Lily Collins, center, as Snow White in Mirror Mirror
Reviewing Tarsem Singh’s grisly sword-and-sandal epic Immortals (2011), I took a stab at prognostication and described him as “a talented and eccentric visual artist with no creative future in the movie business.” I’m not quite ready to retract that judgment, but this fractured fairy tale provides him with a much more congenial vehicle for his florid imagery, more in line with his spellbinding fantasy The Fall (2006). Like Terry Gilliam—the filmmaker he most often calls to mind—Singh is much more skilled as a visual artist than a storyteller, and his artistic fortunes seem to rise and fall with the inspiration of his screenwriters. In this case he’s lucked out with Mellissa Wallack and Jason Keller, whose witty script retells the story of Snow White (Lily Collins) from the perspective of the wicked queen (Julia Roberts). If Singh can just stay away from those poison apples, he may live happily ever after.