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Mirror Mirror is a 2012 American comedy fantasy film based on the fairy tale "Snow White" by the Brothers Grimm. It is directed by Tarsem Singh and stars Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, and Sean Bean.[2] The name derives from the words that the Wicked Queen uses to address her Magic Mirror: "Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?". The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.

PlotEdit

Snow White's mother died in child birth, and her father, the King (Sean Bean), marries Clementianna (Julia Roberts), the most beautiful woman in the land and raises Snow White. One day, the king leaves to fight a great evil that has invaded the land but never returns. Queen Clementianna rules in his absence and keeps Snow White in the palace.

Ten years later, Snow White (Lily Collins) having turned eighteen, desires to see her kingdom. Defying Queen Clementianna's orders, she leaves the palace. Arriving at a forest, she meets Prince Andrew Alcott (Armie Hammer) who has been robbed by thieving dwarfs. She and the Prince are drawn to each other but go their separate ways. Snow White arrives in the town, and finds the once-happy townfolk are destitute due to Queen Clementianna's greed.

Meanwhile, Prince Alcott finds his way to the palace. Queen Clementianna realizes he comes from a wealthy kingdom, and throws a ball to woo the Prince to solve her financial problems. Snow White secretly attends the ball, planning to ask the prince to help her restore the kingdom. Queen Clementianna notices them dancing and orders her manservant Brighton (Nathan Lane) to take the princess into the forest and feed her to the Beast (Frank Welker) that lives there. Brighton takes Snow White to the forest, but he releases her and urges her to run. Snow White flees the Beast and collapses at the door to the Seven Dwarfs' house. She wakes up to find the dwarfs Grimm (Danny Woodburn), Butcher (Martin Klebba), Wolf (Sebastian Saraceno), Napoleon (Jordan Prentice), Half Pint (Mark Povinelli), Grub (Joe Gnoffo), and Chuck (Ronald Lee Clark).

Queen Clementianna leaves another tax to pay for the parties she throws for Prince Alcott. Brighton collects the taxes, but, on the way back to the palace, the dwarfs rob Brighton and steal the money. Snow White sneaks away to return the money. The townspeople and the Town Magistrate (Alex Ivanovici) are overjoyed to have their money back and Snow White lets the Dwarfs take credit for it, earning them the people's acceptance and gratitude.

Meanwhile, Queen Clementianna informs Alcott that Snow White is dead. When the Prince finds out that the bandits have robbed Brighton, he goes after them, unaware of the awful things the Queen has done. In the forest, Alcott discovers that Snow White is alive and in league with the bandits. Each believing the other to be in the wrong, Snow White and Alcott duel. Alcott returns to the Palace defeated and informs the Queen that Snow White is alive.

Queen Clementianna goes to her Magic Mirror, within which lives her reflection, the Mirror Queen (Lisa Roberts Gillan). Displeased that Brighton had lied about Snow White's death, Queen Clementianna has the Mirror Queen turn Brighton into a cockroach (which was for a short time). The Queen requests a love potion so she can make the Prince fall in love with her. The Mirror Queen repeatedly warns Queen Clementianna that there is a price for using dark magic, but Queen Clementianna refuses to listen. The potion, however, turns out to be a 'puppy love' potion and the Prince becomes devoted to her like a puppy dog. Under this spell, the Prince agrees to marry Queen Clementianna. She then uses dark magic to create two giant wooden puppets in the forest and uses them to try and kill Snow White and the Dwarfs. Snow White is able to cut the strings of the puppets and break the spell.

Snow White and the Dwarfs crash the royal wedding and capture the Prince before Queen Clementianna and Brighton arrive. Back in the forest, the still-cursed Prince wishes to return to the Queen. Snow White kisses Alcott and the spell is broken.

Snow White encounters Queen Clementianna who reveals that she can control the Beast that has been plaguing the forest and sends it after Snow White. But the Beast hesitates and Snow White sees that it wears a necklace with a moon charm on it similar to the one the Queen wears. She cuts the chain with her father's dagger and the Beast suddenly becomes engulfed in light. Queen Clementianna begins to age, and the Mirror Queen says this is her consequence for using dark magic. The Beast turns out to be Snow White's father who has no memory of the last ten years.

