Directed by Tarsem Singh
Costume Design (Eiko Ishioka)
2012 / 106 Minutes
Director Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror bills itself as a comedic take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White. I don’t know about you, but personally, I felt that we really, really, needed two big budget Hollywood adaptions of the same story in the same calendar year. This particular version takes the opportunity to ask one very serious question of its viewers that the other missed however:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Who has the bushiest eyebrows of them all?
I know what you’re thinking. My money was on former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis as well, but this role called for just a touch more in the way of femininity. Enter Lilly Collins. I guess she was in a couple of episodes of that horrible 90210 reboot on the CW? Sounds like a winning resume to me!
Is she a chick? Check. Does she have the right size rain catchers? Check. She’ll be perfectly distracting as Snow White!
Playing the evil to her purity is Julia Roberts in the role of the wicked queen. Not for nothing, but I’d imagine that hundreds of scripts must come across Ms. Roberts desk during any given calendar year. I can’t help but wonder what made her think that this particular gem would be a good one to say yes to. Let’s just pretend that she made an honest mistake and lost a lot of cash in a pyramid scheme and that she needed to attach herself to a new project really quickly as a result. The alternative, the fact that she may have actually wanted to make this movie, is downright frightening.
For the record, Roberts’ performance is the one nearly-good thing the film has to offer. Her turn as the girl hating, beauty obsessed queen is wickedly delightful. She’s the perfect blend of evil and funny. It’s basically everything and everyone else around her that drags the film way down.
For example, would it have seriously been that hard to pick one single accent for all of the characters to adhere to? Armie Hammer who plays the role of the idiot Prince Alcott (apparently he’s a CW alum as well, having starred in a few episodes of Gossip Girl) can’t even be bothered to pretend that he’s anything but American, even though his loyal subject and faithful companion clearly has a British accent.
The script is mess, calling for circus like dwarves who thieve their way through life by pretending they are giants and an evil CGI beast that’s so damn adorable it just begs for you reach your hand into the screen and pet it. All of the dialog is stale. The acting is horrible. The production design and the set pieces are atrociously cheese-tastic. And the costumes are equal parts hideous and ridiculous.
The best-worst moment of the entire film comes at the end, and it features Snow White and a large cast of white folks lip synching and dancing to a Bollywood-esque song called “I Believe In Love (Mirror, Mirror Mix).” I don’t ever want to be subjected to the “original” mix, thank you very much. The Internet Movie Database claims that Snow White actress Lily Collins actually performs the song. I don’t know if that’s somehow better or worse. Les Mis this ain’t.
You don’t need a magic mirror to confirm for you what you already know: from start to finish, Mirror, Mirror is an $85 million dollar disaster that should be avoided at all costs.
Looking for more Oscars coverage? Click here to access and download our complete guide to all of this year’s nominated titles and browse links to each of our reviews.