Director: Joe Penna
Writers: Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir, Tintrinai Thikhasuk
Arctic is an engrossing and intense survival tale about a man, stranded in the Arctic after a plane crash, making the difficult decision to leave the relative safety of his campsite to take a grueling trek to a far-off rescue station.
It’s superbly acted by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who masters the screen with his every gesture and emotion from the time we first see him going about his daily survival routines to gently caring for a young woman severely injured in a helicopter crash while attempting to rescue him.
Once Mikkelsen’s character H. Overgård makes his decision to leave his plane, he must haul the woman and crucial supplies, brave a polar bear attack and survive the brutal cold and storms while exhausted and injured. I can’t remember the last time I felt so invested in a film, an actor and the story’s outcome.
It was filmed in Iceland by first-time feature film director Joe Penna who started on Youtube in 2006 making videos as the channel MysteryGuitarMan. Cinematographer Tómas Örn Tómasson gets a special shout out.