Smilla's Sense of Snow

( 2 )

Overview

Julia Ormond stars as Copenhagen resident Smilla Jasperson, a reclusive, half-Inuit scientist who befriends a neglected Inuit boy who lives in her building. Arriving home from work one day, Smilla is mortified to learn that the boy has died in a fall from the building's roof. Suspicious because she knows that her young friend was afraid of heights, Smilla probes into the "accident." Her only ally is an enigmatic man known as the Mechanic Gabriel Byrne, who also lives in the building and seems sympathetic. Smilla ...
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Overview

Julia Ormond stars as Copenhagen resident Smilla Jasperson, a reclusive, half-Inuit scientist who befriends a neglected Inuit boy who lives in her building. Arriving home from work one day, Smilla is mortified to learn that the boy has died in a fall from the building's roof. Suspicious because she knows that her young friend was afraid of heights, Smilla probes into the "accident." Her only ally is an enigmatic man known as the Mechanic Gabriel Byrne, who also lives in the building and seems sympathetic. Smilla discovers that the boy's family is connected to a mining company conducting top-secret research in her ancestral home of Greenland. Then she spies the Mechanic and the company's president Richard Harris dining together. Is she a paranoid conspiracy theorist or a sleuth uncovering a bizarre murder mystery? When a retired secretary Vanessa Redgrave helps her make a critical discovery, Smilla sets off for Greenland, where the otherworldly, prehistoric answer to her questions awaits. Danish director Bille August's previous film Pelle the Conqueror 1987 also concerned the bond between an adult Denmark émigré and a child.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The investigation of a young boy's death produces more questions than answers in this unconventional murder mystery, a psychologically dense and elliptical drama directed by Bille August Les Miserables. In a characterization suiting her cold beauty and placid persona, Julia Ormond portrays Smilla Jaspersen, a native-born Greenlander with an uncanny ability to navigate bleak Arctic landscapes. She refuses to believe that a six-year-old boy accidentally fell to his death from the roof of the Copenhagen apartment complex where she lives, and her pursuit of the truth vindicates her suspicions and eventually uncovers evidence of a much greater crime. August eschews the typical characters and conventions of screen whodunits, and he forces his audience to mentally bridge glaring gaps in the continuity. Supporting players Gabriel Byrne, Tom Wilkinson, Robert Loggia, and Vanessa Redgrave are employed to advantage, but the film's success rests entirely upon the shoulders of Ormond, whose understated performance suggests more than it shows. Smilla's Sense of Show demands more concentration than most movies of its type, but viewers willing to expend the effort will be richly rewarded. The DVD offers a production featurette and the theatrical trailer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2001
  • UPC: 086162418037
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julia Ormond Smilla Jasperson
Gabriel Byrne Mechanic
Richard Harris Tork
Vanessa Redgrave Elsa Lubing
Robert Loggia Moritz Jasperson
Jim Broadbent Lagermann
Mario Adorf Lukas
Peter Capaldi Lander
Emma Croft Benja
Clipper Miano Isaiah
Agga Olsen Juliane
Bob Peck Ravn
Jürgen Vogel Jakkelsen
Tom Wilkinson Dr. Loyen
Technical Credits
Bille August Director
Anna Asp Production Designer
Barbara Baum Costumes/Costume Designer
Ann Biderman Screenwriter
Tove Berg Bramsen Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonora Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Bernd Eichinger Producer
Harry Gregson-Williams Songwriter
Peter Hutchinson Special Effects
Janus Billeskov Jansen Editor
Risa Kes Costumes/Costume Designer
Rosanne Korenberg Associate Producer
Martin Moszkowicz Producer
Chris Munro Sound/Sound Designer
Jörgen Persson Cinematographer
Guy Travers Asst. Director
Hans Zimmer Score Composer, Songwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Surprising Delight

    I loved the book on which this movie is based, and doubted both that a film could capture the interior tensions of Smilla and that Ormond could portray her. I was wrong. While some of the rich and subtle texture of the book is lost -- as usually happens with a book-to-film translation -- the film is faithful. It also takes advantage of its own medium's strengths and gives us a taut and compelling story with emotional depth. And Ormand is beautifully delicate in revealing, or hinting at, Smilla's personal struggles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Spectacular

    The marketing campaign for this movie never pulled me in, but I caught twenty minutes out of the middle on television which was enough to convince me to rent it. This is a tightly plotted, conspiracy theory mystery with a bit of science-fiction thrown in. Everyone in it gives well-directed stellar performances and the photography, especially of the glaciers, is wonderful. An excellent choice for a DVD home library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews