10 Reasons NOT To See Snow White and The Huntsman

Early on in Snow White and the Huntsman, our “heroine”–and I use that term loosely–played by Kristen Stewart, dives into a sewer to escape the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). Near the close of the film, some two hours later, the seven dwarfs wade through a sewer. These two scatological bookends are an apt framing device for a film that made me feel, for most of its 127 minutes, that I was wading through shit.

Let me count the ways this film failed to live up to my most basic expectations as a feminist and a filmgoer.

  1. Snow White, the most passive “heroine” in history. This version of Snow White is special not because of what she does, but because of who she is. She is full of natural goodness–healing those around her with her very presence, bringing about magic with that beautiful green-eyed gaze and pouty lip-bite. Yes, near the end she finally grabs a sword and some armor, but it’s too little, too late.
  2. The rest of the characters are flat. You don’t care about them. Not one iota. They do not rally allegiance or conjure hatred. They are merely blank, shiny chess pieces moving across a very nice filmic board that consists of a mish-mash of wiz-bang special effects and breathtaking visuals. Even the queen is one-note, with an affected voice and no motivation other than her mirror’s directives. Theron, usually a powerhouse, was either off her game or unable to transcend subpar material–whatever the case, this is no Monster or North Country. Stewart? Well, she was the typical lip-biting, face-pulling, wide-eyed, grimacing KStew. Isn’t she always?
  3. The film’s modus operandi is to vilify female aging. Of course, that’s the stuff of the original fairy tale, but this umpteenth iteration does nothing to complicate the material. It was a brilliant opportunity for a feminist critique of how we’re sold a bill of goods about beauty and immortality. Instead, Snow White and the Huntsman acts as though the desires for these things spring only from the brains of crazy women. Once again we get the same ole message that not only do women get ugly as they age, but they also get evil. The camera focuses obsessively on the Queen’s disappearing and reappearing wrinkles as she snaps from old age to youth and back. Like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, the film could have taken this opportunity to satirize Hollywood’s grotesque fixation on youthfulness; instead it asks us to shudder at—horror of horrors—a woman’s wrinkled face.
  4. Race, class and gender. Not only does the film stick to Hollywood’s usual lopsided gender ratio–several men per each woman onscreen–it also creates an extremely white-skinned world. Apparently, dwarfs of color don’t exist. The class politics are also ghastly: A “noble” birthright makes Snow White automatically magical, while the poor villagers either look like they wandered off the set of Deliverance or sport a vague look of racial otherness via the tear scars etched onto their faces. (Yes, this is as inexplicable as it sounds.)
  5. The confusing attempts to “historicize” the story. Why does Snow White recite the Lord’s Prayer? I don’t recall her having a specific religious affiliation (maybe to distance her from the Islamic coding of the tear-scarred village women?) Why, like Elizabeth Bathory, is the Queen so hungry for virginal blood and milk-bathing? Who knows, but it sure makes for visually catching scenes!
  6. The evil feminist. At the outset of the film, the Queen kills her latest husband and says with vengeful breathiness, “Men use women. They ruin us and when they are finished with us, they offer us to the dogs like scraps.” The film thus sets her up as a straw “man-hating feminist” for us to revile, but her brand of feminism is one no Ms. reader would recognize. Actually, the Queen is the one to ruin people and treat them like scraps, in a decidedly un-feminist matter. Meanwhile, the film is devoid of any real feminist hero–certainly it’s not Snow White, who can’t seem to even comprehend gender. Near the end, she shouts, “Who will be my brother?” as she tries to rally her troops, many of them women, to her cause.
  7. Everyone creeping on Snow White. One dwarf gets his jollies by resting his head between Snow White’s breasts. The Queen’s villainous brother admits to watching Snow White sleep in her cell (hello Edward Cullen!) and then, after she has “come of age,” attempts to sexually assault her. (What age is that exactly? Rape-able age?) And don’t get me started on the Huntsman’s methods of seduction (see point 10, below). The film seems unaware of its own sexual creepiness–or are we to accept unwanted older male advances on Snow White as natural?
  8. The sickeningly sweet moments. Do we need the fairies that look like miniaturized, white-washed Na’vi? Must Snow White find a white horse on a deserted beach, tame a troll with her kind gaze and exchange looks of love with a hugely antlered deer? I don’t know if there was some bestiality undercurrent I missed or if all the male characters were on lunch break, but there was a strangely large number of scenes where Snow White looks lovingly at a large member  mammal. And a fairy sanctuary? Really?
  9. The hodgepodge of genres. Pastiche can be done brilliantly, but in this case, it feels like someone flipping at random through the movie channels. There are bits of Lord of the Rings here, touches of Harry Potter there, a sprinkling of Gladiator over here and yes, even cliff-jumping, death-shuddering, oh-you-are-my-true-love Twilight-esque moments there. It is like a spoof without any humor, unless you count one dwarf’s reply to the accusation that he’s had too much to drink: “No I haven’t, it’s the mushrooms!” Cue Snow White hallucinating in a dark forest. Sorry, filmmakers, but the Alice in Wonderland chic falls flat, too.
  10. The Huntsman. In some scruffy, unbathed, unshaven, older-alcoholic way, the huntsman is supposed to make sense as Snow White’s true love. This is hurl-inducing enough given his sexism (he scoffs that a woman could never survive the dark forest). But it gets downright creepy when he cuts the skirt off of Snow White’s dress–a move redolent of sexual assault. When Snow White responds with understandable fear, he hisses, “Don’t flatter yourself.” Yes, this is the “hero” that she fixes her eyes upon in the film’s final shot. Who cares she has defeated the throaty-voiced Queen of the now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t wrinkles? Who cares that she is now ruler of the kingdom? What matters is him. He even gets a piece of the title: Snow White and the Huntsman. What the hell did he do to deserve his name up there in lights? It’s bad enough that she doesn’t even have character traits to fall back on other than being pure and pretty, now she has to share the spotlight with Mr. Pocket Flask? And on that note, it is his lesson about a knife to the heart that ultimately saves her. So, even though Snow White kills the Queen, he gave her the knowledge to do so. Her moment in armor? That was just a brief blip in drag. By film’s end, she is wrapped nicely back in a flouncy blood-red dress and will seemingly soon trip down the aisle with Sir Skirt Ripper. Gag.

