SURVIVAL against the elements is big this month in a number of film releases. Kate Winslet and Idris Elba have several mountains, a forest, and a frozen lake between them, and a civilisation in The Mountain Between Us.
Winslet is Alex Martin, a photojournalist trying to get back to New York from Salt Lake City for her wedding the next day. When an incoming storm grounds all flights out of the airport she recruits similarly stranded passenger Ben Bass (Elba), who she overhears telling the airline staff he urgently needs to get back to perform a surgery, to hire a small private plane to take them home. But the plane crashes, the pilot dies and the two of them (plus the pilot’s dog) are stranded on a snowy mountain in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness. What follows is a tale of survival and, eventually — between the two human survivors, at least — romance.
That this doubles as a love story means that the film doesn’t dwell on survival techniques or the grimness of their situation, and the pair rarely focus on their likely deaths.
The script, co-written by Chris Weitz (co-writer of About A Boy) and J. Mills Goodloe, is instead mostly content to have them bicker, bond or flirt as the situation dictates.