This week's featured adaptation is "Mirror, Mirror," the humorous retelling of the Grimm fairy tale about Snow White and the jealous Queen, and reviews are encouraging. Of course, it won't have a chance of beating the debut of "The Hunger Games," which brought in more than $150 million in its opening weekend. But it looks like an entertaining treatment, and the cast has some star power with Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane. Here are excerpts from "Mirror, Mirror" reviews.
Tribune newspapers: The screenplay by Marc Klein and Jason Keller (a screen story credit goes to Melisa Wallack) pointedly rewrites the fairy tale convention that finds every damsel helplessly imperiled until a prince delivers her from danger. This Snow White (voiced by Lily Collins) can get gussied up with the best of them, but she also holds her own in a fencing duel. And — hello, switcheroo — she rescues a prince in distress. ... For most of its running time, the film strikes the right balance of make-believe enchantment and snark-infused lampoon, playing to older kids and adults alike.
Roger Ebert: "Mirror Mirror" is a sumptuous fantasy for the eyes and a pinball game for the mind, as story elements collide and roll around bumping into each other. This is not a faithful retelling of the versions by the Brothers Grimm or Walt Disney, but neither is it a satire, nor much of a story in its own right. But it's great to look at.
NPR: Basic structure aside, what makes"Mirror Mirror" intriguingly twinkly and endearing is not the story, which is simple enough for little kids to follow and timeless enough for adults to enjoy if they're feeling game. What works is the execution. The script is slyly affectionate toward the fairy tale genre, both respecting its conventions about red lips and first kisses and winking at its archetypes.
People: Sure, Roberts has flirted with her naughty side before (see: Duplicity, Closer or Larry Crowne – on second thought, don’t see Larry Crowne) – but now she's letting her witch flag fly. As Mirror Mirror's vain Queen, she's manipulative, spoiled and cruel, locking Snow White in her room, starving her subjects and employing black magic when she doesn't get her way. The role is a tad campy and Roberts's faux-British accent shaky, but the actress wins points for boldly taking on a part that casts her as beautiful but aging.
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