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Blancanieves (Silent) 2009 NR

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4.5 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 7.5/10

A re-telling of the classic "Snow White," Blancanieves is a breathtakingly beautiful homage to the black-and-white Golden Age of European silent cinema, set in a romanticized 1920s Seville.

Starring:
Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ramón Barea
Runtime:
1 hour, 44 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Drama
Director Pablo Berger
Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ramón Barea
Supporting actors Inma Cuesta, Ángela Molina, Ignacio Mateos, Maribel Verdú, Carmen Belloch, Teresa Soria Ruano, Sofía Oria, Lito, Tomás, Pere Ponce, Carmen Segarra, Pep Ferrer, Manel Castillejos, Macarena García, Sergio Dorado, Emilio Gavira, Alberto Martínez, Jinson Añazco
Studio Cohen Media Group
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Last year, when ‘Blancanieves’ was released (yes, this was released in 2012 over in Spain and was submitted, but rejected, to the Academy for the Foreign Language Film category), there was a lot of murmuring over the internet about the fact that this was a silent film. Ignorant ‘wannabe’ cinephiles were balking at it, calling it a gimmick and accusing it of capitalizing on the sudden rush of fame (and Academy embrace) of 2011’s ‘The Artist’. This was such a sad happening because we simply don’t have enough creativity in film these days, and a rebirth of the silent film genre would hopefully spark some newfound imagination in filmmakers. While it has become almost cool to ‘poo-poo’ all over ‘The Artist’ as being shamelessly gimmicky and Academy pandering, I still love the film. No, it doesn’t make my top ten of 2011, but I still really enjoyed it and while it has some pretty lazy screenwriting, it has loads of charm and flash and made me smile ear to ear with each viewing.

Dismissing ‘Blancanieves’ simply because you are fearing or expecting ‘The Artist’ redux is a shame, because this film is FAR different in tone and construction and manages to not just be a very good film, it is a BETTER film for many reasons.

‘Blancanieves’ attempts to put yet another twist on the ‘Snow White’ story. Yes, 2012 was stupid with ‘Snow White’ remakes, and while the two US releases (‘Mirror Mirror’ and ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’) may have soured you to the idea of a modern cinematic take on the fable, I encourage you to forget your quibbles and just give Pablo Berger’s inspired take a try. Yes, it is in black and white. Yes, it is silent. Yes, it is foreign.

Who cares!
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Format: DVD
Despite its warm critical reception in its native country of Spain, I still wasn't overly excited to check out Pablo Berger's "Blancanieves." I'm not sure why exactly. An updating of Snow White done as a silent film set in the world of bullfighting: perhaps it seemed a bit too high concept, a little too precious for its own good. But knowing that the movie had won the 2013 Goya Award for Best Film (Spain's equivalent of the Academy Award) and was selected as their official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film, I felt compelled to check it out. Boy, am I glad that I didn't listen to myself! From the opening scenes, I was captivated by this dark and lovely tale. Somehow it manages to be true to the essence of the Grimm fairy tale on which it was based while serving as an eloquent homage to a movie era gone by. In equal measures, the experience is lush and romantic, dark and scary, and fantastical and whimsical. With minimal dialogue (on classic silent movie screen cards), Berger deftly balances these disparate tones and has created something that seems wholly unique. Despite my initial reluctance to commit, I was utterly charmed by this piece.

The tale starts on a very dark day. A famous bullfighter (Daniel Giménez Cacho) faces a terrible ordeal in the ring which causes his pregnant wife to go into labor. When all is said and done, the bullfighter is paralyzed and the young mother has lost her life. Little Carmen (Sofía Oria) still struggles to have a normal childhood with her grandmother, but her existence will forever be altered when she is forced to move in with her ailing dad and his sadistic new bride (a terrific Maribel Verdú, a long way from her "Y tu mamá también" days).
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Format: DVD
There is an implicit understanding between author/auteur and his audience. For example, Edgar Allen Poe will give you all sorts of dreadful things, but he does it in an imaginative manner and makes you think. Fairy tales present us with terrible images (kids being baked in ovens, women being swallowed) but promise us happy endings after all is said and done. So when you have a re-telling of the Snow White story, we expect there to be some savage images, but in the end our long suffering princess will eventually triumph, get the prince, and live, as they say, happily ever after.

If you're one of those people who thirst for the happy ending, stop here. This original and imaginative version of the Snow White tale gives us many things, but it doesn't provide that happy ending we've come to expect, and that may turn off many viewers.

OK. If you can put aside the breach of the covenant between author/audience, then this film is certainly worth watching. Its finest charm is that the film is silent, apart from the music and occasional sound effects. Kudos go to Maribel Verdu as the wicked stepmother, Daniel Gimenez Cacho as the bull-fighting father, Angela Molina as the grandmother, and little Sofia Oria as the young Snow White. Their ability to show emotion without words is excellent.

Most of them will not be well known to US audiences. They are primarily Spanish actors. Maribel Verdu played Mercedes in "Pam's Labrynth" (2006) and Daniel Cacho was in "Get the Gringo" (2012). This is the first film for little Sofia Oria.

Dare I say that the quality of this silent film surpasses the much touted "The Artist" (2011) which was a major award winner.
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