I DID feel for Kate Winslet’s character in The Mountain Between Us (now
available to rent via all the usual means).
Alex has played a blinder – she has sent fellow plane crash survivor Ben (Idris Elba) off to go seek some help as her ankle is still giving her some gyp.
And she is just getting settled back on the sofa under numerous warm blankets beside the log burner with a belly-full of soup for a well-deserved little snooze and he comes bursting back through the door of the deserted cabin in the frozen woods and says he is not going without her. Marvellous.
We next watch her trudging and hobbling on, disappearing into deep snow drifts, no doubt cursing him under her breath.
I had seen the ads for this film last year and a bit like Collateral Beauty, which also stars Winslet, assumed the big names would equal a half-decent film.
It is more unusual as its foundation is clearly disaster movie which then morphs into a romance with a comedy chaser. And I am not sold on the casting.
Let me give you a taster and you can see if you want to do the same as me and instead of stepping out into atrocious weather conditions to watch The Mercy or The 15:17 To Paris at the cinema (I will do this at some point), opt for this.
Intrepid American photo-journalist Alex has been “shooting neo-Nazis for the Guardian”, and is getting married in the morning. London-born brain surgeon Ben has to operate on a dying 10-year-old the next day.
Yet they are both stuck at Salt Lake City airport as all flights have been grounded because of an impending storm.
Persuasive Alex railroads a charter pilot to take them in a light aircraft across a mountain range. They bundle in along with a golden retriever which wants to come for the ride. Alex displays her investigative reporter techniques to find out more
about her new friends as they soar above the peaks while Ben is happy to just
play Candy Crush. The man at the controls has a stroke at the worst possible time and they plummet into the Rockies. He ends up in a frosty hand dug grave.
After the other three survive Ben lighting a fire in the wrecked fuselage dripping with avgas, the hazards come thick and fast. Dog (as he gets called) fights off a cougar and they all enjoy a meat feast on the BBQ (not before Winslet has reprised her
‘Come back’ line as the hound bounds off, teeth bared, protecting his adoptive
I am sure the actress was delighted when she saw she would fall through a frozen lake at one point as well. You would think she would never agree to such nonsense ever again.
We have bear traps, slippery precipice and only four almonds, two candy bars, a half-eaten sandwich, a handful of cookies and a sherbet lemon to live on as they embark on an icy trek through the wilderness to civilisation and safety.
Clearly having forgotten her fiancé at this point, she gets to spoon Ben to preserve heat, have Ben’s hands on her bresticles to stave off frostbite, drift off under the
stars wrapped in Ben’s arms to prevent hypothermia while listening to a piano
concerto on his Spotify using the dregs of his battery (and he is supposed to
be a brain surgeon).
‘The heart? Oh it is just a muscle’, he growls, while flexing a few others by the fireside.
He may look fine with fresh snow in his beard. I just never fully believed in their danger or the emotional connection.
At the other end of the flight experience spectrum is The World’s Most Luxurious Airline, a cheeky documentary I stumbled across on Channel 4, now available to catch up.
This centres on Singapore Airlines and its half a billion-pound upgrade of its ‘turn left’ first-class facilities. And with it comes a veritable feast of characters.
We meet 20-year-old would-be Branson, amiable Alex, the aviation analyst who, packing 70,000 social media followers, comes as part of the delivery for new developments in the industry. He takes his selfie stick into a trolley cupboard and sits in there at one point.
Then we have the team building the new mile-high suites 7,000 miles away from Asia in Newport, south Wales. One too many creases in the seat and a stiff catch and everyone is sweating. But then the table tops cost the same as a new Mondeo #randomcomparison
I loved BK…he lives with his mum and dad and his staggering collection of models (‘the temptation to buy more is always there – like a drug addict’). When he is not dressing his nieces in miniature versions of the legendary cabin crew outfits (they looked delighted), he is bending his neck backwards to glimpse passing aircraft and
calling out their numbers.
Finally, terrifying are the pair running new staff training, ripping off Nicki Minaj lashes and demanding buns are lopped.
It is an eye-opening 50 minutes.