Snow White Sitting on the Fence
Shortly after his wife Josephine (Vera Farmiga) gave birth to a daughter she passed away leaving her husband John (Tom Irwin) to cope with a baby. Panicking and walking through a field of snow with the crying infant John's tears melt the snow and release a Genie, the Green-Eyed One (Clancy Brown) who awards John with three wishes. First he wishes for milk for his daughter, then he wishes for a kingdom for himself to reign over and whilst the Green-Eyed One can't bring Josephine back to life he can give John a Queen. But the Green-Eyed One is in debt to his ugly sister Elspeth (Miranda Richardson) and transforms her back in to a red headed beauty who goes on to marry John. Over the years as John's daughter, Snow White (Kristin Kreuk), grows into a beautiful woman Elspeth becomes jealous and uses magic to rid her self of Snow White, John as well as Prince Alfred (Tyron Leitso) who has fallen for Snow White. But fortunately for Snow White seven dwarves come to her rescue.
"It went straight down the middle", I'm not on about lyrics from a song but the fence I find myself perched upon when it comes to this 2001 Hallmark version of "Snow White" as for all which I like there is as much which I don't. I am not surprised by that as "Snow White: The Fairest of Them All" features a good cast with Miranda Richardson having fun being scheming as the wicked step-mother yet the look and certain characters highlight the budget limitations which pull this back and limits it to being okay at best.
Now writers Caroline Thompson and Julie Hickson have taken the classic fairytale and whilst been faithful added and altered bits. For example I don't remember there being the Green-Eyed One in the original tale although having said that I am no expert, but many of these adaptations work including a comically dark scene involving gnome bowling. But then some of these variations really don't work from having the dwarves named after days of the week to one of them being anything but a dwarf as played by the late Vincent Andrew Schiavelli who stood 6 foot 6. It is why I am on the fence as I constantly found myself being entertained but then disappointed by what was on offer.
There were though two things which impressed me and Kristin Kreuk certainly had the look of Snow White and gave her a different sort of tone, making her almost sullen especially early on. And then there is Miranda Richardson who brings a touch of the petulant Queen Elizabeth I from "Black-Adder II" to her version of the wicked step-mother and it works because it brings the much needed comedy which in truth is lacking else where.
What this all boils down to is that there are some things which impressed me about "Snow White: The Fairest of Them All" and it benefits greatly from the casting of Miranda Richardson. But at the same time there were many things about Snow White: The Fairest of Them All which disappointed me and which only ended up dragging it back to being just okay.