CINEMA: COMING IN FROM THE COLD

JULIA ORMOND FULFILLS HER PROMISE IN A SEARING PERFORMANCE AS THE HEROINE OF A MOODY THRILLER

Smilla's Sense of Snow is more than a climatological instinct. It is the projection of a wintry soul over which a long, cold arctic night settled long ago.

When we meet her in director Bille August's intricate and compelling realization of Peter Hoeg's best-selling novel, Smilla Jaspersen has given her professional life over to the frozen music of mathematics, her private life over to bone-chilling isolation. The set of Smilla's face, the carriage of her body, as Julia Ormond plays her, says, "Don't ask, don't touch." She relents--angry at the show of weakness--for just one person. That is a lonely little...

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