Starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Martin Klebba, Ronald Lee Clark, Robert Emms, Mare Winningham, Sean Bean, and more...
Directed by: Tarsem Sighn Dhandwar Original Story by: Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm Screenplay by: Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller Original Music by: Alan Menken
Premise: The Queen of a small kingdom decides she must rid herself of her departed husband's daughter as Snow White begins to outshine her as the most beautiful woman of the realm. (Rated PG)
1) Acting - Thumbs Up - Julia Roberts was a hoot as the vain evil queen. Nathan Lane delivered any number of great lines and was the perfect toady. Lily Collins made a great Snow White, especially at the end when she showed the steel beneath the fair maiden! I have always enjoyed the work of Danny Woodburn, Jordan Prentice, and Martin Klebba. Now I have four more great actors to add to the list as well. The seven of them made a great team and looked to have had a lot of fun making the film and it shows. Armie Hammer brought a great air for Prince Alcott, whose ego suffered a few blows, but he learned in time. He pulled off the puppy love scenes hilariously. Robert Emms, though he unfortunately did not return in the latter part of the film, was a lot of fun as well. Great chemistry between all the cast.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up - From the gorgeous CGI castle, to the Beast, and the super amazing killer puppets, the special effects were outstanding. The integration of the Queen as she walked through the Mirror to the other world was amazing. And I totally enjoyed the cartoonish addition of hearts to the Prince as the Queen's potion took effect. Adorable! The beginning of the film as the Queen told her tale with the dolls was nicely done.
Totally loved the ships used during the chess match. Especially when they proved to be somewhat functional!
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up - The screenwriters took a story that has been retold countless times yet tweaked things up enough to make it fresh. Expect many of the bits one normally ties to Snow White, though not always in the same order or to the same effect, but are there for those who know the story - whether it be from the original Grimm tales or Disney. The tack taken with the Seven Dwarves was fun and made them more real. There's also a story twist, with plenty of hints so viewers might get there before our heroine does.
Comedic moments and one liners abound. The entire feel of the piece kept crossing boundaries, but also made sure to remain light even on dark subjects. Loved the direction they took on the concept of the mirror itself.
4) Stunts - Thumbs Up - There is a lot of fun swordplay. The stilt scenes with all the acrobatics during the robberies were great to watch.
5) Locations/Cinematography - Thumbs Up - Lovely sweeping views of the forest and the CGI kingdom. Totally loved the fact that the Queen's open bedroom, showing the sky outside, would match the Queen's moods. The forest views and locations of interest there looked real and believable.
6) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up - They had a lot of fun with this. The Queen's costumes were always large and grand, to compensate for her fading beauty. The wedding dress she wore was a monstrous affair but lovely. Trying to look at all the costumes at the ball totally entertained. Some truly innovative thinking - see if you can spot the sheep. The walrus took a minute to figure out, but it was totally outlandish! And all were outdone by the eye burning colors of the wigs and clothes of the attendees at the Queen's wedding. You almost got the sense they were trying to compensate for their ever growing unhappiness.
Watching Snow go through clothes for just the right thief look was fun. By the time they find just the thing, you're agreeing one hundred percent with the choice!
Conclusion: Mirror, Mirror is a fun film enjoyable by the entire family. It is funny and light, with several surprises and cute moments. Well worth a watch. The in-joke to Bollywood during the closing credits (possibly a poke at the director?) was a lot of fun!
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Price of Admission)