There were 2 Snow White movies that came out last year. Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart, Thor, and Charlize Theron, and Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, and Armie Hammer. I still haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman (I’m waiting for the Special Effects Only edit) but I did catch Mirror Mirror on Netflix.
This is a fairly lighthearted retelling of Snow White. It’s a little bit silly, clearly aimed at a younger audience, and feeling that this takes place in the same sort of universe as Hercules and Xena (about 2,000 years or so further along the timeline) the actor’s enjoyment in their parts really shows. Julia Roberts savors her role as the Evil Queen, delightfully chewing the surprisingly well done scenery. While her usual role is the wholesome smiling American woman, seeing her play an evil character, and doing it with such relish, turning her famous smile to such nefarious purposes as seducing the Prince, was a lot of fun.
Lily Collins’ Snow is a no-nonsense princess, once she gets out from under the thumb of the Queen. And while the prince serves as love interest, Snow isn’t willing to let her feelings get in her way of her mission to oust the Queen from her kingdom. This goes to the extent that the Prince is used as a pawn by the Queen against Snow, and Snow has to fight him!
While Armie Hammer (The Prince) isn’t a name that rings any bells for me, he reminds me strongly of Brendan Fraser in his various roles from the early 90’s. At one point I closed my eyes, and he even sounded like Brendan Fraser!
There were a number of choices that I especially liked in this movie. The magic mirror as a reflection of the Queen, which tried to act as a conscious for her, warning her of the dangers of using and abusing magic.
The Beast in the Woods was really interesting looking (hence yesterday’s post). While not terribly frightening as compared to many other monsters out there, it was designed for children, and so in its roll was very effective. A more adult redesign could certainly bring out some of the potentially more horrific aspects of it.
The casting was phenomenal. Julia Roberts, as I've already said was delicious to watch. Nathan Lane as the simpering lackey was perfect. All of the dwarfs were individual characters, and in ways different from both the Disney cartoon dwarfs and Peter Jackson's dwarfs.
I was also very impressed by the set and costume design. Clearly the folks behind the cameras were having just as much fun as the actors. Little details like the nods to previous versions of Snow, the details on the columns in the Queen's throne room, and the hats of the game pieces show the thought and effort that went into the production.