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...
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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 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I thought the trailer looked great and the acting talent involved really is quite impressive: Julia Ormond, Richard Harris, Tom Wilkinson, and Gabriel Byrne. Not to mention that the story looked interesting. And the cinematography is just amazing--very beautiful, very cold. So, what went wrong? Sadly, the film is crippled by the script. It's the kind of story where the protagonist knows exactly the right bits of obscure information and knows exactly the right people who can give her exactly the information she needs to unravel the mystery. Not only that, she can rappel off the side of a ship like nobody's business. In his review of this film, Ebert said it was "a triumph of style over substance." The style is definitely there, but just before it triumphs, something completely illogical is said or done that breaks the suspension of disbelief the film tries so hard to build up. As for the actors, I got the feeling that they just didn't know what to do with their characters, none of which were very well-rounded. Even Smilla, a unique female protagonist in that she is very intelligent and independent, is not given enough of a personality or a background to inspire the viewer's compassion. And anyway, it's not her intelligence that gets her to the end of the story, it's the fact that she's got more guts than any hero I've ever seen in a movie, male or female. The only truly likable and memorable character is Isaiah, if only because he's just an impossibly cute little kid. In the end, while the movie is aesthetically pleasing, not enough attention was paid to developing a plausible story, well-drawn characters, or a satisfying ending.
P.S.--I almost forgot to mention that Vanessa Redgrave does a very nice job but has to say the line "There is no Mr Lubing. I am the bride of Jesus", which just cracked me up, even though I think it was supposed to be a serious moment.
P.P.S.--The absolute highlight of the movie is a little speech Smilla gives about numbers. It's actually very unique and insightful and, fortunately, it's in the Memorable Quotes section.
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