By John Dolen
City & Shore Magazine
Lucky you if for some reason you missed either the movie in its original release or the later FX Network’s series. No one does sinister and entertaining in one package as well as the Coen Brothers. Bundle up, ’cause it’s darn cold out there, fella.
2. Doctor Zhivago
This classic, five-Oscar winner gets better as the years go by. There’s romance, history, Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. There’s also the very wintry Russian countryside.
Oh, no, it’s Silvio from The Sopranos in this series made for television, I mean Little Steven, let loose on the sleepy Norwegian town that once hosted the Winter Olympics. Van Zandt shines in this wacky, snowy story.
Norway along the Arctic Circle is the frigid setting for this taut mystery series made for British television. Strong performances (Richard Dormer, Stanley Tucci) and a bunch of unpredictable back-country characters enliven a plot that veers into Stephen King territory in the final episodes.
5. Encounters at the End of the World
You can’t get any colder than this for a place where people actually live. Naturally, eccentric German director Werner Herzog would want to go to Antarctica to record the surreal beauty of the icebergs and ice caves, but more important, to find out how the heck the residents ended up there.
6. March of the Penguins
Nobody beats the summer heat better than the penguins in this engaging documentary about the species’ incredibly demanding existence in the frozen wilderness. The original version by French cinematographers gets a makeover for American audiences with narration by Morgan Freeman.
7. The Grey
How could we leave out Alaska, especially chilly when you’ve been tossed out into the wild when your plane crashes? Liam Neeson is as intense as ever in this film, as he and fellow oil men who survive the crash face two enemies: the pitiless cold and stalking wolves.
This film won honors at the Berlin Film Fest and was on the short list for best film Oscar in 2012. A brassy little thief takes care of his attractive but troubled big sister with light-fingered forays among unsuspecting skiers on the glorious Swiss Alps. 9. As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me
Nothing says cold like winter in Siberia. Especially if you’re a prisoner escaping from a Russian Gulag in 1945. The man’s desperate attempt to make it overland all the way back to Europe keeps us on the edge.
Beautiful losers race across time near the Canadian border during a blizzard in this thriller. Lots of shivering and wandering in the cold, until the losers stumble into the hearth of an unsuspecting couple, played by Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek.