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The classical Snow White tale is set in a romantic vision of 1920s Spain, as an affectionate blackand- white homage to the Golden Age of Europe’s silent cinema, where a young girl escapes from her wicked stepmother to find fame as a matador.

Celebrated matador Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho) has come to the last round, when he smiles to his pregnant wife at the tribunes and thus loses his focus on the most important moment. He is rushed to the hospital, where he later finds that he has become paralyzed and his beautiful wife has died in premature labor. In the lust for money and fame, one of the nurses – Encarna (Maribel Verdú) soon enough marries the torero. Carmencita, the daughter of Antonio, now works in the villa as the lowest of servants, but only to the day her father dies, when she escapes from the evil stepmother to find herself picked up by a traveling band of bullfighting dwarves.

Humorous, yet melodramatic BLANCANIEVES as Pablo Berger’s rethink on the classical story is definately the most original adaption of the year, retelling the timeless story in a culturally specific new context, its distinctive flavor enhanced by Alfonso de Vilallonga’s sumptuous, flamenco-inflected score. The generally lucid and imaginative cinematography gives us visuals that range from from grotesque to poignant, making the film in overall director’s tribute to Europe’s silent cinema as a charming curio that cleverly reshapes a classic fairy tale. To those, who loved „The Artist”, this film will be treat.

Maria Reinup

BLANCANIEVES was nominated by Spain for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.