You know his work — remember the DirecTV “record in one room; watch in any room” commercial with the two brawling robots ransacking some guy’s house? That’s Rupert Sanders. Sought out by producer Joe Roth, of Alice in Wonderland glory, award-winning commercial director Sanders tackles his first full-length feature. And from the Colleen Atwood-designed costumes to the highly stylized set to directing Oscar’s Best Actress of 2003, it’s a whole lotta movie.
Working with fairy-tale basics — folkloric characters that steal the show, a princess so fair she can tame a monster with one stare, villains who get caught monologuing — Sanders creates a dark, enchanted world that’d excite Tim Burton and make Catherine Hardwicke melt.
Missing from the title, Charlize Theron’s wicked queen reigns by killing kings and stealing their thrones, stays wrinkle free by sucking the youth out of youngins, and gets her daily news through a gilded talky mirror. After chatting up her golden boy, she learns she must devour the heart of Snow White (does she actually go by Snow?) to achieve eternal youth. Now we know fairy tales end happily ever after, but, seriously, is anyone else rooting for the queen?
It’s like: Game of Thrones meets Labyrinth.
Take: Seven sisters.
Photo: Alex Bailey / Courtesy of Universal Studios