Society Of The Snow

Society of the Snow (Spanish: La sociedad de la nieve) is a 2023 survival drama film directed by J. A.

A. Bayona">J. A. Bayona and based on Pablo Vierci's 2009 book of the same name, which details the true story of a Uruguayan rugby team's experience in 1972 after Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes mountains. The cast is composed of Uruguayan and Argentine actors, most of whom are newcomers.

Society of the Snow
Society Of The Snow
Netflix release poster
SpanishLa sociedad de la nieve
Directed byJ. A. Bayona
Screenplay by
Based onLa sociedad de la nieve
by Pablo Vierci
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyPedro Luque
Edited by
  • Jaume Martí
  • Andrés Gil
Music byMichael Giacchino
Production
companies
  • Misión de Audaces Films
  • El Arriero Films
  • Netflix
Distributed byNetflix
Release dates
  • 9 September 2023 (2023-09-09) (Venice)
  • 15 December 2023 (2023-12-15) (Spain)
  • 22 December 2023 (2023-12-22) (United States)
  • 4 January 2024 (2024-01-04) (Netflix)
Running time
144 minutes
Countries
  • Spain
  • United States
LanguageSpanish
Budget€60 million
(USD$65 million)

The film closed the 80th Venice International Film Festival in an Out of Competition slot. It was theatrically released in Uruguay on 13 December 2023, in Spain on 15 December 2023, and in the US on 22 December 2023, before streaming on Netflix on 4 January 2024.

Society of the Snow received positive reviews. It won 12 awards including Best Picture and Best Director at the 38th Goya Awards. At the 96th Academy Awards, it was nominated for the Best International Feature Film, representing Spain, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Plot

On October 13, 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, chartered by an Uruguayan rugby football team and their supporters to take them to a game in Santiago, Chile, crashes into a glacier in the heart of the Andes mountains. Of the 45 passengers on board, 29 survive the initial crash, although more would die from injury, disease, and an avalanche over the following weeks. Trapped in one of the most inaccessible and hostile environments on the planet, the survivors are forced to resort to survival cannibalism of those who had already died in order to stay alive. However, rather than turn against each other, the survivors draw upon the cooperative teamwork they learned through rugby, and spiritual faith, in order to escape the mountains.

Cast

  • Enzo Vogrincic as Numa Turcatti
  • Matías Recalt as Roberto Canessa
  • Agustín Pardella as Nando Parrado
  • Tomas Wolf as Gustavo Zerbino
  • Diego Vegezzi as Marcelo Pérez del Castillo
  • Esteban Kukuriczka as Adolfo "Fito" Strauch
  • Francisco Romero as Daniel Fernández Strauch
  • Rafael Federman as Eduardo Strauch
  • Felipe González Otaño as Carlitos Páez
  • Agustín Della Corte as Antonio "Tintín" Vizintín
  • Valentino Alonso as Alfredo "Pancho" Delgado
  • Simón Hempe as José Luis "Coche" Inciarte
  • Fernando Contigiani García as Arturo Nogueira
  • Benjamín Segura as Rafael "el Vasco" Echavarren
  • Rocco Posca as Ramón "Moncho" Sabella
  • Luciano Chatton as Pedro Algorta
  • Agustín Berruti as Bobby François
  • Juan Caruso as Álvaro Mangino
  • Andy Pruss as Roy Harley
  • Santiago Vaca Narvaja as Daniel Maspons
  • Esteban Bigliardi as Javier Methol
  • Paula Baldini as Liliana Methol
  • Federico Aznarez as Enrique Platero
  • Alfonsina Carrocio as Susana Parrado
  • Silvia Giselle Pereyra as Eugenia Parrado
  • Pablo Tate as Francisco Nicola
  • Virginia Kaufmann as Esther Nicola
  • Felipe Ramusio as Diego Storm
  • Blas Polidori as Gustavo Nicolich
  • Emanuel Parga as Carlos Roque
  • Iair Said as Julio César Ferradas
  • Juan Diego Eirea as Juan Carlos Menéndez
  • Jaime James Louta (LOUTA) as Gastón Costemalle
  • Lautaro Bakir as Julio Martínez Lamas
  • Jerónimo Bosia as Francisco "Pancho" Abal
  • Lucas Mascareña as Fernando Vázquez
  • Julián Bedino as Guido Magri
  • Toto Rovito as Alexis Hounié
  • Federico Formento as Daniel Shaw
  • Tea Alberti as Graciela Augusto de Mariani
  • Agustín Lain as Carlos Valeta
  • Francisco Bereny as Felipe Maquirriaín
  • Juan José Marco as Ovidio Ramírez
  • Carlos "Carlitos" Páez as his father, Carlos Páez Vilaró
  • Maximiliano de la Cruz as Dante Lagurara

Production

Development

Bayona discovered Pablo Vierci's 2009 account of the crash, La sociedad de la nieve, while conducting research for his 2012 film The Impossible, and bought the rights for the book when he finished filming that movie. The filmmakers recorded more than 100 hours of interviews with all of the living survivors. The actors had contact with the survivors and the families of the victims.

