Critics Consensus

Smartly written and beautiful to behold, Blancanieves uses its classic source material to offer a dark tale, delightfully told.



Total Count: 109


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,163
User image

Watch it now

Blancanieves Photos

Movie Info

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by her evil stepmother. One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarves, and became a legend. Set in southern Spain in 1920s, Blancanieves is a tribute to silent films. (c) Cohen Media Group


News & Interviews for Blancanieves

Critic Reviews for Blancanieves

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (6)

  • It's like watching a gorgeous tragi-comic opera written by Dickens and co-directed by Fellini and Almodovar.

    Dec 8, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film is exquisitely shot and Macarena Garcia is achingly gorgeous as the fawn-eyed Carmen/Snow White.

    Dec 8, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • What Berger does with the actors, the sight gags, the close-ups, the music, the photography is close to perfection.

    Jan 3, 2014 | Full Review…
  • This year's crowded field of Snow White movies has a winner, at least in terms of quality, in Pablo Berger's delightful Blancanieves.

    Nov 27, 2013 | Full Review…

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • Berger, like his rad forebear Luis Bunuel, marries poetry to film.

    Nov 27, 2013 | Full Review…
  • While the story, shorn of its supernatural elements, is mired in abuse and tragedy, its effect is sensual and superficial.

    Nov 27, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blancanieves

  • Jul 01, 2015
    An interesting take on the old Snow White legend with beautiful production and costume design.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2014
    Matador Snow White and the Six Bullfighting Dwarves! Well, that's a twist! Whereas <i>The Artist</i> felt like "I want to revive an era", <i>Blancanieves</i> felt more like "I want to try that too!" Pablo Berger attempted, however, what few can accomplish successfully: to create a silent film in the current state of the movie industry, where the risk of a project is high, from both a financial point of view and from a studio perspective. Now, if we are purists, <i>Blancanieves</i> follows the silent formula less faithfully than <i>The Artist</i>. It doesn't feel like a <i>silent film</i> per se, but as a black and white film with no sound. This can be said because of the filmmaking style. It is rather uneven, making transitions between the editing, camera and musical score techniques of the 20s, and a more modern approach, with a dynamic camera that moves through spaces to reveal gestures, sceneries and shocking moments. In one moment, you feel like traveling back 90 years into the past, and at others, it is a Spanish melodrama with its inevitable sexualized quirkiness and the most recent technical celluloid features. So, the most fundamental question about the whole show is: Does the plot justify the creation of a silent film? The answer is: YES. To begin with, the story is a twist on the famous tale. This was very smart excuse for the filmmakers to use the context of the 20s and portray a pre-war Spain. This makes the whole silent-cinema-tribute deal cuter. Seriously, the film couldn't feel any more Spanish, with its display of dance numbers, flamenco elements and the (disgusting and animal torturer, but undeniably folkloric) matador subculture. Secondly, it is a simplistic story. Silent cinema allows for some peculiar utilizations of the music, the facial gestures and the 'theatrical' mannerisms required in actors to participate in this kind of project. With this, therefore, the movie was taken to another level of magic and entertainment. It is easy to imagine it as a very boring and plain sound feature. And it is in the acting part where the great Maribel Verdú shines. With a strong onscreen presence and unique facial expressions, her character of "Encarna" was a vehicle for expanding her already admirable versatility. I won't stop supporting these projects despite their flaws, because the intention is the same: to revive an old art form of different talents. Well done! 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2014
    I was lucky enough to track this Spanish black-and-white silent romantic fantasy drama recommended to me by one of my RT friends recently, through my Serbian links. This movie is very popular in Europe and I got the version with Serbian subtitles (excellent translation, by the way). Written and directed by Pablo Berger and losely based on the fairy tale "Snow White" by the Brothers Grimm, everything is happening in the 1920s Andalusia, set up as a romantic vision or as a "love letter to European silent cinema" - to quote the director! This was Spain's 85th Academy Awards official submission to Best Foreign Language category, but it did not make the shortlist, but won the Special Jury Prize and an ex-aequo Best Actress "Silver Shell" Award for Macarena García at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival and also won ten Goya Awards, including the Goya Award for Best Film at the 27th Goya Awards. The long process of making this movie started when Pablo Berger saw a photograph of bullfighting dwarves in a book España Oculta by the photographer Cristina García Rodero, so bBy 2003, Berger had written Blancanieves and was working to raise funds for it soon after his film Torremolinos 73 was appearing at festivals. Raising money took eight years later, and while he was working on the storyboards and about to begin principal photography in May 2011, he was devastated. News reached him that The Artist had been shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and it was almost identical concept. These are the directors words, "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, 'I've just seen The Artist, it's black and white and silent and it's going to be huge.' I almost threw my phone against the wall. The high concept was gone." I have to say that it was extraordinarily enjoyable watching the story and amazingly enchanting (evil) Maribel Verdu, but the credits should be given to the young Sofia Oria as Carmencita / Blancanieves and her older version acted by Macarena García (the one with the Best Actress award). Evil and romance were everywhere - even the dwarfs had it! I never thought that a children story inspiration could have such fascinatingly ambiguous ending... it had the right proportion of melancholy, eerie and erotic elements ... one of the critics said that this is "a film to treasure", and I will do just that!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2013
    We really need more films like this in the world. I don't mean silent, black-and-white films. I mean films that take risks and try to do something unique and fresh. Granted, this film came on the heels of The Artist, another incredible movie, so it's not like this type of film isn't being done, there are a bunch of silent films on the independent level. What separates this from The Artist is that I think, while it's a fantastic movie, it was a slave to its influences. And, in a way, you could say the same for this movie, but I felt that this film did a better job at creating a wholly unique film that stands out on its own, despite the fact that it's a re-imagining of a very familiar fairy tale. It creates its own story that's really just a joy to watch, despite the fact that I do think that it runs a little longer than it should, especially for a film of this type. I think things could've been sped up and the film would've been better for it. Not that I have a problem, because this is the type of movie that's just a joy to watch, you just have a lot of fun watching and figuring out what the film's gonna throw at you next. While the outline of the concept is pretty much the same as Snow White, the film tells the story in its own way and that's part of what makes it so good. Seeing how they take a familiar story and give a whole new, and clever, twist to it is really fun. The acting, particularly by Maribel Verdu as the villain of the film, is pretty top-notch. Yes, the film is silent but the story is still exceptionally told by the characters' actions or body language. The best at this, by far, is Maribel Verdu. The way she carries herself, her facial expressions, and her body language are outstanding. You don't have to hear her and she's still an incredibly effective villain. One of the most effective I've seen in a while, actually. And Macarena Garcia is great as Blancanieves as well. Because, unlike Kristen Stewart in that Snow White movie she did, Macarena actually has that charm and charisma that would naturally draw people to rally around her the way the dwarfs did. And, again, she does all of this without ever saying a word. Her presence definitely adds a lot to the movie. The story is really well-told, it uses all the "cliches" from silent films, intertitles (where they explain what's happening or show you what a character is saying), using the music score in place of dialogue in order to sell suspense, comedy, drama, etc. But it's still got a strong story and a very enjoyable one at that too. That's about it really, the only problem I have with the film is its length. Other than that, the rest of the movie is incredible and it's definitely a film that film lovers have to see.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

Blancanieves Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features