Writer/director Joe Penna’s latest feature is a testament to the power and transcendent on-screen energy of a single man.
Mads Mikkelson, best known to North American viewers as Hannibal Lecter on TV or Casino Royale’s Bond villain, is one of the most prolific actors working.
Here, Penna plops him in a rugged, snowy terrain by himself and lets him roam free. In his desolation and quiet despair, we see a true master at work.
Mikkelson is incredible as Overgård, a man stuck in the middle of the Arctic after his plane crash-lands.
Stuck between the relative safety of the camp he’s built close to the fallen plane and the idea of trekking through deep snow to find help, he’s left with a life-or-death decision.
Things become complicated when, in a stunning turn I won’t give away, he finds himself no longer alone.
Arctic is an incredibly crafted, disquieting experience, and I liken it to Robert Redford’s beautiful picture All Is Lost.
It’s the perfect pedestal on which Mikkelson gets to show his prowess, and profoundly watchable.