Photo: Relativity Media; Universal Pictures
For the better part of this past year, rival Snow White movies Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman have been battling it out behind the scenes, but we didn’t get a good glimpse at either film until this past week. Now, with trailers for both of them online, which version of Snow White is the fairest of them all? Vulture has decided to pit the movies head-to-head in a variety of categories in the hopes of sussing out the eventual box office winner, because as the Brothers Grimm wrote in their original fairy tale, “There can be only one!” (We’re paraphrasing a bit.)
1. Evil Queen
Huntsman’s Charlize Theron is vamping like she’s in a psychotic Dior ad, while Mirror’s Julia Roberts is basically giving Courteney Cox’s performance in the inevitable ABC Family version of Snow White (which they should definitely rush into production for next summer!). The accents for both women are shaky — we keep expecting Theron to bust out with “Rita corny, Michael!” — but Huntsman’s still got the edge.
2. Snow White
Huntsman’s Kristen Stewart has the most exciting arc and the more convincing action scenes, but the trailer gives her nary a line of dialogue. Meanwhile, Mirror’s Lily Collins has plenty to say and smiles brightly through all of it like she’s Denise Richards in Starship Troopers. Poor Stewart will get more of the “She’s supposed to be fairer than the Evil Queen?!” chatter, but mute or no, we’re more intrigued by what she’s going to do with the character.
3. Handsome Prince
Huntsman’s prince is more of a stooge — he’s played by Sam Claflin, though he’s essentially a fourth lead after macho hero Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman. Meanwhile, Mirror has Armie Hammer baring his chest, wearing high-waisted Errol Flynn pants, and frantically suggesting to Julia Roberts (while under the influence of a “puppy love” potion) that she could rub his tummy. He’s basically Prince Eric come to life.
Mirror cast actual little people as its dwarves, but made them say things like “Snow White? Snow way!” and “Say hello to my little friend.” Compare that to Huntsman’s shrunken-down dwarves, which include Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, and Ian freakin’ McShane. Sold, sold, sold, and very sold.
Huntsman’s costumes are “good” in the sense that they are well made, beautiful to look at, and not distracting. Mirror’s costumes are “good” in the sense that they are insane. Designer Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Immortals) has pulled out all the “I am a delightful crazy person” stops on this one, from Lily Collins in a Björk swan cap to Armie Hammer in bunny ears over his top hat. And she is a brave person for attempting to place non-noted clothes wearer Julia Roberts in both ridiculous haute couture and the color yellow.
6. Special Effects
There’s a fair amount of obvious CG in the Huntsman trailer (especially with that Magic Mirror), but it pays off in a number of striking shots, like when Theron emerges from a milk bath looking ready to be stuck on a wooden popsicle stick and sold on the boardwalk. On the other hand, Mirror’s cheese factor is significantly ramped up by what we have to believe is the intentionally artificial nature of its sets. When a horse-drawn coach clomps down a cliffside road in Mirror, you don’t wonder where you’re going, you wonder how they managed to get all that through the soundstage door.
7. Batshit Insanity
Do we even need to explain this one?
Yes, Snow White and the Huntsman is the ultimate victor in this contest, but Mirror Mirror still put on a fair showing, thanks to its unexpected and off-the-charts awfulsome potential. Mirror Mirror makes Vulture’s former ridiculous obsession Real Steel look like The Debt! We are so in on both of these movies, and in such promisingly different ways. Who’s the fairest of them all? Girls, girls: You’re both pretty.