Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Title:  The Snow Queen
Format:  Netflix
Genre:  Fantasy/Miniseries
Rating:  B-

Synopsis (from All Movie Guide):  This lavish adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen stars Bridget Fonda as the icy-hearted title character. Arriving incognito at the alpine inn run by a man named Wolfgang, the embittered Snow Queen makes it her mission in life to ruin all chances of romance for Wolfgang's beautiful daughter, Gerda. To this end, the Queen exercises her magic over Gerda's bellhop boyfriend Kai, literally freezing the boy in his tracks. In order to save her beloved, Gerda must undertake a grueling odyssey through the Four Seasons (each of them briefly appearing in human form), culminating in a final, frigid showdown with the spiteful Snow Queen.

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A lavish adaptation with mediocre actors and a stilted script.  Yes, the settings were beautiful, and the special effects were of higher quality than I'd expected.  But the actors were either stiff and emotionless, almost speaking in monotone, or over-the-top and practically screaming to get their emotions across.  There was also an extreme lack of chemistry between the two main characters.  Their romance seemed so forced.  And then there was this weird thing about the devil and a mirror that just came out of nowhere.

The best parts were the interpretations of the seasons.  Spring is a sweet, motherly woman who lives in a cottage covered in flowers, where she tries to keep Gerda young and childish.  Summer is a sultry Indian princess, living in a palace.  She attempts to find a new lover for Gerda, since summer is the season for romance and passion.  After escaping into fall's territory, Gerda discovers that Autumn is a red-headed gypsy woman who leads a band of cutthroats who party and throw bonfires to try to keep back winter's chill.  And then of course, there's the Snow Queen.  Beautiful but cold, she resides in a manor of ice and looks for a way to be rid of the other seasons.  These portrayals of the seasons were creative and fun, and without them, the miniseries would have been a lot worse.

Not spectacular or high-quality, but worth at least one watch.  B-

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