|Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen|
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Produced by Sam Mercer, Palak Patel, and Joe Roth
Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini
Starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, and Toby Jones
2012's second foray into the fairy tale of Snow White is a much darker take than Tarsem Singh's family-friendly Mirror Mirror. Unlike the traditional take on the story, this film portrays Snow White (Stewart) as a budding warrior who joins with a huntsman (Hemsworth) and the seven dwarfs to battle the Evil Queen (Theron). Having drained the land of all its former glory and preyed upon its lovely maidens, the Queen has spread evil throughout the land. Only Snow White's beauty can defeat the Queen and save her deceased father's kingdom. This world has become cruel and gory, and the film features a number of battle sequences to sustain that image. Still, all is well when the Queen and her empire meet their demise. Though Snow White wins the day, it comes at a costly price: a planned sequel.
Rupert Sanders, not unlike Tarsem Singh, paints a lush fantasy world with gorgeous landscapes and beautiful costumes. While the CGI in some scenes could be better, there are some great uses of it, such as the Queen's bird transformation and the Mirror. Though the story should be most important, it is the acting that appears to detract most from this film. Stewart and Hemsworth seem to be on cruise control, while Theron goes for it all with an over-the-top performance that probably would have worked better if it were more subtle. Frankly, I did not get involved with these characters at all. Of course, that could be the writing and not the performances themselves. This may sound more scathing than intended, as the film is not without its merits. Bottom line: if you see it, see it for the craftsmanship.
Oscar Potential: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects