Mirror, Mirror

The Nominations:

  • Costume Design – Eiko Ishioka

The Black-and-White:

A review by moviegirl

You may recall (or not) that 2012 was the year of the dueling Snow White movies, both of which have been nominated for Best Costume Design. Mirror, Mirror was the funny one.

(You don’t really need a synopsis, do you? It’s pretty much the regular Snow White fairy tale, except that the dwarves don’t have the Disney names and Snow’s father has disappeared rather than died. There are also some funny twists with the prince, but overall it’s really just the same story you’re already familiar with — and I mean that in a good way.)

Director Tarsem Singh has filled this production saturated colors and exaggerated shapes, and the sets and the costumes are visually stunning. It’s what a live-action version of a cartoon might look like.

Julia Roberts plays the evil queen, with Nathan Lane as the queen’s henchman Brighton, Lily Collins as Snow White, and Armie Hammer as the prince. Armie Hammer spends a remarkable amount of the movie shirtless. I’m just saying.

Princess stories are all about the costumes, and Eiko Ishioka really delivers in the huge poufy dress department. Yards and yards of fluffy silks and satins in deep colors reminiscent of a Bollywood extravaganza (as opposed to the anemic pastels of the Disney princesses), with amazing and fanciful construction (as opposed to sequins and glitz). The highlight of the movie to me is the costume ball where Snow White and the Prince meet for the second time: he, dressed as a rabbit, and she as a swan. The detail in each costume is exquisite while remaining wholly dignified and appropriate for the occasion.

This is Ishioka’s final film and she has some strong competition from the three 19th century corset dramas and the other Snow White adaptation. Of the three I’ve seen, however, I think that Ishioka’s work is the most original. I’ll definitely be voting for her in our “who should win” poll.

Mirror, Mirror is currently available streaming on Netflix, and fun to watch on a rainy afternoon. Be sure to stick around for the credits, too!

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