Blancanieves [2012]

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Directed by: Pablo Berger
Written by: Pablo Berger
Starring: Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Macarena García, Ángela Molina, Emilio Gavira, Sergio Dorado, Josep Maria Pou, Sofía Oria, Inma Cuesta 

You can forget about Charlize Theron chewing the scenery and Julia Roberts trying not to get killed by Lily Collins’ eyebrows (that’s what Mirror Mirror was about, yeah?). This is the definitive live-action adaptation of Snow White by the brothers Grimm. 

Blancanieves, like The Artist, is a film that dares to be silent and monochrome in an age of CGI and explosions. Unlike that one, though, this is more than a lightweight crowdpleaser and offers real pathos to go along with the enchanting style. 

Pablo Berger takes the world’s best known fairytale and transfers it to Spain in the early 20th century, where our Snow White, Carmen, grows amongst flamenco dancers and bullfighters. Macarena García and Daniel Giménez Cacho are fantastic as Carmen and her father, renowned matador Antonio Villalta, respectively, but Maribel Verdú (El Laberinto del Fauno, Y Tu Mamá También) steals the show as the evil stepmother. 

Blancanieves was Spain’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the last ceremony and, for the life of me, I can’t comprehend why it wasn’t even nominated. Maybe I’ll send the Academy voters a basket of apples to change their mind. What do you think?

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