All that being said, there were a few good points. Hmmmm. Let’s see. Kristen Stewart has perfect eyebrows. The Evil Queen’s get-ups are entertaining, like Lady Gaga’s if they were more high fashion, less raw meat (though the Queen does wear one gown made of dead raven). The elaborate hairstyles worn by both the Queen and Snow White would put Katniss Everdeen‘s fancy Panem braids to shame. Speaking of Katniss, Snow White also has enviable fitted leggings and thigh-high boots very similar to those worn by the Hunger Games heroine. If only Snow White had borrowed some of Katniss’s chutzpah.

Photo of Kristen Stewart starring as the eponymous protagonist in Snow White and the Hunstman courtesy of Universal Studios.


  1. That’s right! Only 11% of movies even have lead female characters but lets write an entire post telling people not to support 1 of the few female led movies! Feminism!!! #eyeroll

    • Heather says:

      So Natalie’s thoughts represent all of feminism and women should be grateful for being portrayed poorly in one movie? I think one of the reasons she’s so disappointed in the film is that it does have two central female characters, but since they pointedly reinforce tired stereotypes about women (and men), it’s a waste of an opportunity and possibly more harmful than not portraying female characters at all. Maybe our money and time would be better spent on some of the rest of the 11%.

    • That’s right ladies, take what you can get and if you don’t support bad art, then it’s YOUR FAULT Hollywood doesn’t create more films with female protagonists. That’s like the cultural equivalent of victim blaming.

  2. wow….well said. I agree and I was even more disappointed given the opportunity to change the creepy disney images of this story

  3. I disliked the movie but not as much as you did. But I came very close to walking out because it was even more relentlessly grim than your typical Grimm fairy tale. Strong, scenery-chewing performance by Charlize Theron though.

    I was a little surprised you didn’t mention the visit to the island of the scarified women, which was the only place where women dominated. To protect themselves, the women cut their faces, and also wore veils when they ventured away from their homes. While no men lived there (killed off in a war, apparently), the women weren’t living in the mud the way almost everyone else was in this movie.

    The visit to “Sanctuary” was yet another rip-off of an old fantasy painting – maybe something by Maxwell Parrish?

    I have to say I enjoyed Mirror, Mirror, which was more of a live action cartoon, much more than Snow White & the Huntsman. Mirror, Mirror was silly fun. Snow White was a depressing dirge.

    • Laurie,
      I do mention the women you note, in points 4 and 5. I didn’t read the scares as protective, though I do like that interpretation. I read them as permanent scars marking their sadness at the loss of all their men. As per “Sanctuary” as a rip-off of a painting, that could certainly be as it seems so much of the movie was “ripped” from other texts. I have yet to see Mirror Mirror, but would like to. Thanks for your comment.

