Movie trailers can be the death of a movie for me before the movie even begins.  From the minute I first saw the trailer for Mirror Mirror I was pretty sure I knew exactly how I was going to walk out of this movie.  I was going to be charmed by actress Lily Collins.  I would be amused by actor Nathan Lane.  And, I’d be slightly irritated that considering the talented cast that a better movie didn’t result.  And, as it turned out, I was pretty much exactly right with my anticipatory assessment.

The film is directed by Tarsem Singh and stars Julia Roberts as the evil queen.  After the king disappears without a trace, the queen has seized control of the kingdom and locks up his beautiful daughter, Snow White (Lily Collins) in the palace.  The queen is obsessed with beauty and power.  One day, when the princess attracts the attention of a visiting prince, Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer), the Queen becomes annoyed and jealous and banishes Snow White into the dark forest to be killed.

In the forrest she is taken in by a band of thieving dwarves (Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark).  When the queen hurts the townspeople by taxing them too much, Snow White and the 7 dwarves begin to rob the queen to give back to the people.  Eventually Snow White must face down the evil queen and attempt to take control over the kingdom.

Basically, as I stated above, the best part of this film is Lily Collins.  She’s charming and sweet in her role.  She’s tough where she needs to be, but even during the fighting scenes where she has to be tough, she still shows a lot of vulnerability.  She’s a treat to watch on-screen and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in future films.

Julia Roberts is average in the film.  For such a talented actress, she’s not given that much to work with here.  Her character is very pompous and one-dimensional.  I would have liked to have seen more time being spent into developing her character so that Julia’s talents weren’t wasted.

The visuals in the film were nice.  Costumes were effective and creative.  The dance where Snow White wears a swan dress is a particular stand out. 

This is certainly not a film that’s going to rank amongst the best variations of the Snow White story you’ll be seeing.  And with another version coming out this very year, it may not even be the best one you’ll see this year.  But it does have its charm and works in certain places.  Lily Collin’s charm is enough to keep you entertained and interested throughout the film.

FINAL GRADE:  C +

Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres

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