell far short of expectations, industry figures showed Monday.

The film took in $36.9 million, but that was well shy of projections that it would earn $45 million and a sharp drop-off from the first film’s $69.4 million launch in 2014.


New York outshines lead stars in festive season offering ‘Dash and Lily’

Updated 23 November 2020

New York outshines lead stars in festive season offering ‘Dash and Lily’

CHENNAI: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has proved to be a boon to streaming giants and the usual string of holiday movies and shows have captured a captive audience due to stay-at-home measures still in place in many countries. One of Netflix’s latest offerings in the festive feel-good category is “Dash and Lily,” a series comprising eight short episodes. It is based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s novel, “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares” and was repurposed for TV by Joe Tracz. In true teenage style, it is a little sweet, a little sour, with laughs and tears along the way. Cynical Dash (Austin Abrams) and bubbling-with-optimism Lily (Midori Francis) find themselves all alone in their respective homes having been abandoned by their parents, who go off on holidays they have been dreaming of for years. The plot kicks off when Dash finds a notebook written by a mysterious girl at his favorite bookstore in New York. What follows is a mad dash across the city as the pair communicate via the little red notebook, leaving it at various spots throughout the city for each other to find. What is more, Dash and Lily find that the notebook helps them discover things about themselves — it becomes a voyage of self-discovery and both realize that had they met face-to-face, they would have never been able to reveal so much. Other characters, such as Lily’s stern grandfather and Dash’s friend who works at the bookstore, add variety to the narrative and they have also been smartly written. While the series offers a novel take on teenage romance, there is not very much that is new or unexpected about the storyline. The performances are nothing to write home about in this saccharine story, but New York, in all its festive season flair (the series was shot in December 2019), stands in as an appealing lead character and will, at the very least, offer travel-starved viewers the chance to enjoy winter in the Big Apple.