– Gabriel Byrne as the veteran explorer Bram gives by far the best performance of the film, succeeding to deliver the feeling of the era and despite his short presence on the screen he overshadows the clichéd performance of Juliette Binoche and the boxed portrayal of Rinko Kikuchi.
– The unfortunate inspiration of the voice over narration that aimed to give a background outline of the events, but ends to be merely dictating the main character’s emotions and thoughts, thus being annoying.
– Josephine’s breakdown scene when she learns that Alaka, her Inuit helper, is the lover of her husband and she is expecting his baby. Perhaps the only genuine moment of the film.
– Allegedly based on true events, the portrayal of Josephine Peary as this upper class well-educated woman finding herself in an estranged environment, carrying her china set and her finest dresses in the vast frozen desert and behaving like she is New York, it may be interesting and amusing at points but it is far from the truth, as Josephine was a protofeminist, teaching linguistics at the Smithsonian Institute and had accompanied her husband in several of his expeditions.
– The thoughts emerged upon the revelation at the end of the film that Peary had miscalculated and never actually reached North Pole, making all the suffer and sacrifice presented in the film worth nothing. Human vanity at its peak.
Friedrichstadt Palast – 65th Berlinale International Film Festival – Berlin – 06/02/2015