: : : Smilla's Sense of Snow

Story

Based on a much-praised 1992 bestseller by Peter Hoeg, Smilla's Sense of Snow is a film of moody power and boundless mystery in its first half, but it becomes an overblown, conspiracy-laden schlock thriller in its second. Julia Ormond stars as the half-Inuit, Greenland native of Hoeg's book, a loner who is supported by an emotionally ambivalent father (Robert Loggia) in Copenhagen. Apparently perceived as a troublemaker who sees secret plots everywhere, Smilla finds herself largely alone in an effort to discover what really happened to a six-year-old Inuit boy who fell (or jumped) off the roof of her apartment building. Somewhat aided by an ambiguous neighbor (Gabriel Byrne), Smilla investigates a connection between the child's death and the misdeeds of a mining company, a story hook that conveniently ratchets up the action but quickly dissipates the more compelling, introspective intrigue of the film's beginning. Ormond is fascinating, somehow more beautiful than usual through her emphasis of her character's destabilizing conflicts (isolation and a possibly unhinged intelligence). But she isn't done any favors by an unreliable script or by the usually superb Danish director Bille August's chronic problems working in English-language films (including his disastrous The House of the Spirits). The DVD edition of this film includes an original theatrical trailer and a short feature on the making of the production. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Julia OrmondSmilla Jasperson
Gabriel ByrneThe Mechanic
Jim BroadbentDr. Lagermann
Tom WilkinsonProf. Loyen
Richard HarrisDr. Andreas Tork
Robert LoggiaMoritz Jasperson
Bob PeckRavn
Vanessa RedgraveElsa Lübing
David HaymanTelling
Peter CapaldiBirgo Lander
Jurgen VogelNils Jakkelsen
Lars BrygmannVerlaine

  • Genre: Mystery Movies
  • Director: Bille August
  • Producer: Fox
  • Length: 125 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaFeb 28, 1997
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaDec 17, 2002
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