Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She grew up learning the art of her father a famous bullfighter but was despised by her evil stepmother. One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarves and became a legend. Starring Maribel Verdú (Pan's Labyrinth) Daniel Giménez Cacho (How I Spent My Summer Vacation Bad Education) and Ángela Molina (Broken Embraces That Obscure Object of Desire) Blancanieves is a stark and beautiful visualisation of the classic fairy-tale of Snow White. Set in southern Spain in 1920s Blancanieves is a tribute to silent films. Special Features: Trailer Making Offrom£11.59 | RRP:
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother She grew up learning the art of her father a famous bullfighter but was despised by her evil stepmother One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarves and became a legend Starring Maribel Verdú (Pan’s Labyrinth) Daniel Giménez Cacho (How I Spent My Summer Vacation Bad Education) and Ángela Molina (Broken Embraces That Obscure Object of Desire) Blancanieves is a stark and beautiful visualisation of the classic fairy-tale Snow White Set in southern Spain in 1920s the multi-award winning Blancanieves is a tribute to silent films
Pablo Berger writes and directs this Spanish black and white silent fantasy drama based on the 'Snow White' fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Famous matador Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho) finds his life changed forever when, after being paralysed in the bull ring, his young wife dies in childbirth. Raised by her grandmother until she too dies, Antonio's young daughter Carmen (Sofía Oria) is then permitted to stay at her father's new home, dominated by her heartlessly cruel new stepmother, her father's former nurse, Encarna (Maribel Verdú). Secretly schooled by Antonio in the bullfighting arts, the now teenage Carmen (Macarena García)'s destiny suddenly changes when, after falling victim to Encarna's evil plotting, she finds herself rescued by a troupe of travelling dwarf bullfighters.
Average Rating for Blancanieves - 5 out of 5
(based on 1 user reviews)
Following the Oscar-winning success of Michel Hazanavicius' film, The Artist, I've been waiting with bated breath to see if a wave of gimmicky silent movies would follow in its wake. Pablo Berger's Blancanieves is not a knock-off of silent cinema by any means, but a vivid and strangely kinky retelling of a classic tale that is only more remarkable for unfolding without sound or colour.
In terms of Snow White, it's interesting to measure this against Hollywood's recent reinventions of the same Grimm fairytale. Rupert Sanders' effects-driven Snow White & The Huntsman very much fell into the bracket of Hollywood's "new seriousness", with its po-faced, monomythic take on the character, while Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror proved more enjoyable for its light-hearted, pantomime approach, and colourful production design.
Uniquely, Blancanieves finds just the right balance between the two. It's far darker than either of those films, but it doesn't take itself nearly as seriously. And while both of the bigger movies took some refuge in opulent production design, this one skews more closely to the idea of the lead character's own enduring appeal- it's unassuming, but pretty fantastic.
Berger's original take, which sets the story in 1920s Spain, allows him to take us through the motions of the story that we know, in a hugely enjoyable and sometimes disturbing fashion. We're around halfway through the film before Carmen really becomes the heroine.
Nevertheless, we sympathise with her throughout, thanks to the sterling work of Maribel Verdú as her insane, insecure stepmother, Encarna. She's truly the most terrifying version of the character since Disney's interpretation, and that's without actually being a witch, like her forebears. She wins the broken heart of Carmen's father, but does little to mend it- she's a dastardly, vain and sinister woman who terrorises both her new husband and her step-daughter.
Sofía Oria plays the young Carmen in these early scenes, and she's plucky despite the way in which her life is repeatedly marred by tragedy. She has a pet chicken called Pepe, and the strength of that chicken's portayal should be enough to devise some kind of acting award for poultry. You'll weep for that chicken, once he crosses Encarna's path.
More familiar fairytale story beats arise when our heroine grows into a beautiful young woman, played by Macarena García, and she's swiftly dismissed by her stepmother. By this point, we're completely on-side with her character, and the process through which she becomes a famous bullfighter called Blancanieves (literally, "Snow White") is the most purely enjoyable passage of a very entertaining film.
Other canny updates on the tale show Encarna to be a shameless social climber, scanning a magazine for an interview, about the house she has inherited from the family that she destroyed, she's outraged to find Blancanieves on the front cover- mirror mirror, on the wall, who is the most photogenic of them all?
Just when you think you've got a handle on it, Berger takes a left turn at the very end, bringing a truly poignant and demented twist to the familiar happy ending. It feels in keeping with the mischievous tone of the rest of the film, but you come to realise that you're quite fond of the characters, and that really hits home in the surprising finale.
Blancanieves is one of 2013's finest films, with a pitch-black sense of humour that serves to disturb the viewer one minute, and delight them the next. I would say that it's suitable for older children- parents of younger kids may wish to avoid fielding awkward questions about Encarna's S&M habits. It's only more inventive for being a silent film, so I strongly recommend seeking out this hidden gem.
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