Notorious Norway

The Snowman

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloe Sevigny, Val Kilmer, J. K. Simmons, James D’Arcy, Toby Jones, Jonas Karlsson, Jakob Oftebro, David Dencik

Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbo’s thriller The Snowman is brought to cinematic life by Iranian screenwriter Hossein Amini and co-written by Peter Staughan. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy director Tomas Alfredson brings this bleak Norwegian thriller to the big screen with a constantly icy landscape concerning a ruthless and psychopathic serial killer who kills his victims every time the snow begins falling, which in a Scandinavian winter, would be consistently often.

Assembling an international cast including Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave, Steve Jobs) as hard-drinking detective Harry Hole opposite art house actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, the muse of Danish auteur Lars von Trier who starred in such films as Anti-Christ and Nymphomaniac as his ex-girlfriend Rakel, personally I had high hopes for this thriller being a captivating cinematic experience. My criticism is that in The Snowman, the character relationships were not clearly defined, which made navigating this thriller virtually impossible.

Having not read the Jo Nesbo novel, I found this film version slightly lacklustre especially in the slow moving first half. Despite a refreshing change of watching an entire film shot in Norway, The Snowman didn’t quite pack the same verve as David Fincher’s utterly compelling film version of Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Rebecca Ferguson who appeared in Life and Florence Foster Jenkins also stars as co-detective Kathrine Bratt who is harbouring secrets of her own especially as she tries to entice Norwegian businessman Arve Stop played by Oscar winner J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) into a honey trap, since he has a peculiar penchant for photographing beautiful girls. Rarely seen actor Val Kilmer (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Heat and Pollock) makes a welcome comeback as Gert Rafto a Bergen based detective following a similar murder case years earlier.

While The Snowman’s narrative visibility is as convoluted as the blurry icy landscape of Oslo and Bergen, the acting comes off as flat and uninspired. Which is a great pity considering the film’s acting talent.

Fassbender does a reasonably good job of bringing some dimension to Harry Hole, the lonely but observant detective, however one gets the sense that he wasn’t committed to the role as he was in director Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth. Although the role of Macbeth is substantially more interesting.

Perhaps the reason for my lukewarm response to this supposedly icy thriller was that I had a nightmarish cinematic experience coupled with expectations that director Tomas Alfredson would make an equally impressive film as his gripping adaptation of John le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The Snowman for all its gripping plot-twists, peppered with gruesome murders, gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2017
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Why George Clooney Was the Perfect Messenger to Call for an Election Shake-Up
    George Clooney’s New York Times op-ed calling for President Biden to drop out of the election felt like something more than standard-issue celebrity activism for a few reasons. For the political class, it was not just an actor speaking, but a major Democratic Party donor and fundraiser — one whose insight on Biden’s age and […]
    Danvariety
  • Women’s Sports, Live Event Streaming and More Promise Spirited Discussions at Variety’s Sports and Entertainment Summit
    Streaming services are locked in a tightening battle to become go-to destinations for live sports coverage. Women’s sports increasingly rival men’s as a source for fiery debates and runaway ratings. Multi-platform sports commentators are becoming as famous as many of the athletes they cover. And while all eyes turn towards Paris for the start of […]
    Todd Gilchrist
  • The Smile Cancels European Tour After Jonny Greenwood ‘Emergency Hospital Treatment’
    The Smile has canceled its European tour as lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood recovers from an “infection that needed emergency hospital treatment,” the Radiohead offshoot band announced on social media Friday. “A few days ago, Jonny became seriously ill from an infection that needed emergency hospital treatment, some of it in intensive care. Mercifully he is […]
    Ethan Shanfeld
  • Alec Baldwin Files Surprise Motion to Dismiss Case Over Failure to Disclose Bullets
    SANTA FE, N.M. — Alec Baldwin’s lawyers have filed a surprise motion asking that his manslaughter case be thrown out because the state failed to turn over a batch of bullets to the defense. Attorney Luke Nikas argued that the failure was part of a broader pattern of disclosure violations by the prosecution, and said […]
    Gmaddaus
  • ‘Bosch’ Renee Ballard Spinoff Casts Courtney Taylor
    The “Bosch” spinoff about cold case detective Renee Ballard has added Courtney Taylor to its cast, Variety has learned. Taylor will star alongside previously announced series lead Maggie Q in the untitled series, which was picked up to series in November 2023. Like “Bosch,” the series will be based on the work of author Michael […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90