Julia Ormond stars as Copenhagen resident Smilla Jasperson, a reclusive, half-Inuit scientist who befriends a neglected Inuit boy who lives in her building. Arriving home from work one day, Smilla is mortified to learn that the boy has died in a fall from the building's roof. Suspicious because she knows that her young friend was afraid of heights, Smilla probes into the "accident." Her only ally is an enigmatic man known as the Mechanic (Gabriel Byrne), who also lives in the building and seems sympathetic. Smilla discovers that the boy's family is connected to a mining company conducting top-secret research in her ancestral home of Greenland. Then she spies the Mechanic and the company's president (Richard Harris) dining together. Is she a paranoid conspiracy theorist or a sleuth uncovering a bizarre murder mystery? When a retired secretary (Vanessa Redgrave) helps her make a critical discovery, Smilla sets off for Greenland, where the otherworldly, prehistoric answer to her questions awaits. Danish director Bille August's previous film Pelle the Conqueror (1987) also concerned the bond between an adult Denmark émigré and a child. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
This is a movie that most women should enjoy, since the main character is an intelligent and attractive woman. Smilla is a sharp character, and has that hard and cynical nature that women often have to have in a man's world. This movie is a nice mystery, and gives you some of the most critical clues in the first 5 minutes, then builds into detailing the various characters and interections in such a way that almost everything is another clue that further strengthens the case she presents at the end.--- I bought this one because I liked the book so much. My mother loved it so much that I just gave it to her, and she watched it over and over. Smilla offers women a view of handle both men and other women, and it's done in a way that is believable and endearing.--- If you're some low-brow looking for excitement, don't watch this. But, if you like to work your mind as you figure out a movie, this is good one to add to your list.
I have liked this movie for many years. I like the Scandanavian countries. I like snow and ice. I like the movie's musical score. The opening scene is a marvelous depiction of a meteor strike and resulting tidal wave of ocean ice overtaking a seal hunting Inuit man and his dog sled. It is a movie to watch on a day in which you are feeling in a meditative mood.