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Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)

2:28 | Trailer

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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 »



(novel), (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ona Fletcher ... Inuit Hunter
... Smilla Jaspersen
Agga Olsen ... Juliane Christiansen
Patrick Field ... Policeman
... Detective
... The Mechanic
... Dr. Lagermann
... Prof. Loyen
Charlotte Bradley ... Mrs. Lagermann
... Dr. Andreas Tork
Charles Lewsen ... Pastor (as Charles Lewson)
... Moritz Jaspersen
... Benja
... Ravn
... 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

Plot Keywords:

boy | roof | greenland | snow | neighbor | See All (65) »


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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Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smilla's Sense of Snow  »


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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

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 »


Jakkelsen: Everyone thinks you're a cop. Is that what you're doing here, spying on me?
Smilla: Actually, I came for a quick fuck, but you spoiled it by talking.
See more »


References Psycho (1960) 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

I really wanted to like this.
13 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

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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