10 Reasons Not to See Snow White and the Huntsman

If you haven’t read it yet, head over to the Ms. Magazine Blog and check out Natalie Wilson’s scathing review of Snow White and the Huntsman — smart and snarky and definitely worth the time.


Snow White, the most passive “heroine” in history. This version of Snow White is special not because of what she does, but because of who she is. She is full of natural goodness–healing those around her with her very presence, bringing about magic with that beautiful green-eyed gaze and pouty lip-bite. Yes, near the end she finally grabs a sword and some armor, but it’s too little, too late.

The post is also pretty impressive in the “faint praise” department: “All that being said, there were a few good points. Hmmmm. Let’s see. Kristen Stewart has perfect eyebrows.”

Thanks, CB!


4 thoughts on “10 Reasons Not to See Snow White and the Huntsman

  1. I have to disagree… of course there are a lot of things that I would like to see about the movie change, but I think it did some things very well, and I really enjoyed the movie for them. It’s a FAIRY TALE, one with a lot of sexist baggage built into it. Yes, more could be done with a production, but I’m happy that a mainstream Hollywood film did what it did with it.

    I’m going to give some spoilers, so if you don’t want them, please don’t continue reading.

    1. We have a heroine who never ends up with a guy. The last shot of the movies is on her as queen, not looking at the Huntsman as Wilson suggests. Not only is she in battle, but she leads the final battle scene. Cool. She doesn’t have gratuitous cleavage or other body parts showing. (However, it is really not okay when her skirt gets ripped off by the Huntsman and he says, “Don’t flatter yourself.” This WAS a really horrible and inexcusable line of the movie.)

    2. The town of women who had slashed their own faces was, I thought, a really interesting touch. Yes, a lot of the movie is about young beauty (but so is the fable), but to include these women helps to send a message that there are other things in life than being beautiful.

    3. I agree that the queen was somewhat one-sided. And all the man-hating at the beginning was over the top. But especially towards the end they try to humanize her some by explaining how she got to be the way she is, the sacrifices her mother made for her, etc. Her relationship to her brother was quite interesting. And yes, the camera cares a lot about her going from wrinkly to non-wrinkly and back. But that was mostly because of the opportunity for special effects than anything else. (I would have loved to have an old woman in the field in a role model capacity, but oh well. They come oh-so close with the middle-aged leader of the community of women and children with slashed faces.)

    4. About the class thing—yes, the noble blood thing is a problem. But the huntsman does something magical, and he’s by no means one of the nobility.

    5. I agree on the race thing. It would have been great to have dwarves or other magical creatures of different races/ethnicities. But what was wrong with the fairies? And the suggestion of bestiality? I didn’t get sexual overtones at all. And is Wilson suggesting that she wanted more romance?

    6. I think the huntsman was actually done quite well. He is no knight in shining armor, but that’s the point. And he’s sexist, but that’s also part of the point. (Except that part about ripping the skirt off, which again was really not okay.) But at the end he has a monologue while he’s talking to the sleeping Snow White and he talks about the women in his life whom he’s failed. I thought that was done really well.

    All in all, I see no reason to write a scathing review of it from a feminist perspective, and reason to evaluate it positively from that perspective. Yes, there are some bad things. Yes, there are some things one could do better. But just because the movie wasn’t the perfect feminist Snow White doesn’t mean that it’s not worth seeing, or supporting for the things it does well.

  2. Take a look at chris wind’s “Snow White Gets Her Say” – a little collection of revised fairy tales – revised as if the girls/women were feminist!

  3. So you criticize the treatment of women in this movie then end it with this tripe:All that being said, there were a few good points. Hmmmm. Let’s see. Kristen Stewart has perfect eyebrows. The Evil Queen’s get-ups are entertaining, like Lady Gaga’s if they were more high fashion, less raw meat (though the Queen does wear one gown made of dead raven). The elaborate hairstyles worn by both the Queen and Snow White would put Katniss Everdeen‘s fancy Panem braids to shame. Speaking of Katniss, Snow White also has enviable fitted leggings and thigh-high boots very similar to those worn by the Hunger Games heroine. If only Snow White had borrowed some of Katniss’s chutzpah. Oh lord, no wonder men look down on us.

Comments are closed.