Friday, June 9, 2023


March 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The verdict of most critics on Mirror Mirror: fair. No poison apples but plenty of daggers. We take it back — there are a few bad apples. Kyle Smith’s review in the New York Post is utterly lethal (and probably funnier than the movie itself, judging from the other critics’ remarks). “As garish-looking as Versailles reimagined by Donald Trump,” he begins, “as boring as a dead carp and as campy as a boxed set of Project Runway, this would-be kiddie comedy directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals) features, as Snow White, Lily Collins and her eyebrows — black furry things that resemble Robin Williams’ forearms.” Sandie Angulo Chen in the Washington Post offers a similar verdict on Collins (the daughter of Genesis singer Phil) “As Snow White, actress Lily Collins is a washout,” she writes. But unlike Smith, Chen likes the costumes and scenery, praising the “vivid set design, sweeping landscapes and elaborate costumes.” On the other hand, Ty Burr in the Boston Globe views Collins in a different mirror. “Best thing here? A charmingly demure Lily Collins as Snow White, balancing the script’s demands that she wield a dagger and turn fight-scene somersaults with a princess-like grace.” Burr loathes the performance of Julia Roberts, however. “If this isn’t the single most irritating performance of Roberts’s career, I’d be hard-pressed to name what is,” he remarks. Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News agrees. Roberts, he says, “acts here as if simply appearing in a floofy dress is high hilarity. Her “playfulness” seems like work and her cartoony maliciousness is dull.” Manohla Dargis in the New York Times praises the look of the film, writing that director Singh “knows how to make performers and sets look good.” But the actors, she writes, look as if “they had been art directed into place instead of cut loose.” Many of the reviews are similarly mixed — and at odds with one another. “All we get are scattered bits of cleverness, some hit and some miss,” complains Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle, while allowing that Julia Roberts’s evil queen is “self-assured and arch and more funny than scary … the best thing about the picture.” And Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times agrees. “Julia Roberts steals the show with her imperious and autocratic Queen,” he says. Overall, he concludes, it all “looks great, but the dialogue is rather flat, the movie sort of boring.” And Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times concludes that the sets and costumes give “this mostly conventional princess story its fair share of romantic froth and more than a little moxie.” His take on Roberts: She makes “an exceptionally entertaining evil monarch.”