OK. This is the first of the two Snow White-themed films to be released in 2012. This one is the more light-hearted, comedic version—think the animated Disney classic. The second, Snow White and the Huntsman, is a little more, ahem, ‘Grimm.’ I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much and I would advise you to do the same. If you go in with the bar set low, you will have a satisfying movie-going experience.
Snow White (Lily Collins) is our brave ingénue, imprisoned in her castle by her wicked stepmother, the queen (Julia Roberts). When she finally musters the courage to go out, she discovers a handsome prince (Armie Hammer) dangling from a tree having been accosted by seven, well, extremely intimidating little people. Snow White also discovers the queen has bankrupted the kingdom to finance her lavish lifestyle. The queen—threatened by the girl’s beauty and rightful claim to the throne— orders her loyal footman, Brighton (Nathan Lane), to take Snow White into the Woods and murder her. But as we all know, he loses his nerve and lets her run away. She finds the seven dwarf bandits, and the men, smitten, allow her to stay with them.
This is just a wonderfully wholesome family film. I can’t think of a better grandparent/grandchild activity on a rainy day. The costumes and sets are spectacular, the acting is great. Armie Hammer (The Social Network, J. Edgar) is proving to be quite the leading man, and Julia Roberts seems to really enjoy being the bad guy for once. All in all, the film is a visually beautiful, if superficial, story.
It's a 7.