The Snowman (2017)

TOMAS ALFREDSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5/USA//, 2017, , , Screenplay by , , , based on the novel by Jo NesbøCinematography by Produced by , , , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by , .

Michael Fassbender in The Snowman.

Women are vanishing all over the city of Oslo, and it’s a burned-out alcoholic cop (played by ) who is responsible for uncovering the reason for their disappearances. Teamed up with an avid, younger officer (), Fassbender must deal with the turmoil of his personal life with ex-girlfriend and her son () while visiting the sites of the missing women that all have one thing in common: whoever abducted them has left a snowman in the yard to mark their having been there (which, admittedly, is quite the devoted undertaking for a sociopath, snowpeople are not that easy or fast to build). The investigation gets more dire when missing women become murdered women, body parts start showing up in crime scenes and Ferguson reveals she might have a deeper connection to the situation than she at first revealed. Based on the novel by Jo Nesbo, whose Headhunters was previously adapted to a successful film in 2011, this scatterbrained thriller lacks thrills thanks to a mess of a screenplay that never gets a hold of its plot: there is no sense of process in which the clues mount to the eventual finale, none of the details contribute to unveiling the mystery and the eventual identity of the killer is basically a solution that drops out of the sky. Adapting the book to English dialogue and actors without changing any of its cultural details results in some odd choices (like the fact that the main character’s name, Harry Hole, probably doesn’t induce giggles in Norwegian), and the subplots involving Gainsbourg and as a shady business tycoon feel extraneous.

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