THE LAST CONTINENT (D: Jean Lemire, Canada). 105 minutes. Subtitled. Saturday (April 19), 4 pm, Isabel Bader; Sunday (April 20), 12:45 pm, Bloor. Rating: NNN
The Last Continent -- or the more dramatic Mission Antarctique, as it's called in Quebec, where it's earned more than $1 million at the box office -- is stunningly photographed, at times gripping and often eloquent. It follows a research team that sails south to study the impact of climate change on the planet's least inviting environment.
But this is no dry science doc. After 430 days, many of them spent wishing the weather would get worse if only to keep their food frozen, the team seems to arrive at only one conclusion: Antarctica is still cold and icy, just not as cold and icy as it used to be, and that's bad.
What's missing is a stronger sense of how the team got along during their isolation. They work well together, especially during the film's most harrowing moments when their ship begins to break loose from its moorings. But there's only a hint of one disagreement and no sign of anyone sharing a sleeping bag with anyone else, even to keep warm. The only ones getting any, it seems, were the seals.