      • Clarissa says:

        The women specifically state that they scar themselves so they cannot be victimized by the Queen and will be free to live and raise their children. It has nothing to do with their loss of their men – it’s likely a reference to the origin of the term “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face” in nuns who disfigured themselves to avoid rape by invaders http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_off_the_nose_to_spite_the_face.

  4. Uh, wow. I think this read a little bit too much into the movie. Let’s see: it’s set in a place and time wherein men are the leaders of society, and women are not. Should we, in that case, stop making movies before the nineteenth century, or revert to men playing women’s roles? That way, even if they are portraying women as passive non-actors, then we can ignore it because it’s really a man. I mean, come ON. In my opinion, given the setting, I find it shocking that Snow White–who has essentially been living in a vacuum of human interaction–takes the initiative to try to kill one of her captors, and also has the balls to jump into a whole bunch of shit. Yes, I found it annoying that she was considered good and kind and blah blah blah, and the narrator really overdid it. But like I said–vacuum of human interaction. Of course she’s going to be enchantingly innocent: she’s naive, sincere, probably doesn’t get what lying is. I mean, let’s just talk about how the movie was kind of “meh” and move on with our lives. Jesus.

    • I completely agree with Elle. In the original Disney movie, animals are inexplicably drawn to Snow White and are constantly circling around her. It’s not so odd that she would tame a troll or that big white stag. And the movie actually did say that the women on the island scarred themselves so the queen would leave them alone – she only wanted to feast on beauties. And as far as cutting off her dress, I was saying from the get go that she should wear pants or a dress but not both. He was a jerk, but I didn’t get any creepy rapey vibe from him. Calm down already.

  5. It’s just a movie. Switch to decaf.

  6. I want to respond to this review in a reasoned manner since I saw the movie and liked it. Not that I thought it was perfect or sexism free, but overall enjoyed it. But it is challenging to figure out how to respond to a review so filled with venom. Obviously I must be blind and ridiculous to have liked the movie at all.

    • I don’t think you are blind and unaware, I just think that you see things differemtly which isn’t a bad thing. I hope you are not intimidated by strong convictions, and I wouldn’t assume that the author of the opinion in this blog believes that the readers are “blind and ridiculous.” We all see things differently, just try to reflect on your personal view/interpretation of the film (or characters), that’s the best we can do. I’m glad you posted what you did, sometimes putting thoughts into words is hard since the wording of posts is interpreted differently depending on the reader. Language is very limited.

  7. while i agree with some of this, i thought there was some irony in the movie that was overlooked. also, though you complained about gender stereotyping, all the things you said were good had to do with clothing, grooming, and overall superficial aesthetics (or maybe there’s some irony there that am missing).

  8. Okay, I have a question. My partner, who loved your critique by the way, and I have been arguing about this detail and I want to try and understand something you said.
    “The film seems unaware of its own sexual creepiness–or are we to accept unwanted older male advances on Snow White as natural?” My girl seems to think that you mean that it’s the film itself that has an awareness… in the way that a work of art takes on a life of its own. To me, because every element in a narrative film is there because of a decision someone makes (usually the director), you are saying that the filmmaker is unaware of of the sexual creepiness?

    I’ve just always had a problem digesting that kind of criticism because unless you actually addressed the filmmaker, there is no way you can know what his awareness level is concerning any element in his film.

    What say you?

    • Robyn,
      I mean it in the same way one might note the a novel lacks an awareness of its own irony, for example. This is not meant to literally imply that a film or a novel can be aware, but that via choices made by the author, director, characters and so on, one can surmise whether or not there is any level of awareness or intention. With a film, this could come from the director or screenwriter, or the actors, or from a number of other places — in short, I was trying to suggest that the film does not condemn the sexual creepiness, make fun of it, or even seem to acknowledge it. Where this choice came from – director, producer, etc, – who knows…

  9. Um, it’s just a movie? I personally think it looks really cool and I’m going to see it and I’m female, but I’m not about to pull out the “omg this is sexist” card. Look at the time period… I personally love the idea that they’re doing something way different with the fairy tale, I own a version of it that was done in the horror genre and it was pretty damn sweet. Chill out, I’m sure you spent WAY too much time typing this, and you’re obviously angry about something. Or maybe you just had a bad day? Who knows, but this is a bit overkill.

