I told you how excited I was for Mirror, Mirror, didn’t I? I had another excellent time at the movies this weekend! Whatever’s going on in Hollywood lately, they have put out excellent movies this past month.
Mirror, Mirror is a very funny retelling of Snow White, putting it squarely on the track for the Once Upon a Time Challenge‘s Quest on Screen. As the original story has it, Snow White has grown up under the control of her wicked stepmother, who is desperately jealous of Snow White’s beauty. The Queen is inspired to take more drastic steps when a handsome prince arrives and is a little too interested in beautiful Snow White. The Queen sends Snow off to the woods to be killed–and sets about to marry the prince herself. Snow meets up with seven dwarfs who turn out to be bandits, reads them a lecture on not robbing poor people, then bands forces with them to fight the Queen instead.
From the beginning, what drew me to this movie the most was Julia Roberts as the wicked queen. She was delightful–one of those terribly sweet and poisonous villains. And oh-so-campy! She looked like she was having enormous fun with the part. She gets some snarky lines and occasionally brings a note of practicality to the fantasy world. For instance, when the prince goes on about Snow White’s ivory skin, the Queen points out that Snow is eighteen and has never been outside, so of course she has good skin! She’s not an epic fantasy villain evil queen, but she’s a very funny one–vain, condescending, self-absorbed, insulting, and utterly unable to concentrate while looking at Prince Charming’s bare chest.
Actually, it was Prince Alcott (which just made me think of Louisa May–anyone else?), played by Armie Hammer. You might know him as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. Only one of him this time, but still very attractive, and shirtless more than once (he keeps having unfortunate run-ins with those bandits…so it’s all very plot-relevant, really). As a character, he’s a bit of a boor at times, but seems to have a good heart.
Lily Collins played Snow White (utterly unrecognizable from her role in The Blind Side), and she was a refreshing take on the character. This was a sweet but also smart and scrappy Snow White. And the dwarfs, while not as entertaining as their counterparts in Once Upon a Time, were nevertheless quite amusing.
And of course, no proper Wicked Queen would be without a down-trodden flunky, played in this movie by Nathan Lane. He’s squirmy, devoted and lacking in all self-respect, as a down-trodden flunky should be.
Another fun side to this movie were the visuals. I loved the set-design–the Wicked Queen has this gorgeous open-air bedroom with breathtaking views that I really want (aside from the practicalities of it). The dwarfs apparently had the same architect as Peter Pan, with an underground home that you can reach through a hollow-tree, which looked both cosy and claustrophobic.
Then there were the costumes. Oh, the costumes. So many hoop skirts and massive bows and mounds of fabrics and headpieces that must have required special training in balancing. Utterly fantastic. There’s a masquerade at one point, and there are so many wonderful headpieces–and the prince has incredibly amusing bunny ears.
This is not a deep movie or a terribly complex movie and it doesn’t have terribly complex characters, but if you want some light-hearted fun with attractive costumes and an attractive leading man, it’s a good day at the movies!
Movie site: http://mirrormirrorfilm.com/