Blancanieves 2.0 stars

Blancanieves movie poster

If it's not quite the Snow White retelling we've all been waiting for, it's certainly closer than some. For nearly its entire running time, Blanca Nieves feels like a bona fide fairy tale, the sort the Brothers Grimm might have collected had they been doing their work in 1920s Spain. The black-and-white photography is perfect for depicting a sunwashed world full of terrifying shadows; the silent-film style lets the sundry actresses (Maribel Verdu, Angela Molina, Macarena Garcia, Sofia Oria) go to work with their magnificent eyes, and the excellent score fills in the details. Our infant heroine's mother dies giving birth on the same day her father, a brilliant bullfighter, is crippled in the ring. Dad's nurse becomes the extremely wicked stepmother, a woman whose choice of menu makes her a model of thoughtful cruelty. But beauty persists; only the ending slips over the border from horrific into outright horror. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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