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Smilla is Inuit for mucho contrived.Drivel.
Good storyline that goes far and a heroine that is vulnerable and strong at the same time. Lots of courage to forge forward without being well informed. Very female James Bond, with a trail of death, and a precursor to the Girl with the dragon tatoo serie.
good thriller and a movie where the weather is another character-gr8 job!
For being near twenty year old movie that sports neither the massive, glitzy, overdone special effects nor the shallowness of the '90's sci-fi movie you must give it a watch. Gabriel Byrne! and Julia Ormond! That should be enough reason right there. Even Robert Loggia was a good cast. I will be honest and admit that I did not recognize that Vanessa Redgrave was in it. Not sure what that says about me other an age-gap for my real interest in movies coming alive. It is rated R and there is some strong language (" "I'm sorry I've given you the impression it's my mouth that's rough.") but it's not especially excessive.
It is based on a 1992 bestseller by Danish author Peter Høeg. I confess I have never read the book so can't compare it as an adaptation but I can recommend this movie as quite good with the suspense being mysteriously hypnotic. It takes quite a-bit to get me to put down my knitting or get my face out of the computer and keep my concentration through-out, let alone to the end and this films was able to do that being original, compelling and highly unpredictable! Certainly deserves more than receiving only a nomination for a Golden Bear Award @ Berlin International Film Festival.
What caught me by surprise are some of the shallow and snarky critical reviews I found afterwards leaving this movie being reveled as rather under appreciated in the grand scheme of things. But than again color me weird I suppose.
The late Roger Ebert conceded two thumbs up with "so absorbing, so atmospheric, so suspenseful", yet he tagged the plot as one of the goofiest and so dumb. I disagree whole-heartedly. Yes there is a nice-sort of Bond twist melded into Smilla's capability to handle herself, much like Ziva David on NCIS whom I also love, except Smilla appears to come by it naturally and out-of-no-where rather than having been trained. And it's certainly no stretch of the imagination that a giant corporation would work under such covert sneakiness and harbor wild secrets. Remember Silkwood?
Maybe so many people felt the plot preposterous twenty years ago due to the movies core being hinged upon a prehistoric "Arctic worm" thought to be long extinct.... but in all actual reality how different is that from say todays all-too-bizarre and tragic Ebola virus ?
The real impact of the film for me lies upon Smilla's maternal altruistic love for this little neighbor child that opens her soul, the searching of her own essence without even realizing it and exposing the reasons why she is the way she is. Also watching her trying to figure out if she can trust the mechanic (Gabriel Byrne). That alone could lead to a sequel ! I also found the geography of the movie quite a pleasant change.
The ending is more of an ultimate soul revenge-wish come true given what has happened which seems far from goofy and hardly dumb. It's really quite reasonable especially when maternal instinct becomes involved.
The really only oddball part of this movie I thought was what was up with the whole point of the lady who played girlfriend to Smilla's father Moritz Jasperson (Robert Loggia)... I mean I understand the point, but that part was a bit off and could have been worked better but it is brief and a bit comical.
Well this was a little too "mysterious" for me as in I didn't ever have a clear idea of the characters or their motivation. Dry, art-housie and kinda boring despite a great cast, good performances and refreshing location as this takes place in Denmark and Greenland. I like Julie Ormond and she does a decent job as 'Smilla' a half Inuit woman living in Copenhagen who begins to suspect that the neighbor boy she'd befriended was murdered after his suspicious "fall" from the roof of their apartment building. She follows the clues all the way back to her native home of Greenland, has an awkward romance with Gabriel Byrne and uncovers a sci-fi-ish conspiracy.8/16/14
Friday, March 22, 2013
(1997) Smilla's Sense Of Snow
Known resident Smilla Jasperson (Julia Ormond) motivated investigation into the death of a young child who happened to live in the same building unbeknownst that it was going to lead to a bigger problem than she bargained for. Movie based on the novel written by Peter Høeg and seems like one for the most part which the film centers more on photography and scenery than on mystery.
3 out of 4 stars
'Smilla's sense of snow' introduces us to Smilla Jasperson (played convincingly by Julia Ormond) a young laboratory assistant working at the University hospital in Copenhagen. Smilla appears initially to be well blended into the workplace and life of the city but soon we realize that she is not a city person; she has grown up in the vast and snow-covered plains of Greenland with her Inuit mother and moved to Copenhagen after her mother's death.
Smilla one day after returning from work witnesses the fatal fall of a young Inuit boy falling from a terrace. The police arrives just after her and question her about the event. Despite being in a state of shock she manages to look at the scene and from the footprints on the snow she believes that the death was not accidental: the boy was pushed or nudged to jump under a threat. From that day on Smilla's life will change. She is determined to find out the truth seeking initially help from her father (who prepares to marry again) and then from her neighbor, the enigmatic mechanic played by (the always good) Gabriel Byrne.
'Smilla's sense of snow' is a very good thriller and Smilla is a very interesting heroine. We understand from the beginning that she does not feel comfortable in the city but at the same time tries to integrate without losing her Inuit identity. She seems fragile but her 'sense of snow' guides her to find the killer and her new identity. For her the death of the Inuit boy (that we get to know through a number of flashbacks) appears to signify the loss of her own innocence in a new world of norms and rules that she does not feel comfortable to abide by. The film is a well-crafted thriller from a good director (Bille August) with beautiful images of Copenhagen and the Arctic.
A genre piece but enjoyable. Julia Ormond is as much fun as Lisbeth a decade later.
Julia Ormond is gorgeous in this film, and the cinematography suits the mystery story element of the movie very well.
The beginning of this film was intriguing but the end was too obvious and rather a let down.