In the cheeky spirit of The Princess Bride
, Tarsem Singh updates Snow White
for a generation impervious to gentler enchantments. Snow (Lily Collins), imprisoned by her jealous stepmother (Julia Roberts), meets a handsome prince (Armie Hammer). Production designer Tom Foden’s sets include a swirling sky in the evil queen’s bedchamber and a magical forest in the icy grip of tyranny. Eiko Ishioka’s mind-bending wardrobe includes a fantastical white costume ball and armor for the Dwarves with accordion legs, transforming them into giants. (Ishioka died shortly after completing the designs; the film is dedicated to her.) Collins is fine as a fairy tale version of The Hunger Games
’ Katniss Everdeen, and Hammer is surprisingly adorable as the prince. Roberts enjoys her juicy villainy, though she appears rather old next to the dewy Collin—but perhaps that is the point. Singh’s weakness is imbalance between sumptuous appearance and everything else. Still, it’s charming and fun.