6.4/10
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Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)

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A 6 y.o. Inuit boy runs off a snowy roof in Copenhagen and dies. Smilla, a half Inuit who lives in the building and knows the boy, looks into it. What makes an acrophobic boy run up on the roof? The clues take her to Greenland.

Director:

Bille August

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Snow covers everything...except the truth


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

Denmark | Germany | Sweden

Language:

English | Inuktitut

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smilla's Sense of Snow See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,108, 2 March 1997

Gross USA:

$2,221,994
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Smilla's father shows her the X-rays of the worms in the heart, he points out what remains of the liver and lower esophagus, then says "This is the heart, what's left of it". He's actually pointing to an upside-down X-ray of the upper abdomen. The "heart" is actually bowel gas in the intestine. See more »

Quotes

Smilla: The only thing that makes me truly happy is mathematics. Snow, ice, and numbers.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bob's Burgers: Better Off Sled (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Two thirds of a great film.
9 November 2004 | by Latheman-9See all my reviews

Bille August's "Smilla's Sense of Snow" starts off with great promise. An opening sequence that's a terrific hook segues into an introduction of the character of Smilla Jasperson, played perfectly by the lovely Julia Ormond. Smilla is self-isolated, deeply unhappy, and unapproachable. Her only real friend is the young Inuit boy, Isaiah, who dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, and Smilla determines to uncover the reasons for his death. For the first two reels, this film is a terrific mystery story with good pacing, fine acting, and evocative cinematography. Characters with uncertain motives come and go as the story unfolds, most played by a fine stable of talented actors. But then in the third reel, the film collapses. I'm not talking about a slow descent into mediocrity here; I'm talking about a precipitous nosedive. Out of the blue, the story suddenly switches to an action/thriller format that is poorly written, directed, and edited. New, undeveloped characters are suddenly thrown into the mix, each a deus ex machina as the increasingly unrealistic plot requires. The film's denouement, in which the underlying mystery is revealed, is so scientifically ridiculous both in terms of biology and especially in physics that I felt thoroughly cheated. It's as if the entire enterprise were rushed to completion due to a looming shortage of time, money, and interest. What a pity. Even so, the first two thirds of the film stand up well on their own, and my rating is based on that. Rating: 7/10.


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