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"Blancanieves": Snow White and the Seven Bullfighters 

Wednesday, Apr 17 2013
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There are two kinds of modern-day Snow White retellings: Those that cast actual Little People, and those that use camera tricks and CGI to debigulate average-sized actors. (See also: Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies.) Pablo Berger's black-and-white silent homage Blancanieves is perfectly cromulent in this regard, using Little People to portray the seven Bullfighting Dwarves; such digital tomfoolery probably wouldn't have been within the film's budget, and definitely not within its silent-film aesthetic. The story is set against the bullfighting world of 1920s Spain, as young Carmen (Macarena García), the amnesiac daughter of bullfighting champion Antonio (Daniel Giménez Cacho), barely escapes from the toothy clutches of her wicked stepmother Encarna (Y Tu Mamá También's Maribel Verdu, looking quite a lot like Megan Draper), and is rescued by the aforementioned Bullfighting Dwarves — who name her Snow White (Blancanieves), "just like the story." That's the extent of Blancanieves' self-aware winks, thankfully, and otherwise it endeavors to honor both the dark tone and the playfulness of the original fairy tale. And like the best of the original silent films, it mostly tells its story through pictures and music, with very few intertitles. Blancanieves is fun, funny, and beautiful to look at, with a genuinely surprising and moving ending. And Pepe is best rooster!

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Sherilyn Connelly

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