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Film review: Blancanieves (12A)


The Grimms' Snow White is reimagined as a story of Spanish bullfighters of the 1920s in Pablo Berger's black-and-white charmer. Carmencita (Sofía Oria) is set to work as a drudge by her evil stepmother (Maribel Verdú) yet comes to love her father (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a once-celebrated matador now hidden away with his injuries and memories.

 In time, the girl blooms into a dark-haired beauty (Macarena García) who inherits dad's skills and joins a travelling troupe of bullfighting dwarves.

That's not even the most striking aspect of this reinvention – Blancanieves is a modern silent, as romantic in its way as The Artist, and blessed with a similar crowd-pleasing comedy.

No film this year will look as swooningly beautiful, its deep-focus monochrome vividly rendered by the cinematographer Kiko de la Rica, and not many will sound as good, either, thanks to a score by Alfonso de Vilallonga that switches from operatic lushness to fiery flamenco and back. Olé!