Bayona struggled to find funding for 10 years, stating that the "major problem was the fact it was in Spanish with a big budget, which is not the big budget of an American film. So it’s been hard because somehow the market doesn’t accept this kind of product."

Filming

Principal photography took place in Sierra Nevada, Spain; Montevideo, Uruguay; Chile and Argentina, including the actual crash site in the Andes. Filming in Sierra Nevada lasted from 10 January to 29 April 2022. Filming in Uruguay concluded in late July 2022, and the production continued in Madrid. Production took the total of 138 shooting days, with its budget reported to be over €65 million.

In August 2021, the second unit, headed by Alejandro Fadel [es], Argentine director of Murder Me, Monster, filmed landscapes in Chile for reference in on-set virtual production and post-production. In Sierra Nevada, the production was challenged by a scarcity of snow, and by Saharan Air Layer which covered the mountains with orange dust. Three replicas of fuselage wreckages were used: one was placed in a hangar built on a parking lot, another was buried in artificial snow and supported by a hydraulic crane that allowed for it to be moved, and the third was placed above a tarn at an altitude of 3,000 m (9,800 ft). In the hangar, a 30-metre-tall screen displayed the second unit's footage of the Andes. The third unit was tasked with more dangerous mountain shots. The three units consisted of around 300 workers.

David Martí and Montse Ribé, Academy Award–winning special effects makeup artists of Pan's Labyrinth, created prosthetic corpses and wounds. Post-production was planned to last about five months involving 300 personnel. Vierci, who serves as an associate producer, visited the set in Sierra Nevada.

Bayona showed an early version of the film to one of the survivors, José Luis "Coche" Inciarte, before he died in July 2023. The 14 remaining survivors saw the film one or two months prior to the premiere.

Music

Release

Society Of The Snow 
J.A. Bayona and some cast members along with the disaster survivors Carlos Páez Rodríguez, Fernando Parrado and Roberto Canessa at the Venice prémiere of the film

The film was set as the 80th Venice International Film Festival's closing film, with a world premiere out-of-competition screening at the Palazzo del Cinema slated for 9 September 2023, following the festival's awards ceremony. It was selected to screen in the Perlak section at the 71st San Sebastián International Film Festival in September 2023. It also screened in the Out of Competition section at the 56th Sitges Film Festival, and at the 2023 AFI Fest.

The film was programmed for a technical screening run from 20 to 26 October 2023 in the Cine Aragonia of Zaragoza. It received a Spanish theatrical release on 15 December 2023 and was released in US theatres on 22 December 2023.

Society of the Snow was released as a Netflix original on January 4, 2024 and reached Netflix's list of Top 10 Non-English films. In its first 11 days, it had 51 million views on Netflix.

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 90% of 151 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's consensus reads: "Society of the Snow brings masterful technical skill to bear on its tale of real-life tragedy, but none of that spectacle comes at the expense of its simple, powerful message." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 72 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.

Roxana Hadadi of Vulture states that the film’s “philosophical script and unshakeable performances” both “elevates” it and “pushes it into transcendence.” She also suggests that not “since Martin Scorsese’s Silence has a film so effectively asked us to consider whether faith is benevolence or a blight.” Pete Hammond of Deadline suggests that Bayona's interpretation of the crash is "ultimately a spiritual journey on many levels, focusing on the human will to overcome the worst of circumstances," and that it is "a story of how humanity comes together for each other." Wendy Ide of ScreenDaily argues that the Bayona's "adaptation of this much-filmed story is elevated by bracingly muscular action sequences," and that what sets it apart "is the decision not to focus entirely on the survivors. Bayona is at pains to ensure that the voices that are foregrounded are not necessarily those of the crash victims who eventually make it home." Finally, Guy Lodge of Variety describes the film as composed of an “unstarry, fully Spanish-speaking cast” and is a “brawnily effective tear-jerker.” He also notes that it has a “nuanced, non-denominational spiritualism, which further distinguishes it from the more straightforwardly inspirational adventure brief of the previous film.”

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter found the film to be "uneven but ultimately effective," told "with authenticity and chilling realism, with emotion but without sensationalism." Professor Jorge Majfud (author of Cine político latinoamericano) argues that this version repeats the plot of previous films without a rereading to justify it, because a film is a commercial phenomenon that exploits a tragedy in a way he suggests complies with larger social class and racial patterns. He also argues that this is typical of the dominant Anglo-Saxon cultural industry.

Carlos Boyero [es] of El País found it was "a credible and emotional depiction of the horrible experience of the accident". Teté Ribeiro of the Folha de S.Paulo insisted the fim was "not for the weak stomachs".

Among the rare completely negative reviews, Luís Miguel Oliveira of Público stated "They survived. Cinema didn't." and considered Society of the Snow to be "a bad American film made by Europeans".

