Reviewed by: Laura Busch
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Julia Roberts … The Queen
Lily Collins … Snow White
Armie Hammer … Prince Alcott
Nathan Lane … Brighton
Sean Bean … King
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|Director||Tarsem Singh Dhandwar|
Citizen Snow Film Productions
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“One bad apple”
“Mirror Mirror” brings a new twist on the classic Snow White fairytale to life in a fun live-action movie. Snow White (Lily Collins) was born into a wonderful and happy kingdom ruled by her parents, the King and Queen, but Snow White’s mother dies in childbirth, and an evil woman soon marries her father and becomes Queen. After Snow White’s father dies, the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) usurps control of the entire kingdom. Under the Evil Queen’s rule, the kingdom is in financial ruin, and its citizens are destitute. The Queen plans to marry the kind and wealthy Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) for her own selfish gain. When the Queen discovers that Prince Alcott truly loves the Princess Snow White, she banishes Snow White to the forest, leaving her to be eaten by beasts. After being banished to the forest, Snow White is rescued by a group of seven dwarves, and they band together to rescue her father’s kingdom and restore happiness to the land.
“Mirror Mirror” is a lively and humorous retelling of the Snow White story. Julia Roberts delivers a solid and entertaining performance as the Evil Queen. I really enjoyed her portrayal of this character. Nathan Lane, who plays Brighton—the Evil Queen’s assistant, also gives a wonderful comedic performance and provides a lot of laughs. “Mirror Mirror” is visually stunning, and its beautiful costumes and sets bring the story to life and, at times, reminded me of director, Tim Burton’s signature aesthetic. “Mirror Mirror’s” highly stylized approach to filmmaking makes for a beautiful aesthetic, and the film’s often over the top approach is at times reminiscent of a stage production. Some of “Mirror Mirror’s” humor in telling the story, as well as certain stylistic elements, also reminded me a bit of the classic film, “The Princess Bride.”
The character of Snow White has a strong sense of right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing. She is a big-hearted person, who shows a great deal of sympathy and love for the people of her kingdom. Snow White is appalled and saddened by the havoc that the Evil Queen has wreaked on her father’s (Sean Bean) once happy kingdom. She and the seven dwarves band together to do whatever they need to restore her father’s kingdom and save Prince Alcott from the Queen’s deception. In one scene, Snow White tells the dwarves, who are bandits, that they must not steal from people. The loving relationship between Snow White and the Baker Woman (Mare Winningham), who works in the castle kitchen, is also another positive aspect of this film. Many elements of “Mirror Mirror’s” worldview align with the Christian worldview. For example, the film shows how destructive vanity, greed, and selfishness truly are. The film also portrays the use of magic in a negative light. The film’s dialog warns several times, “magic takes a toll” and we as viewers see the harmful toll that the Queen’s magic, selfishness, vanity, and greed take on her.
Potential viewers should be aware that there is a lot of sword fighting action (bloodless). Several characters hit each other, and there is a fair amount of slapstick violence. All of the fighting is fast-paced bloodless action. In one scene, we see the Evil Queen preparing for a party, and her beauty routine is a bit gross—it involves worms and other bugs that may upset some viewers.
In a couple of scenes, Prince Alcott is seen shirtless, after losing his shirt in a fight with some bandits. In one scene, the Queen’s assistant describes Prince Alcott as being “semi-nude.” The Queen offers him a shirt to put on, both times. There are a few brief chaste kisses in the movie. There is a bit of name-calling. The words runt, idiot and jerk are each used once, and, in another, the Queen uses the phrase, “for the love of God.”
Overall, “Mirror Mirror” is a well-crafted, fun, and lively retelling of an old family favorite, with a positive heroine in the character of Snow White. However, I do not recommend this film for families with very young children, as the fast-paced fighting sequences and scenes in the woods may be a bit too scary and intense for younger viewers, but I do think that “Mirror Mirror” is a solid choice for families with older children.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.