Top positive review
40 people found this helpful
Gothic, Beautiful, truly Grimm...
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.