The Film (2.5/5)
During the harsh winter of 1908, Josephine Peary (Juliette Binoche), travels to Greenland to meet her husband, The world-famous explorer Robert Peary. Once arriving, she discovers that Robert is falling behind and it looks like his chances are slim to return. Josephine decides to journey to meet him on the way to the North Pole, but things start to get bleak as the winter worsens.
Going into ENDLESS NIGHT (2015), I was both excited and interested to see what this cast could do with a survival adventure. This subgenre of films is usually perfect for high drama and pushing actors to their breaking points with range. Sadly, this movie drops the ball hard and doesn’t rise above being average, and at its worst, dull as dishwater. Also, known as NOBODY WANTS THE NIGHT, ENDLESS NIGHT is so basic that I ended up guessing all the twists and turns, and spent a huge chunk of my time trying to stay awake.
The cinematography by Jean-Claude Larrieu sets up an eerily and bleak landscape of Greenland, showcasing the wide range of the land, to great effect. The period setting also gives the film a added edge in the way of isolation. But other the setting, the story and pacing is limp. Miguel Barros’ screenplay gives the characters very little to do, other than stare off into space.
Juliette Binoche is an interesting French actress, who is probably best known for THREE COLORS: BLUE (1993) and the romantic and charming CHOCOLAT (2000). She is known for taking on interesting roles, including a too brief part in Gareth Edward’s GODZILLA (2014), so the idea of a strong woman stuck in the elements sounds like a fun challenge. Here, Binoche looks bored and her range is barely tested. Rinko Kikuchi (BABEL, PACIFIC RIM) likewise is left with a flat paper thin part as the Eskimo woman Binoche spends almost the whole screen time with. By far the best performance is given by Gabriel Byrne (THE KEEP) as the travel guide. Sadly, his character is killed off in the first half, and the rest of the film suffers for it.
ENDLESS NIGHT comes with a 5.1 English audio track. The sound mix is well balanced, but suffers from some hollow sounding effects and quite dialogue. The audio starts to drop lower around the 45-minute mark and stays fuzzy for the remainder of the movie. The minimalist soundtrack is clear and there’s no noticeable errors of sudden loud peaks. There’s no subtitles included for the hearing impaired.
The 720 picture up scales nicely to my Blu-ray player set up. The picture is a little muffled and has a grey tint for most of the runtime. The colors start to blend together and give the movie an unpolished look. The black levels too, are soft and the ugly look of the movie doesn’t help matters. Other than these issues, the picture luckily doesn’t suffer from any grain or digital noise.
There’s no extras included.
ENDLESS NIGHT is endlessly disappointing. The cast seems lost and the direction is lacking on all fields. A rental for Juliette Binoche completists only.