Smilla's Sense Of Snow

Set in two bleak environments -- the crowded, modern and alienating city of Copenhagen and the tundra of Greenland -- this lame bid at a thriller is hobbled by a plodding pace and a slipshod script. Ice researcher Smilla Jasperson (Julia Ormond) returns home after a routine day and finds her small Inuit neighbor, Isaiah, splayed out on the sidewalk. When...read more

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Set in two bleak environments -- the crowded, modern and alienating city of Copenhagen and the tundra of Greenland -- this lame bid at a thriller is hobbled by a plodding pace and a slipshod script. Ice researcher Smilla Jasperson (Julia Ormond) returns home

after a routine day and finds her small Inuit neighbor, Isaiah, splayed out on the sidewalk. When she asks the authorities what happened, they claim that the boy was playing on the rooftop, slipped on the snow and fell to his death. Smilla, intuitively and a tad unconvincingly, is certain that

Isaiah was murdered, since his sense of snow, highly developed like her own, would make an accident impossible. But when she attempts to make formal inquiries, she is summarily shut out of the investigation, leaving her to discover on her own that officials of the Greenland Mining Co. are behind

the cover-up. Smilla is a bitter and complicated woman who seems to go out of her way to be dislikable -- when a neighbor (Gabriel Byrne) tries to help her in her search for the truth, she coldly rebuffs him until he earns her trust. Ormond's portrayal of her is a daring one. But the film is

clunky and without momentum: Smilla's bond with Isaiah is shown repeatedly in obtrusive flashbacks, the finale and all its "startling" revelations feel perfunctory and the characters are as frozen as the film's Arctic landscape.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Set in two bleak environments -- the crowded, modern and alienating city of Copenhagen and the tundra of Greenland -- this lame bid at a thriller is hobbled by a plodding pace and a slipshod script. Ice researcher Smilla Jasperson (Julia Ormond) returns ho… (more)

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