The Moun­tain Be­tween Us

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - CINEMA - HI­LARY A WHITE

Cert: 12A. Now show­ing.

If you’ve ever pon­dered what would hap­pen if you plonked two beau­ti­ful peo­ple on a moun­tain with noth­ing but a bag of nuts and aching hearts, pon­der no more.

Dutch-pales­tinian direc­tor Hany Abu-as­sad ar­rived in Hol­ly­wood via a se­ries of en­er­getic, sen­si­tive re­leases that of­ten in­volved hu­man sto­ries from his fraught home­land. The Moun­tain Be­tween Us, an adap­ta­tion of the US ro­mance novel by Charles Martin, seems whim­si­cal by com­par­i­son.

Kate Winslet is gutsy pho­to­jour­nal­ist Alex Martin. Idris Elba is neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Bass. A storm grounds their flight and they de­cide to char­ter a small plane to get them home. Smeared across the pi­lot’s face is the gorm­less grin of Beau Bridges — and im­me­di­ately you know that things are about to go very wrong for the pair.

The plane goes down on an icy moun­tain­top in deep­est dark­est Utah. The pi­lot’s dog is un­scathed, but Alex and Ben have sus­tained in­juries (Ben is a doc­tor so it could be worse). Help doesn’t come, so they set off into the frozen wilder­ness where, nat­u­rally, they fall in love and get busy in an old musty cabin.

Elba and Winslet have lit­tle to work with in this hand­some but ul­ti­mately dull and dis­sat­is­fy­ing trudge through sen­ti­ment. The only sig­nif­i­cant moral to be gleaned from it all is that if Beau Bridges jin­gles the plane keys and says, “I’ll fly”, you take the train.

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