Grateful to Alcott for his assistance, the king agrees to let him marry Snow White. During the wedding celebration, a crone in a hooded robe appears and offers Snow White an apple (which is poisoned) as a wedding gift. Realizing that the crone is Clementianna, Snow White offers a piece of the apple to Clementianna. Accepting defeat, Clementianna takes the apple as the Mirror House shatters upon the Mirror Queen declaring that it was Snow White's story all along.

The film's epilogue reveals what happened to the Dwarfs: Grimm becomes a teacher again and writes a book of fairy tales, Napoleon becomes a hairdresser, Wolf "returned to his pack", Half-Pint finds a girlfriend, Grub just eats, Butcher becomes a flyweight champion, and Chuck joins the royal circus.

CastEdit

CastingEdit

Roberts was the first to be cast, because very early on Tarsem Singh wanted an Evil Queen with whom audiences could relate. He stated that in the film, the queen is not evil, but rather insecure. He also revealed that the Queen's true ugliness may be revealed at the very end of the film.[3]

Originally Saoirse Ronan was considered for the role of Snow White but the age difference between her and Armie Hammer was too large (he was 25 and she was 17). Felicity Jones was offered the part but turned it down.[4] Collins was eventually cast in the role.[5] Collins said in an interview that her casting happened in 24 hours after she met Tarsem Singh and read for him.[6]

Hammer was cast as the prince who is at first drawn towards the Queen and then towards Snow White. He beat out James McAvoy and Alex Pettyfer for the role.[7]

ProductionEdit

Filming for Mirror Mirror began on June 20, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, under the working title Untitled Snow White Project.[8] Production on the film wrapped in mid-September.[9] The film was officially titled Mirror Mirror on November 4, 2011. The first trailer was released on November 30, 2011 in partnership with Relativity Media and Trailer Park.[10] The teaser poster was released the same day. Mirror Mirror was the last film which Tarsem's regular costume designer, Eiko Ishioka, worked on before her death. The visual effects were done by Wayne Brinton, Tim Carras, Sébastien Moreau and Amanda Dyar.[11]

Relativity Media announced the movie's final cost as being $85 million, though an article in the Los Angeles Times said the true budget was closer to $100 million.[12]

ReleaseEdit

The film was released March 30, 2012 in theaters. The film was originally scheduled for a March 16, 2012 release, but was delayed until a date of March 30, which was announced January 26.[13] Plus, before the March 16 date, a June 29 date had been scheduled. Overall, the film had been rescheduled twice, finally landing on its date of March 30.

Box officeEdit

On its opening day, Mirror Mirror made $5.8 million, coming in at the No. 3 spot behind The Hunger Games and Wrath of the Titans.[14] For its opening weekend, the film earned $18.1 million while holding onto the No. 3 spot at the box office.[15] During its theatrical run, Mirror Mirror grossed $64,935,167 in North America and $97,900,000 internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $162,835,167.[1]

ReceptionEdit

The film received generally mixed reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports the film currently holds a rating of 50% with an average score of 5.6/10 based on 163 critic reviews. The site's general consensus is that "Like most of Tarsem Singh's films, Mirror Mirror is undeniably beautiful – but its treatment of the age-old Snow White fable lacks enough depth or originality to set it apart from the countless other adaptations of the tale."[16] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from film critics, it has an average score of 46 from the 34 reviews, which indicates "Mixed or average reviews".[17]

Robbie Collin from British newspaper The Telegraph gave the film four stars describing it as "an exuberantly charming fairy story that owes as much to the gnarled folk tale illustrations of Arthur Rackham as the stagey, saturated lunacy of that half-loved, half-feared East German fantasy The Singing Ringing Tree. It's a Grimm piece of work, but far from a grim one: without rehashing the seminal Disney animated version, it radiates gorgeousness and good humour with a near-nuclear intensity." Collin praised costume designer Eiko Ishioka's work, saying "every outfit in Mirror Mirror is a masterpiece". He concluded the film is "the opposite of Tim Burton's brash, chaotic, dispiritingly popular Alice in Wonderland: here, the artistry of the cast and crew leaps off the screen, not 3D computer graphics."[18]

Home mediaEdit

Mirror Mirror was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 26, 2012.[19]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nominated [20]
Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lily Collins Nominated
2013 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Villain Julia Roberts Nominated [21]
85th Academy Awards Best Costume Design Eiko Ishioka Nominated [22]

International releaseEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The movie grossed $183,018,522 worldwide.

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