David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia includes the desert as one of the main characters of the movie. Without the desert, it's likely the movie would never have been made. Bille August's Sense of Snow movie uses Greenland as his backdrop. It is not Lawrence of Arabia, but there are some interesting parallels.
Our main story line is far too convoluted to be believed, but it doesn't seem to matter that much. The actors and scenery carry most of the movie.
Julia Ormond is Smilla, a journeywomen scientist. Her neighbor's child dies from falling off the roof and our story begins. Smilla becomes an unlikely detective. She's driven to understand how the boy died. This leads to a romance with Gabriel Byrne, odd interactions with her remarried father, and the uncovering of a corporate scandal.
It's unclear what her driving force is in the movie. There are many times her life is in great danger, but she presses on, searching for the truth.
On a large screen, this movie plays sort of like a cross between crime story, X-Files, and IMAX. It's never very decisive in what it really wants to be. It's entertaining in a slow and methodical way, but another few revisions of the script may have made this a very fine film.
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