ⓘ Blancanieves


ⓘ Blancanieves

Blancanieves is a 2012 Spanish black-and-white silent drama film written and directed by Pablo Berger. Based on the 1812 fairy tale "Snow White" by the Brothers Grimm, the story is set in a romantic vision of 1920s Andalusia. Berger calls it a "love letter to European silent cinema."

Blancanieves was Spains 85th Academy Awards official submission to Best Foreign Language category, but it did not make the shortlist. The film won the Special Jury Prize and an ex-aequo Best Actress "Silver Shell" Award for Macarena Garcia at the 2012 San Sebastian International Film Festival. It was also nominated in every category for which it was eligible at the 27th Goya Awards except for Best Sound, winning ten Goya Awards, including the Best Film.


1. Cast

  • Sofia Oria as Carmencita, little Carmen
  • Ramon Barea as Don Martin, Antonios manager
  • Pere Ponce as Genaro Bilbao, Encarnas chauffeur
  • Maribel Verdu as Encarna, the evil stepmother
  • Macarena Garcia as Carmen Villalta / Blancanieves
  • Emilio Gavira as Jesusin "Grumpy"
  • Daniel Gimenez Cacho as Antonio Villalta, the father
  • Angela Molina as Doña Concha, the grandmother
  • Inma Cuesta as Carmen de Triana, the mother
  • Josep Maria Pou as Don Carlos, the impresario

2. Production

The inspiration for the film began when writer-director Pablo Berger saw a photograph of bullfighting dwarves in España Oculta 1989, ISBN 8477820686, by Cristina Garcia Rodero. By 2003, Berger had written Blancanieves and was working to raise funds for it soon after his film Torremolinos 73 was appearing at festivals; eight years later, in May 2011, he was working on the storyboards for Blancanieves and about to begin principal photography when news reached him that The Artist had been shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival:

"Nobody knew about The Artist until it appeared in Cannes. It was completely out of the blue. I was in my office in Madrid, doing the storyboards for my film, when a producer friend sent me a text message from the festival saying, Ive just seen The Artist, its black and white and silent and its going to be huge. I almost threw my phone against the wall. The high concept was gone."

According to Berger, Blancanieves is a "love letter to European silent cinema. especially French. Abel Gance for me is God. Movies like Napoleon, JAccuse!, La Roue are extraordinary."


3. Reception

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Blancanieves holds an approval rating of 94%, based on 106 reviews, and an average rating of 7.8/10. Its consensus reads, "Smartly written and beautiful to behold, Blancanieves uses its classic source material to offer a dark tale, delightfully told." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 82 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "Universal acclaim".

The Guardians Peter Bradshaw called it "extraordinarily enjoyable", awarding it five stars out of five and saying Pablo Berger "finds new life and heart in the old myth – certainly more than the recent Hollywood retreads – and daringly locates possibilities for both evil and romance in the ranks of the dwarves themselves"; the director "takes inspiration from Hitchcock, with hints of Rebecca and Psycho, Buñuel, Browning and Almodovar, and conjures a fascinatingly ambiguous ending: melancholy, eerie and erotic. A film to treasure."

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars, writing that the film "Is a full-bodied silent film of the sort that might have been made by the greatest directors of the 1920s, if such details as the kinky sadomasochism of this films evil stepmother could have been slipped past the censors." Later, he chose it to be shown at the 2013 Roger Eberts Overlooked Film Festival.