  10. I’m not really sure why some of the below comments attack the author of the post in such a negative tone and argue that they need to relax, stay away from caffinated drinks, etc. Surely we all have the right to disagree with the opinion in the blog, but to attack the author just pulls away from opening dialogue about the film. Open discussion could allow all of us as viewers to see things from a different perspective.

    It is important to critique and analyze films that have female leads (apparently only 11 percent of films do) because we must ask ourselves what message is this sending to the broader population? We must dig deeper and see what gender traits are being valued and which ones are not being valued through the female leads, and then look into how that affects the view of women in society. How do we interpret the evil (“feminist” (feminist in quotes because this is up for interpretation) leaning) queen? What does that say about feminism/feminists? What of the “passive” heroine (again quotes since interepretation may vary) who conquers the “feminist” queen?

    Does the perception that angry women have bad manners add to the stereotype that women who write angry blogs should be attacked for their opinion? Does it add to the idea that angry women are irrational, need to lay off the caffine, need to relax since it is “just a movie?”

    Also men are still the leaders of society (I didn’t realize that patriarchy was over), and since it is a fantasy based movie, it could have easily gone a different route with different portrayals of the female lead characters. As a side note if patrirachy has ended then drinks (non-alcoholic) are at my place.

    I’m just not feeling all the negative postings and personal attacks on the author since it doesn’t create dialogue around the ideas in the blog or the concepts conveyed in the movie. Why not critique the content of the blog (or movie) rather than attack the author? That seems more productive to me anyway.

  11. I read the article and I’m going to see it at the mantinee price of $6.00, even though I can’t stand Kristen Stewart (she always has this “spaced-out look” on her face).

    • uh oh, if you can’t stand Kristen Stewart’s “spaced-out look” you’d better avoid this movie – it’s over 2 hours of that. This was the first movie I’ve seen her in and that goofy blank look seems to be nearly her whole acting range. And I think the best reason not to see this movie? It’s just plain awful. I can’t believe I sat through it (which I did just for Charlize Theron, who did a nice job). The director kept trying to set scenes up, he’d nearly get there then boom, drop the ball, over and over.

  12. Way over the top review. I liked the movie. It wasn’t perfect but…I enjoyed the two lead characters’ performances. It’s a retelling and who says that Snow White has to be an uber feminist? Get real.

  13. It’s never just a movie. It’s a reflection of our society, not to mention a significant factor in what determines our beliefs. I haven’t seen the movie, but it is possible to tell a story set in an oppressive society (such as patriarchy) without disempowering the oppressed. If you are committed to making a movie about Steve Biko because he was a great man, you don’t tell the story in a way that takes the side of the police officers who beat him to death.

  14. Wow, I think some of you are a little lost! You are aware that this is a blog for feminist criticism and analysis, right? But really, great use of the over-reacting, reading-too-much-into-it, angry feminist stereotype! Cool tone arguments too! Go read some 101-level stuff.

    I was quite looking forward to this movie, but given the numerous poor reviews it has received from multiple critics (feminist and otherwise), I think I’ll save my money and wait for it on Netflix. I’d skip it altogether, but now I have a desire to analyze it myself!

  15. Every single time someone analyzes something in the media, people freak out. “OMG, settle down~~it’s just a movie/book/song!” No. You guys are upset because you either liked the movie and are personally offended by the review, or are threatened by what the review suggests.
    The argument about it being set in a different time period is the dumbest argument. I can’t believe people would make it, actually. I haven’t seen the film, but from what I can gather, actual magic happens. Magic that certainly didn’t happen in that time period. No one is complaining about that, it seems. It’s a fantasy movie, not a historical film. Therefore it would have been acceptable for the writers to step away from normal patriarchal set of relations between men, women, and power.

    But go ahead. Say “omg you feminists are so angry.” Get defensive and blame those who shine a light on a problematic film.

  16. I’m no fan of the film, but I strongly disagree with your criticism of what I felt was its strongest element. Charlize Theron’s queen is not an ‘evil feminist’, but rather a villain who is given a sympathetic, shaded, and understandable back story. It is clear that she has suffered at the hands of male oppression and been taught that her beauty and youth are both her best weapons and her only collateral in a male-driven world. As such, part of her scheme is to deny those weapons to any other woman in the land, which in turn drives the local villagers to scar their young women to escape the queen’s wrath (a great idea that is dropped almost immediately). That doesn’t excuse her tyrannical actions, but it gives the film a subtext that frankly I wish it did more with. Since the queen basically disappears after the first act of the film, whatever feminist substance the film had disappears along with her. But the broaching of that subject, that women are judged on their youth and beauty but then condemned when they use those things to their advantage, is something that is worth noting in a positive sense, rather than righting it off as the ramblings of an ‘evil feminist’. It’s a bad movie with some good ideas hidden in the corners.

    • Scott,
      I find your reading of Ravenna very interesting. I felt, though, that her back-story felt too much like an afterthought – as if it were “tagged on” as a poor excuse for her villainy and youth/beauty obsession. I think if her past had been foregrounded differently, and integrated more thoroughly into the main narrative, it would have given a much stronger justification for her actions and allowed for a fleshing out of her character. Instead, the only “fleshing” we get is her flesh wrinkling and then un-wrinkling…
      I also like your reading of the village women as scarring themselves to escape the queen – I read this as their physical manifestation of grief at losing all the men of the village. Your reading offers much more hope for resistance and it would have really strengthened the film, I think, if that idea had been built upon – as well as if Snow White had been a fully realized character.
      If Ravenna had not hovered on the edges of the film as arch nemesis and if both her narrative arc and Snow White’s had been more complex, the film could have risen above what I saw as a very wanna-be-feminist take on evil queen verses young beauty. Overall, it felt to much of a “you go girl” attempt at empowerment with little substance at its core – great visuals, great costuming and sets, but, as you put it, “a bad movie with some good ideas hidden in the corners.”

      • “I also like your reading of the village women as scarring themselves to escape the queen – I read this as their physical manifestation of grief at losing all the men of the village. Your reading offers much more hope for resistance and it would have really strengthened the film, I think, if that idea had been built upon – as well as if Snow White had been a fully realized character.”

        This only shows that you WANTED to see all the bad and none of the good in this film. I mean, it’s stated in the film. The women clearly explain why they scar their faces, but you chose to interpret the reason as the women weeping their men, when the actual reason is these women took charge of their own lives and seem to be doing really well on their own, without the men.

        There are quite a lot of details, and clearer notes not even hidden (for example, even though it seems like a historical setting, in this world it’s not unusual for a queen to rule and a girl to succeed to the throne. Snow White is an only child, but no one cares that there’s no boy heir, no one even mentions that there should be one) of different sort of thinking. Is this a feminist work? No, but neither was Fury Road. Is this film better in feminist terms than we’re used to getting from a very white and patriarchal Hollywood? Yes. It could be better, but this film has a lot of more depth and point than the disney version for example, and I’d rather show this to my kids than the disney one, handsdown. Especially because the villain is a well rounded character that shows that evil is not a trait you’re born with but a way of living you choose, in this case because of all the horror you’ve been through. Snow White could also have become bitter and evil after spending most of her life as a prisoner, but instead she show’s compassion. Her killing of the queen seems more like a mercy-killing, she doesn’t do it to avenge her father or because she hates Ravenna; she does it to protect her own kingdom.

        As for the Huntsman, I don’t get where the creepy vibe comes from? I mean, to me he seemed like a fatherfigure to Snow White, at no point does he treat her like a woman, but alltimes treats her like a child (which she is, though in this version clearly a bit older but still she could be only 16, in the original story Snow White is only 13). After all, Snow White had lost her dad at a very young age. It also never states that the Huntsman was Snow Whites true love, but that the kiss which Snow White receives was a sign of true love. That doesn’t mean they’re meant for each other, it only means that the Huntsman truly loved Snow White unconditionally. To me, it seemed like the Huntsman loved Snow White like a daughter. And what comes to the skill he taught her that eventually gave her the means to defeat Ravenna? Snow White never wanted to kill, ofcourse she’d need someone to teach her how to do it. To me it doesn’t diminish the fact that she was the one holding the the blade and battling the Queen alone.

        Also, I think your view of what “strenght” is, is what is commonly seen as masculine traits, which is weird since you say you’re a feminist. Snow White in the film shows independence (she escapes from the castle by herself) and strenght of will and also compassion when faced with evil (hate is a weak persons response). That to me is true strenght. I didn’t mind seeing her wearing armor and charging forward with a sword held high, but a female character don’t need those masculine tributes to be strong. I think her not being a passive on looker or helpless damsel proves her character is a strong person, as she actively shaped her own fate. If they’d only given her a personality to go with it…*sigh*

        In summary, it’s easy to judge everything as not “feminist enough” since we live in a patriarchal world and it affects everything we do and how we see things. That’s why it takes extra efforts to see beyond. Just flipping things cleanly around, putting a sword in a female characters hand and making her the hero of the story doesn’t mean it’s an attempt in feminism. But if you do want to see it that way, then you need to objectively, without ready judgement, to analyze what you’re viewing.

