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on 4 December 2001
I absolutely longed for a movie to portray the "Snow White" tale as it was REALLY intended....not the sugar coated pile of mush that Disney spoon-fed us! And here it is. It's Medieval Europe and the poor are desperate and the wealthy reside in castles and hold baquets. One such family is the Hoffmans. The opening scene of the film is Liliana Hoffman dying in the snow after a tragic accident, her husband (Sam Neill) ready to perform a crude cesarian on her to save her unborn child. We skip to later years; Liliana (after her deseased mother) is a spoilt little girl doted upon by her father, that is until he decides to re-marry, to the beautiful Lady Claudia. (Sigourney Weaver). She is not the 'Evil Queen' type, she is ready and willing to be a good mother to Lily, and tries very hard to no avail--Lily is jealous of her and tries, amongst other things, to ruin her father and Claudia's (slightly kinky!) marriage ritual.Years later, the relationship between Claudia and Lily has deteriorated completely; and Claudia is pregnant with her first child. Lily is determined to spoil things and upset her stepmother constantly, and the effects on Claudia are beginning to show. When Lily creates a scene of such distress to Claudia at a banquet at the castle, Claudia loses her baby. She is severly traumatised and it has triggered the darker, twisted side of her. Lily does end up in the woods with outlaws and misunderstood men (who are not dwarves, and are not cute). Claudia uses witchcraft to create all kinds of chaos to try to kill Lily, who she feels is responsible for the death of her baby. While all this is happenning however, it's impossible to feel sorry for 'Snow White', as we all know what a madam she really is and how much distress and pain she has caused her stepmother. You can decide for yourself, anyway!What is clear is how beautiful this film is-the scenery is wonderful, and the costumes are breathtaking. Sigourney Weaver is incredible and perfect as Claudia, Sam Neill is great and everyone appears to have worked hard on this. The only thing that destroyed the atmposphere for me somewhat is that it's supposed to Medieval Europe...so why the hell do they have American accents?!? C'mon, really...other than that, fabulous, through and through.
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on 29 March 2017
I love this adaptation of this classic fairy tale. The use of the "magic mirror" in this adaptation is cleverly used in the Queen's character development and quite possibly my favorite aspect of this film. I felt like this was telling the untold story of one of cinema's legendary fairy tale villains. Weaver's portrayal of the mad, jealous Queen is a delight to watch as she makes her believably sympathetic.

The girl playing Lili was good too. She was a very pretty and innocent "Snow White", but I mostly liked how imperfect she was. Disney's Snow White is unbearably pure, chaste, innocent and perfectly angelic. But this Snow White has a bit of an attitude, grounded in her own sense of jealousy. Afraid of losing her father's love to this new step-mother. In fact, I actually disliked her bratty attitude at first because I sympathized more with the Queen's character. But her character matures as the film progresses. Not only that, but she even has two love interests. Her princely boyfriend and the rugged outlaw, Will. This little princess kicks ass compared to "Disney Princess" stereotype.

It's like Disney if it was written by George RR Martin.

But this is definitely for older audiences due to the dark, mature themes.
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on 21 April 2014
A Number of years has past since 'Frederick Hoffman's' (Sam Neill)
wife died giving birth to 'Lillian'
'Lillian's' father now plans to re-marry, enter 'Claudia' (Sigourney Weaver)
When moving in among her belongings a large wardrobe which contains
a mirror that has evil power that consumes it's owner with the power she
obtains from it.
'Lillian' (Monica Keena) grows up to be a beautiful young woman, 'Claudia'
who is now pregnant is jealous of her step-daughters beauty.
She instructs her brother to kill 'Lilli' and bring back her heart, the plan fails.
'Lilli' has run into the forest where she has her first encounter with the Dwarfs,
at first the Dwarfs are suspicious of their intruder.
The 'Handsome' Prince she had met earlier, has been asked by 'Claudia' to
find 'Lilli'
Can the Dwarfs and maybe the Prince keep 'Lillian' safe ?
To find out you may just have to watch the film...
The 'Brothers Grimm' story at perhaps it's darkest, certainly somewhat different
to the fairy-tale version told by 'Disney'
A suitably 'Evil' performance from 'Sigourney Weaver'
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on 9 August 2017
This is a wonderfully dark and gothic version of the fairytale, with some great performances from some big name stars, such as Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill, not to mention Gil Bellows - better known for his role in Ally McBeal. The only thing that lets the film down is a rather lacklustre performance by the actress who plays Snow White. Otherwise, the film is very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2010
This version for me,naturally loses something because of the language,given the Continental origin of the tale,which Grimm overtook from German folk tales that had their roots in an even dimmer truth-But it is still quite good...Weaver is great as the malevolent,neurotic queen and Neill is good again...The transformation of the queen is truly creepy and well done but I felt the ending a bit overdone,needlessly abrupt,crassly pyrotechnic and hysteric...Overall,an interessant version rather more horror than fantasy as others note and that partly because it's live cinematography and not a twee technicolor cartoon...Otherwise it is not too politically corrected in the way that dates other kinds of fiction as chronic fashions will...I recommend it as a commendable version but would have liked it more with optional German dubbing...Give it a go,It's actually a classical European legend as much as Troy or Robin Hood are and portrayed by fine Colonial actors.
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on 26 October 2013
I'm currently writing all about costumes within different fairy tale adaptations. This was perfect, and I really enjoyed the slightly different take on this tale, and I found a lot of useful symbolism. It isn't as the title suggests 'A Tale of Terror', but for me this was a good thing as I'm not really into horror films. It just had a darker, more menacing air to it, which is more fitting to the traditional tales. I would recommend to Fairy tale lovers!
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on 22 April 2017
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on 20 April 2017
Scary in parts
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on 18 July 2017
Love this movie
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on 22 November 2004
While it's certainly not a tale of terror, and doesn't even seem to try to be, this is a fantastic movie for adult fantasy fans. Despite not being scary, it is certainly very eerie and beautifully mysterious. It stays much truer to the original, dark storytelling of the Brothers Grimm than the sugared down Disney version. I also found it to be very visually pretty, realistic in its non-fantasy elements, as well as very well costumed. I'd call it a must-see.
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