The Mountain Between Us (12A)
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba can’t be short of offers, so heaven knows what either of them saw in this project, a very silly story which ill-advisedly attempts to fuse smouldering romance with survivalist thrills amid the remote, snowy peaks of Utah.
Oh, and there’s a lovable dog too, a golden retriever which miraculously survives a plane crash, an attack by a cougar, and weeks of starvation, to be just as woofy and waggy-tailed at the end of the film as he is at the beginning.
Winslet plays a fearless American photo-journalist called Alex who at the start of the film is in Salt Lake City trying, in the depths of winter, to get back to New York, where she is due to get married the following day.
If that doesn’t sound quite enough like the plot of a trashy novel then consider this; Elba is a gorgeous British neurosurgeon called Ben (with a tragic personal life) who also needs to get back to the East Coast, in his case to operate on a dying child.
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba can’t be short of offers, so heaven knows what either of them saw in this project, The Mountain Between Us
Kate Winslet plays a fearless American photo-journalist called Alex who at the start of the film is in Salt Lake City trying to get back to New York where she is due to get married the following day
Idris Elba stars in The Mountain Between Us as a gorgeous British neurosurgeon called Ben (with a tragic personal life) who also needs to get back to the East Coast
When their scheduled flight is cancelled they team up to charter a tiny plane with a worryingly ageing and out-of-shape pilot called Walter (Beau Bridges).
Walter likes to fly with his dog in the passenger seat, but when he goes and has a stroke several thousand feet up … well, suffice to say I’m not referring to the hound alongside him.
The plane duly crashes on a mountain peak, killing old Walter but leaving Ben and Alex in only relatively minor states of disrepair. The dog is entirely unscathed.
So, with nobody even aware they’re there, somehow or other they must rescue themselves.
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba during filming of the Graham Norton Show in September to promote their film The Mountain Between Us
That means fighting off bitter cold and negligible food supplies, not to mention the snarling cougar. On their perilous way down the mountain, luckily, they find a cave from central casting, with fabulous stalactites. What they never find, alas, is a scrap of plausibility.
Of course, it’s always fun to watch Winslet acting her socks off, even though she keeps them firmly on here, at least until another convenient discovery in the wintry wilderness – a house with a bed – encourages Alex and Ben to get naked together.
But really, what a waste of talent this film represents, and that goes too for its director Hany Abu-Assad. He has Oscar nominations to his name, but now he also has this, a picture that deserves to be buried under 100ft of snow and never found again.