ADVENTURE; 1hr 46min
STARRING: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane
To die for: from left, Collins, Lane and Roberts
Julia Roberts, reliably divine, is in spitfire shape as the-evilest-of-them-all Queen in director Tarsem Singh’s juicy tweaking of the bleak treat that is Snow White. Raven-tressed, 18-year-old beauty Snow (Collins) is an orphaned princess and the Queen’s despised stepdaughter in this buzzy rendition, and nobody is happy about it. Racked with a frosty vanity that has plunged her once fairytale kingdom into poverty-stricken drifts of snow, the Queen is fresh out of funds and needs a rich husband, stat! Enter buff Prince Alcott (Hammer), who more than fills the marital bill, but unluckily has his heart set on fair Snow.
Whoops! Incensed beyond reason, the frustrated Queen banishes Snow to conveniently dangerous woods, where she’s rescued from an unspeakable fate by seven enterprising dwarves, and evolves from ladylike shut-in to avenging angel. Happily Ever After. The End. While staying true to the spine of the Brothers Grimm original, the inventive production zings with playful opulence. Everyone has a tongue-in-cheek riot: as Brighton, the Queen’s chief whipping boy, Lane is cursed by a magic spell, transformed into a squeaking cockroach and allegedly ravaged by a grasshopper. Whoever came up with that deserves their own tall story.