  17. I couldn’t stand Chris Hemsworth’s roaming accent. Very distracting; why the attempt to be Scottish?

  18. Let me set aside my venom-laced, ultra caffeinated drink to say thanks for commenting everyone. This post obviously touched a nerve for quite a few of you, and I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I don’t intend to speak for everyone with my reviews nor expect agreement, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that enjoying a film I found horrid makes one stupid or ridiculous. These 10 reasons to NOT see the movie are my own — you may have 10, or 20, or 40 reasons that you love the film. Disagreement and debate make for a good comment thread. I do wish, however, that the “calm down you angry feminist” tone could be jettisoned, as well as the “OMG, it’s just a movie” eyerolls. This is, as one commenter pointed out, a feminist blog. You are not reading Maxim. And, as Monica put it so well above, “It’s never just a movie. It’s a reflection of our society, not to mention a significant factor in what determines our beliefs.”

    • Loved the review; will skip the movie, but tell us if the huntsman
      shot animals to death because that’s another reason to skip this flick —
      for giving violence against animals a mystique.

      • Tiina Hylättiin says:

        No he doesn’t, but animals do die, even birds get their hearts eaten…
        Overall the movie is so random, same plot as most of these shitty movies – Snow White escapes goes on an adventure, meets people, decides she has to go back to stop the evil etc etc… I laughed at the end where the queen says that she can never be killed and is invincible, literally seconds later she just gets stabbed and dies… What a boring waste of time.

  19. Hopefully I can add my male opinions without upsetting the rules of decorum.

    I would first like to put forward that Scott’s interpretation of the scarred women was not just one interpretation, but the correct interpretation. The older woman who seemed to be in charge of the village explicitly said that the scars were protection from the queen. To infer that they were tears for the departed menfolk seems to be looking for insult where none was intended, and indeed none is to be found.

    Which leads to my larger point that you can’t be outraged about everything. I was bemused by the presence in the review of criticism of snow white for being passive AND complaining over snow white looking at the huntsman after all she has accomplished. That seems to be having it both ways a little bit.

    and now for some nitpicking, if I may. At the risk of sounding like a cretin, I didn’t find it particularly “downright creepy” when the huntsman cut off snow white’s skirt. She had just caught it on a bush that turned into snakes and tried to eat her. Perhaps she was better off without it?

    Admittedly, I did find the entire movie to be bizarrely sexually charged. I attributed that to a rather undeveloped (as much of the movie was) attempt to connect snow whites purity and goodness to virginity. This also made me think perhaps when Ravenna said she was “ruined” by a king, she meant it in the Victorian sense of having lost her virginity (against her will, seemingly). Although that angle was rather “tacked on”, it seemed to be an earnest attempt to add depth to a character who is otherwise a caricature of vain evil. It seems unwise, however, to equate incompetence to sexism.

    In closing, I would like to voice my support for those who want to say “calm down you angry feminist” or “chill, it’s a movie.” The setting of a discussion, or indeed the subject, should not make voicing an opinion more or less acceptable. Slightly tangentially, I once read a criticism of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that took the position that it was a sexist novel because there were no major female characters in it. I would hope that we can all agree that a satirical novel about the picaresque adventures of two men on the Mississippi River could be excused for this fault. There is, after all, only so much room on a raft. On a similar note, it seems equally absurd to criticize the creators of a movie set in quasi-medieval Germany for not finding a dwarf of an ethnicity other than white. I realize that that was not the main criticism, but I would further doubt that the Brothers Grimm’s Germany was overflowing with ethnic diversity either. All of that is a roundabout way of saying that it is an entirely defensible opinion that perhaps the author got a tad overwrought over the minutiae of a really not very good movie that was made more to dazzle visually than to promote a message, regardless of whether it is representative or not of the ideas of our society.

  20. I do agree with you in some points, but I disagree in most of them, I think. I don’t think Snow White is passive at all. At least when compared to the original character. She fights, she runs, she attacks her captor, and take the lead of an army. Yes, she has those chick-and-her-hero moments, but, overall, it is a major progress.

    I also don’t understand why everyone is so bothered about her being good. This is Snow White’s personality after all, and changing this would corrupt the whole story, in my point of view. But I do understand that the story’s manichaeism is annoying.

    Also, the queen is not passive either and has strong motivations. She repeats them all the time: vengeance. No, I don’t like the way she is portrayed; I agree with you when you say that she sounds like an evil feminist. And, well, this is a strong enough reason to believe that she is not flat.

