How the Snowman Became a Fantastic Mess for a Movie

    Subpar movies are a dime a dozen. It usually takes some level of extenuating circumstances to produce the best of the best – and the worst of the worst. Unfortunately for fans of thriller noir films, snowman It falls firmly into the latter category.

    Based on a world-famous novel and featuring some of the biggest names in cinema, this movie, on paper, was supposed to be a hit. What resulted, however, was a movie full of bizarre acting choices, baffling editing, a laughable villain, and so much more.

    How did this new Oscar-nominated thriller fail so spectacularly, and was it doomed from the start?

    Who is Harry Hole?

    Universal Pictures

    snowman is the eighth entry in author Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series, which follows a drunken detective as he uses unorthodox but highly effective methods to solve crimes in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and others. Over the course of the novels, readers are introduced to the eccentric detective. Still, movie audiences are expected to love him without seven novels worth of character development.

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    Related: The best neo-noir of the 21st century, so far

    Harry’s introduction to the film finds him sleeping on a snowy playground, a nearly empty bottle of vodka hanging from his hand. There isn’t much to like about Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Hole, and the movie doesn’t give audiences much of anything to hold onto as an interesting character trait. It was also helpful for the filmmakers to look up the correct pronunciation of Harry’s last name (“Hole” pronounced “HOO-leh”) rather than just giving him the ridiculous name Harry-hole (pronounced like-you-think).

    The origin of quality

    Universal Pictures

    author snowman, Jo Nesbø, is a world-renowned writer, and the Harry Hole series is beloved by new crime fiction fans. Contemporary reviews describe the novel as “Erica Jung meets Stephen King meets… Stieg Larson” and “a first class roller coaster ride”. Nesbo’s novels have sold more than 33 million copies worldwide. Given the proportions of the novel between the literary crowd and outside it, snowman The movie had a built-in audience and plenty to live for.

    That, of course, compounded the incredible cast in front and behind the camera in the movie. Martin Scorsese left as director but stayed on as executive producer. Entering the role was Tomas Alfredsson, who had previously received high praise for his films Let the right person And repairman, tailor, soldier, spy. cast snowman She’s also totally stacked with stars. Aside from Fassbender in the lead, the film features Rebecca Ferguson, JK Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, Chloe Sevigny, and Toby Jones. Everything about who was working on this film seems to at least point to a competent film, and yet it fails to be so at times.

    A wave of bad decisions

    JK Simmons The Snowman
    Universal Pictures

    snowman It’s full of famous actors, but some of the choices these actors make and for them are pretty weird and distracting. JK Simmons as business mogul Arve Støp uses a quasi-Norwegian accent that stands out against all the other non-Norwegian actors who don’t do accents. There’s also Val Kilmer’s performance as Detective Gert Rafto, which was completely renamed ADR because the actor was recovering from throat cancer at the time of filming.

    Related: The best non-traditional detective TV shows and movies, ranked

    More distracting than the weird accents and ADR, though, is the downright bizarre editing that makes this mystery hard enough to follow, let alone solve. For example, Chloe Sevigny’s character has a brief introduction before being dispatched by the killer of the same name. She then reappears as that character’s twin sister for no reason, and neither character appears again for the rest of the film. Kilmer’s parts of the story, which take place nine years earlier, are cut almost haphazardly with little to no transition and hardly suggest we’re in a different time. Until the last third of the movie, Kilmer’s role as Detective Rafto seems irrelevant despite the fact that he’s hunting the same killer as Detective Hall.

    The mystery of the lost movie

    Universal Pictures

    This strange editing that makes snowman It was very hard to follow, apparently, as a result of not shooting footage. According to Alfredson, the shooting happened very suddenly with no warning, and the time it took for the production to shoot the film was “very short”. In short, in fact, about 10 to 15 percent of the text was not filmed. By the time the film went into editing, Alfredsson and his crew realized they did not have the footage to make a coherent film. As he puts it, “It’s like you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and there are some pieces missing so you don’t see the whole picture.”

    It would be hard to argue that any movie would make sense to lose so much of the content it was meant to contain. Trying to do this with a suspenseful thriller that includes multiple, intersecting plot points and red herrings is futile. What should be a cerebral experiment is instead a muddy mess that is neither interesting nor clever.

    Alfredsson firmly insists that the reason snowman This failure was just at the studio’s feet, but what we’re seeing from this movie suggests that what the studio did was just make the mediocre to bad movie worse. From quirky acting and casting choices to memorable images based on The Snowman, snowman It will never be another The girl with the dragon tattooWhatever she wanted it to be.

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