Given the 2012 release of "Mirror, Mirror" as well as "Snow White and the Huntsman," filmmakers are clearly drawn to a malleable myth of female heroism. Once upon a time, the ending was a romantic couple that would live happily ever after. Now, the abused, kind and brave Snow White becomes her own evolved self, whether as a warrior or a matador.
"Blancanieves" is the most thrilling of the adaptations, partly because of its evocative time and place -- 1920s Spain, where a matador is like a king. Paradoxically (and like "The Artist"), the film is both self-consciously stylized and emotionally charged, balancing formal dexterity with melodrama. Berger shifts the emphasis from the traditional romance of the fairy tale to the growing love between a widower and his daughter; and instead of a prince appearing, the imprisoned child becomes a matador herself.
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