The Artist, Spain's entry into the Best Foreign Language Film "Oscar" race, BLANCANIEVES, is the real thing, all right, succeeding both as an homage to "silents" and -- because of its ambition and insight, not to mention what movies are capable of technically these days -- a truly new creation all its own.
director Pablo Berger (who, nearly a decade ago offered up his only other full-length feature,
the great Torremolinos 73), combines the customs of Spain (bullfighting, anyone?) with the story's own identifying objects (a wicked stepmother gloriously played by Maribel Verdú, above) into a Grimm stew of dark and delightful variations on the original and already dark fairy tale's themes.
Cohen Media Group has picked it up for U.S. distribution in early 2013; at its opening I'll have more to say about this very special film. For now let me just mention that you can indeed take the kids to see it -- so long as they can read the subtitles. While it goes into adult areas (Stepmom's into S&M!), it does so fleetingly and "tastefully," as becomes a silent movie. And it is consistently suggestive rather than coarse in its visuals (the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography is by Kiko de la Rica of The Last Circus) -- never more so than in its amazing final scene.
here to see the whole schmear.