Top ten lists

The film appeared on a number of critics' top ten lists of the best Spanish films of 2023:

Comparison with Alive

J. A. Bayona received an email from Frank Marshall, director of the 1993 film Alive, which also depicted the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash and its aftermath. Bayona said that Marshall told him "how much he loved" Society of the Snow. Bayona went on to say that Alive "created an impact on a whole generation and, somehow, that film also is the product of its time, you know. That was shot in a studio, in a Hollywood studio. Shot in English. Maybe [it] was too soon, especially for the families of the deceased, to be part of a movie... But it was a very effective film at the time. I think that both films complement each other somehow."

Accolades

Award Date Category Recipient Result Ref.
San Sebastián International Film Festival 30 September 2023 City of Donostia / San Sebastian Audience Award for Best Film Society of the Snow Won
Mill Valley Film Festival 12 October 2023 ¡Viva el cine! - Narrative Won
Middleburg Film Festival 22 October 2023 Audience Award for International Feature Won
Hollywood Music in Media Awards 15 November 2023 Best Original Score — Independent Film (Foreign Language) Michael Giacchino Won
Camerimage 18 November 2023 Golden Frog Pedro Luque Nominated
European Film Awards 9 December 2023 Best Makeup and Hairstyling Ana & Belén López-Puigcerver, David Martí & Montse Ribé Won
Best Visual Effects Félix Bergés & Laura Pedro Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 10 December 2023 Best Foreign Language Film Society of the Snow Nominated
Forqué Awards 16 December 2023 Best Film Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association 17 December 2023 Best International Movie Nominated
Best Score Michael Giacchino Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association 18 December 2023 Best Foreign Language Film Society of the Snow 4th Place
Astra Film Awards 6 January 2024 Best International Feature Nominated
Best International Filmmaker J.A. Bayona Nominated
Best International Actor Enzo Vogrincic Nominated
Filmmaking Achievement Award J.A. Bayona Won
Golden Globes Awards 7 January 2024 Best Non-English Language Film Society of the Snow Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards 14 January 2024 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Best Score Michael Giacchino Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society 22 January 2024 Best Foreign Language Feature Society of the Snow Nominated
Feroz Awards 26 January 2024 Best Drama Film Nominated
Best Director J.A. Bayona Won
Best Original Soundtrack Michael Giacchino Nominated
Best Trailer Harry Eaton Won
Carmen Awards 3 February 2024 Best Non-Andalusian Produced Film Society of the Snow Won
Gaudí Awards 4 February 2024 Best European Film Won
CEC Medals 5 February 2024 Best Film Won
Best Director J.A. Bayona Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay J.A. Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marqués, Nicolás Casariego Won
Best New Actor Matías Recalt Won
Best Cinematography Pedro Luque Won
Best Editing Andrés Gil, Jaume Martí Won
Best Music Michael Giacchino Nominated
Goya Awards 10 February 2024 Best Film Society of the Snow Won
Best Director J. A. Bayona Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Bernat Vilaplana, J.A. Bayona, Jaime Marques-Olarreaga, Nicolás Casariego Nominated
Best New Actor Matías Recalt Won
Best Cinematography Pedro Luque Won
Best Editing Andrés Gil, Jaume Martí Won
Best Original Score Michael Giacchino Won
Best Sound Jorge Adrados, Oriol Tarragó, Marc Orts Won
Best Art Direction Alain Bainée Won
Best Production Supervision Margarita Huguet Won
Best Costume Design Julio Suárez Won
Best Makeup and Hairstyles Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver, Montse Ribé Won
Best Special Effects Pau Costa, Félix Bergés, Laura Pedro Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle 12 February 2024 Best International Film in a Non-English Language Society of the Snow Nominated
BAFTA Awards 18 February 2024 Best Film Not in the English Language J. A. Bayona and Belén Atienza Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards 21 February 2024 Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Félix Bergés, Micaela Gagliano, Laura Pedro Ezequiel, Larrú Pau Costa Nominated
Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project Pau Costa, Carlos Laguna, Guillermo F. Aldunate, Eloy Cervera Nominated
Society of Operating Cameramen 24 February 2024 Camera Operator of the Year in Film Society of the Snow (Juanjo Sánchez and Manuel Branáa) Won
Satellite Awards 3 March 2024 Best Original Score Michael Giaccino Nominated
Best Motion Picture – International Society of the Snow Nominated
Golden Reel Awards 3 March 2024 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Foreign Language Feature Oriol Tarragó, Iosu Martinez, Guillem Giró, Erik Vidal, Kiku Vidal, Sarah Romero, Marc Bech, Brendan Golden, John Finklea Won
Academy Awards 10 March 2024 Best International Feature Film Spain Nominated
Best Makeup and Hairstyling Ana López-Puigcerver, David Martí & Montse Ribé Nominated
NAACP Image Awards 16 March 2024 Outstanding International Motion Picture Society of the Snow Nominated
Platino Awards 20 April 2024 Best Ibero-American Film Society of the Snow Pending
Best Director José Antonio Bayona Pending
Best Actor Enzo Vogrincic Pending
Best Supporting Actor Matías Recalt Pending
Best Cinematography Pedro Luque Pending
Best Editing Andrés Gil, Jaume Martí Pending
Best Sound Jorge Adrados, Oriol Tarragó, Marc Orts Pending

See also

References

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