Lady Claudia

December 15, 2012


Forget Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Forget Julia Roberts in Mirror, Mirror. Sigourney Weaver in Snow White: A Tale of Terror is the real deal.

It's a Snow White adaptation that lingers on the cusp of the Grimm Brothers' visceral vision of the fairy tale. Weaver as Lady Claudia, the proverbial evil stepmother, chills the bones. 

Argue, as you wish, that Claudia does not make the opening moves. Grieving for her mother, who died delivering her, Snow White, or Lilli Hoffman rather (played by drowned Dawson's Creek alum Monica Keena), grows petulant towards the pretender to the throne. 

Everything comes to a head with a miscarriage; Claudia is implacable. She begins to talk to a mirror, hears voices, and vows to kill Lilli with magic hereon. These could be the beginnings of psychological camp, except that the mirror is truly alive; the voices could be heard by others; and the magic is very real. Claudia can will gales and earthquakes when and where she wants to. 

But it is her belief in her ability to beguile that begs more attention than her beauty. Perhaps it does not matter who makes the opening moves. In this adaptation or everything else, the evil queen/stepmother's vanity is in itself her stalemate.

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2 comments

  1. Sounds fascinating, I must see it!

    Did you know originally there was no step-mother in the Snow White story, it was a clear case of mother-daughter resentment and be careful what you wish for. I actually like the original better as it so captures that fraught dynamic between mothers and teenage daughters, even if the mother dos not usually try to kill the daughter. But it is pretty easy to see why they changed it to stepmother, too close to home.

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  2. @Laura Now that's something new! I better read that version, stat. Oh you will love the Medieval garb in the film, if anything. Thanks for commenting!

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