    Overall, I enjoyed it, and believe that it is great progress. Who cares about the dumb huntsman? (Well, I do; he’s hot. :P) The important thing is that Snow White, that cheesy girl who used to wear a yellow skirt, now wears an armor.

  21. I totally agree with you! The film was just really really bad. The casting was pretty terrible. The only *other* comment I have is that snow white, supposed to PURE, INNOCENT, LOVING… could crack a smile until the very end of the movie where she managed a lip curl. *sigh* the whole movie was so disappointing 🙁

  22. All that being said, there were a few good points. Hmmmm. Let’s see. Kristen Stewart has perfect eyebrows. The Evil Queen’s get-ups are entertaining, like Lady Gaga’s if they were more high fashion, less raw meat (though the Queen does wear one gown made of dead raven). The elaborate hairstyles worn by both the Queen and Snow White would put Katniss Everdeen‘s fancy Panem braids to shame. Speaking of Katniss, Snow White also has enviable fitted leggings and thigh-high boots very similar to those worn by the Hunger Games heroine. If only Snow White had borrowed some of Katniss’s chutzpah.

  23. Would have been much better with a much softer lead role. Kirsten stewart is way too gruff. Also a younger and more charming male lead as the huntsman would have been better.

  24. I seriously almost lost my crap when he said “Don’t flatter yourself.” I was so close to walking out of the movie right then. The cutting of the skirt and shock on her face read as “Oh crap, I’m about to get raped.” to me and his reply just made my skin crawl. So her thinking she’s about to be rape is supposed to be flattering? What kind of messed up logic is that?

    I was relieved when Stewart finally did *something* at the end of the movie and she didn’t kill in a completely passive way. That tiny bit of girl power though was definitely not enough to call this a feminist movie.

    • Her dress had just gotten caught on a tree that turned into snakes and almost ate her. She was also WEARING PANTS! He was essentially turning her skirt into a tunic. I read her “Oh crap” facial expression as, “Oh crap he just came so close to me with a KNIFE!”

  25. Personally I liked it. I have seen this movie 4 times. Though it is not the ‘Avenger’s I found it very entertaining and love the Grimm version of the story. Our world is not about fairy princesses and happy endings. Though we all have faith and hope in humanity, I love that the female character of Snow White does find her courage and strength to stand up for what is right. I loved the relationship between Snow and the Huntsman. She restored his faith in humanity. Movies are about creativity and escaping the everyday hustle and bustle of life. I love films like ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and other fantasies where good wins out over evil. I admit some character detail was lacking in areas, but I often think critics and film enthusiasts read to much into just simple enjoyment. Read up on the movie before you go see it. If you choose to walk out, then do so, but for those of us who actually enjoy the story, the cinematography and characters, respect that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but honestly very few films these days are worth the 10.00 you pay to see them. Many storylines are being told over and over again with a different twist. The same faces seem to dominate most of the blockbusters. It is all about money and not about delivering good performances and quality anymore. 3D is highly overrated. There are so many amazing and inspirational human interest stories that could be told, but then films like ‘Magic Mike’ come out and I am quite sure ‘Shades of Grey’ soon, that take away from creativity and promote nothing but sex to our children and teenagers. I didn’t care for the brother of the queen in this film placing his hands on Snow’s character the way he did, that probably bothered me worse than anything. I thought Charlize Theron did a great job as the evil queen. Chris Hemsworth, sold himself well as the Huntsman. I went expecting to see more of ‘Thor’ in him and was so glad to see he was barely recognizable from his heroic Demi God portrayed role in the ‘Avenger’s. And by the way, Chris is Australian, so the accent, was pretty close to his authentic accent. Kristen’s role I did feel was a bit weak, but she carried it enough to keep me interested. She wouldn’t be my first choice for Snow, but she did much better than I expected for the few words she did have to speak. As for more handsome huntsman, have you seen ‘Thor’? Chris Hemsworth was perfect for that role. I found this critic blog to be distasteful and totally feministic. But then again, that is what makes life interesting. If we all concurred on every film we reviewed, if would make life rather boring now wouldn’t it?

