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Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)

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Based on Peter Hoeg's bestseller, this film is set in snowy Copenhagen where a small boy is found dead after he fell off a roof. Smilla Jasperson, a close friend who lives in the same house... See full summary »


Bille August


Peter Høeg (novel), Ann Biderman (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ona Fletcher Ona Fletcher ... Inuit Hunter
Julia Ormond ... Smilla Jaspersen
Agga Olsen Agga Olsen ... Juliane Christiansen
Patrick Field Patrick Field ... Policeman
Matthew Marsh ... Detective
Gabriel Byrne ... The Mechanic
Jim Broadbent ... Dr. Lagermann
Tom Wilkinson ... Prof. Loyen
Charlotte Bradley Charlotte Bradley ... Mrs. Lagermann
Richard Harris ... Dr. Andreas Tork
Charles Lewsen Charles Lewsen ... Pastor (as Charles Lewson)
Robert Loggia ... Moritz Jaspersen
Emma Croft ... Benja
Bob Peck ... Ravn
Ann Queensberry ... Mrs. Schou


Based on Peter Hoeg's bestseller, this film is set in snowy Copenhagen where a small boy is found dead after he fell off a roof. Smilla Jasperson, a close friend who lives in the same house begins to suspect murder because she knows that the boy was afraid of heights and would not have played on the roof. As she begins to investigate, she is pulled deeper and deeper into a conspiracy that could very well mean her death. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Snow covers everything...except the truth

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and a sex scene | See all certifications »



Denmark | Germany | Sweden


English | Inuktitut

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smilla's Sense of Snow See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,108, 2 March 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,221,994, 27 April 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Richard Harris played King Arthur in Camelot (1967), and Julia Ormond played Guinevere in First Knight (1995). See more »


When Capt. Lukas is first seen in the casino, his hair, eyebrows, mustache are all black, with a little gray at the temples. The next day on, the ship, all of his hair is gray. See more »


Tork: Death is always a waste. But sometimes it's the only way to arouse people.
See more »


References Nanook of the North (1922) See more »


Quis est homo
(from Stabat Mater)
Written by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
performed by Kammerorchester 'Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach'
conducted by Hartmut Haenchen
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Performance by Julia Ormond in well-made thriller
9 February 2005 | by bondgirl6781See all my reviews

Julia Ormond has been known to be typecast as the woman in between or the center of a love triangle as seen in films like "Legends of the Fall," "First Knight," and "Sabrina." But in "Smilla's Sense of Snow," Ormond is beautiful, tough, intelligent, and gives a powerhouse performance as Smilla a Greenland-born woman who has lived her life in self-isolation. She is bitter, angry, often times cold and detached and she avoids all human connection by pushing people away including her own her father (Robert Loggia) until she befriends a little boy named Isaiah, an Inuit who lives next door. Smilla and Isaiah bond and become close until one day Isaiah is found dead with what the police rule as an accidental suicide while playing on the roof of their apartment building. But Smilla knows better when she looks at the scene of the crime and notices that little boy's foot tracks on the snow go running straight to the edge of the building. Smilla begins to investigate the young boy's death and along the way she is acquainted with another neighbor and friend of Isaiah (Gabriel Byrne) with whom Smilla begins a relationship that she resists. I liked this movie with the exception of the "X-Files"-like ending, but this film is worth watching for Julia Ormond who should've been given an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her performance...flawed script, but an intriguing character played beautifully by the classically lovely Julia Ormond.

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