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Smilla's Sense of Snow

Posted on

Smilla's Sense of Snow

Current Status:
In Season
Julia Ormond, Jim Broadbent, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Wilkinson
Bille August

We gave it a C

No doubt about it — Smilla’s Sense of Snow is a marvel. Director Bille August’s sense of pacing, on the other hand, needs work. If most film adaptations of novels feel like Cliffs Notes, this rushed, arrhythmic rendition of Peter Hoeg’s novel is more like the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the Cliffs Notes, with every third page torn out. What remains is Hoeg’s ridiculous plot, which finds Smilla (Julia Ormond) investigating the death of a neighbor’s Inuit son and gradually uncovering a sinister corporate plot to…no, it’s just too inane to repeat. The driven, refreshingly unsympathetic Smilla is a potentially fascinating character — imagine a younger Nurse Ratched as the lead in a thriller — but August is too busy hitting the directorial fast-forward button to delve into her troubled psyche. C