One would have thought that a movie produced by Martin Scorsese, directed by the guy who made Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with a cast that includes Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson, would have turned out to be one of the better movies of the fall season. That's not the case. The Snowman, by most accounts, is a complete disaster. Director Tomas Alfredson is already going on the defensive, doing his best to explain why this dumpster fire isn't his fault. Here's what he had to say about it in a recent interview.
"Our shoot time in Norway was way too short. We didn't get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing. It's like when you're making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don't see the whole picture."
According to Tomas Alfredson, "It happened very abruptly, suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London." What's worse is that, by his count, they didn't get to shoot 15 to 20 percent of the script. That's no way to make a movie. And that might explain a lot of the pacing and editing issues that many critics are complaining about. MovieWeb's own Julian Roman calls The Snowman one of the "worst films of the year" and didn't pull any punches in his review.
"It boggles the mind that a well-regarded source novel, fantastic cast, and veteran production team ended up with such an unmitigated disaster. It is the latest example of how great ingredients do not always lead to a tasty cake. The Snowman is abysmal at best."
The Snowman is based on the novels by Jo Nesbo that follow the fictional character Harry Hole, as played by Michael Fassbender. People love the novels and, this particular adaptation was set to be directed by Martin Scorsese at one point. So there was clearly a lot of potential in the story. Sadly, as it exists, it's a trainwreck. The movie currently has a dreadful 11 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the last thing a studio wants with such a high-profile movie. Tomas Alfredson is willing to acknowledge a lot of the criticisms, but those who have issues with the incorrect geography in the movie? He's not having it.
"It's not a documentary about the geography of Norway. I wanted to make a fictive thriller. So even if not everything is geographically correct, I don't give a shit."
It's one thing for a director to talk ill of their movie some time after its release, but Tomas Alfredson distancing himself from the issues ahead of the release of The Snowman is pretty unique. Universal Pictures probably won't take too kindly to that, but his frustrations are understandable. He certainly needs to shoulder a percentage of the blame for The Snowman. He is the director, after all. But this interview with NRK is telling.