Snow White & the Huntsman (2012) * * * *
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart
Snow White & the Huntsman (SWATH) is a stunningly beautiful, visually stimulating, gorgeous movie, from beginning to end. Charlize Theron gives a superb performance as the evil queen, and quite easily steals the entire movie. Chris Hemsworth also does an amazing and emotionally loaded rendition of the Huntsman, as a heart broken widower who slowly and quietly comes to love the title character of Snow White.
Unfortunately, Kristen Stewart isn't even in the same league as her co-stars when it comes to acting. If the script calls for her to gaze vacantly into the near-middle distance, and breathe heavily, then she's all right. As soon as any sort of real emotion is called for, she falls flat on her face, and simply cannot keep up. Thankfully she ultimately wasn't asked to do too much, as the movie really seems to be more about the people around her than it is about Snow herself. The movie is all about the Queen and her motivations for wanting Snow dead, and the Huntsman who decides to try to protect Snow, and the dwarves who help Snow get to where she needs to be, and the childhood friend who is desperately in love with the person that he thinks Snow is, and all of these people move Snow around and through the movie, like a pawn on a chessboard. THEY are all fantastic, while Snow just seems to drift.
I also felt that the film didn't quite follow through on the promise that seems to be inherent in the title. One reasonably expects the film to be about Snow White, and someone called the Huntsman. His feelings for her become more obvious as the film goes on, and Snow "seems" to become quite fond of and dependent on him, (she gazes vacantly into the distance and breathes heavily, so I think that means she loves him too? Right?), but the film never quite follows up on their feelings for each other in any sort of real or meaningful way.
In spite of my personal dislike for Stewart and her acting abilities, SWATH is an amazing and beautiful movie and I highly recommend it. Watching it will completely erase that other Snow White movie from your memory, and rightly so.