Stanley Shephard is an anthropologist working in the arctic.
When an expeditionary force finds a body buried in the ice
it soon becomes evident that the body is of a Neanderthal
man. When the scientists start to thaw him out, they discover
that he has miraculously survived his long hibernation. Shephard
sees this as an opportunity to study him to get a better understanding
of our origins, but some of the other scientist just see him
as a scientific and commercial opportunity...
(1984) was directed by Fred Schepisi whose other credits include
Plenty and Steve Martin's version of Roxanne.
The film was originally going to be made by Norman Jewison
and though this didn't happen he remained on the project as
you can get past the ludicrous premise for the film, you'll
discover a movie that isn't half bad. Ok, so the science is
dodgy in the extreme, but the performances make up for this.
This is a film where the sum of its parts is greater than
you would expect.
is the cinematography by Ian Baker, who also worked on Queen
of the Damned (2002), Evan Almighty (2007) and
a number of collaborations with Fred Schepisi. There are some
magnificent shots of the frozen tundra which predates March
of the Penguins (2005) and the BBC's Planet Earth
(2006). Unfortunately, as this is only released in DVD format
and not high definition, you wont be able to really appreciate
acting accolade goes not to Timothy Hutton, who plays Shephard
(though there is nothing wrong with his performance), but
rather to John Lone who plays the Iceman.
To be honest even if you were a great fan of Lone's most memorable
role in Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987), where
he played the adult Pu Yi, you would never guess he was under
the prosthetics. Even though he is restricted to some unintelligible
grunts Lone uses his facial expression to tell you everything
you need to know about what Charlie (his grunted name sounds
a little like Charlie) is thinking and feeling. The rest of
the cast also put in good performances including Lindsay Crouse,
Danny Glover and David Strathairn.
film contains some memorable moments, such as the thawing
sequence, and although there may be some that will argue the
merits of the ending, overall it's quite a good film.
film has no extras, which was a pity, and is presented in
16:9 letterbox format.
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