  26. Pablo Fn. Escabar says:

    i haven’t seen the movie, and i’m not a feminist buuuuuut… it appears that the feminists don’t like the movie, and it appears the the not-s0-feminists don’t like the movie. i’m not gonna see the movie. thank you everyone for your input whether you agreed on certain topics or not.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I just have to say that people who complain about lack of ethnic diversity and the issues of women’s rights in fairy tales are foolish. The Brother’s Grimm were writing in the 1800’s in Germany, which was certainly not a hub of feminism or cultural diversity. They were trying to collect and share the stories that their nation told, putting them onto pages so that Germans (and others) years in the future could look back at their heritage. The Brothers Grimm were most certainly not concerned about making sure their stories were “diverse” or “politically correct”, instead they were concerned that these stories passed down orally would eventually die out.
    So quit with the complaints about Snow White being a passive heroine. Sure she is! She was written about as a FAIRY TALE CHARACTER, a genre in which most of the characters are flat and boring. To suddenly make her Asian, or to include random races of dwarves and other characters goes against the heritage of the story. Sure it is possible to do it, but it’s a bit strange and unnecessary. Why do all films have to have cultural diversity? I get it for completely original films, but is it necessary for films based on the stories of a white culture? Do we need to have colored dwarves to be satisfied?
    As to the lack of female characters and the horrible character of Snow White as a role for women I will again remind that this is simply following the story. The original Brother’s Grimm Snow White paints her as a very naive, stupid, helpless girl who falls for the witches evil schemes three times before her prince finally saves her (if you don’t believe me look it up). So don’t blame it on the movie, blame it on the past that we are overcoming in modern times. I happen to be a very strong feminist myself, and believe the only way to truly conquer the problems of the portrayal of women is to completely rewrite this story, something which is pointless. The classic fairy tale was not written for women, it was written for children. I think it’s important to raise our children to understand the value of women, but I also think showing them a little about German fairy tales is ok too.

    • Couldn’t agree more! Yours is the most insightful and intelligent commentary I’v read on here.

  28. The main reason that this film was not worth watching. Was Kristen Stewart. She could not act her way out of a plastic bag.

    I thought everyone else did well, that it was aesthetically pleasing, I loved Charlize and her wardrobe. KSTEW. Ugh.

  29. I tried to watch the movie and didn’t get very far before turning it off. The evil “feminist” or “man hating” queen was totally stupid right from the get go. If there had been more back ground development on why she was the way she was it might not have irritated me so much. I shouldn’t have to work so hard to justify why women are portrayed in such a demeaning manner and be okay with it. I’m not.

    That said, I want to comment upon all the hate I see directed at Kristen Stewart. Sure, she isn’t a Meryl Streep by any means. However, how many young women actors are there that aren’t given their roles just to be a sex kitten in the film?

    She must be hitting a nerve because everywhere I go on the web I see some big time hating for that girl. Give her a break, she’s not perfect. Sure she’s done some dumb things too. But are you perfect? Haven’t you done some dumb things in your life?

    So she doesn’t smile a lot, so what. Where is it written that young women have to look pleasing to everyone all of the time? I don’t like that unwritten rule and I like that KS doesn’t go out of her way to do that. Nor is she flashing her tits all over the place. She looks like a normal skinny type girl and not being overly sexualized and to be gazed at by the masses. I say she’s okay in my book for being brave enough to be herself, flaws and all.

  30. Enchant says:

    Really are all movies criticized by closed minded people… Were is the openness for magic and beauty??? were is the love of the story??? I liked it better than Mirror Mirror and I thought that was super cute!!! I love to see people thrive on their negative thoughts!!! go learn yoga and meditate… look for beauty and magic in the world around you!!! Go out side and breath the air and tell the universe thank you for gifts of imagination… Appreciate someones hard work!!! Did you even look at the work of the costumes??? They were awesome… Well with that being said being on this negative Has made my stomach turn to vile acid and my heart break over human kindness!!! Peace out loves!

  31. I’ve already seen it, enjoyed it and bought the DVD copy. Too late.

  32. Bernard McCormack says:

    Looking forward to Natalie’s next film. Will it be a documentary? I hope so!

  33. You are seriously upset because there are so many men in the movie? Have you ever seen the original movie? That would be like a man complaining that their were too many women in it! Not surprised to see that this article was in fact written by a woman…..smh.

  34. i just want to stress out that they should make charlize theron as snow white instead of Kristen steward because charlize is much prettier then Kristen steward, her look is soo exortic its wrong to place Kristen steward they should look for better actor… my mood turn down when I hear that the magic mirror say that snow white is prettier then the queen… the who so ever wrongly pick up the actors, she need more experience to lead the character… even the character as snow white look so flat and less emotion… Erm I try to take is as positive…. perhaps the mirror mean that Kristen steward is prettier from inside…

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