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Film / The Mountain Between Us

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"The heart's nothing but a muscle."
"Nobody knows where we are! Nobody knows where we are! All we have is me and you!"
Alex Martin

The Mountain Between Us is a 2017 survival-romantic-drama directed by Hany Abu-Assad.

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers, Alex (Kate Winslet) and Ben (Idris Elba), must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.

As the days stretch into weeks, the pair encounter treacherous conditions that threaten their lives. Fighting against the elements, Alex and Ben work together to survive and find help.

Previews: Trailer.


The Mountain Between Us contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Alex and Ben, who are a photojournalist and neurosurgeon, respectively, yet are able to use what skills they have to survive on the mountain.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zig-zagged. Ben and Alex are portrayed as having the abrasions and bruises one would have in that real life situation. However, at the cabin, where both would have excessive body hair and smell horrifically, they hook up.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The pair encounters freezing temperatures, thick snow and strong winds.
  • Cabin Fever: Alex and Ben are antagionistic towards one another as they're the only ones stuck up there on the mountain. When they are in an actual cabin, it's quite the opposite, in fact.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Ben is a doctor, and thus can easily help Alex heal from her injuries.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: Ben just happens to be heading to a surgery, and therefore has a lot of his medical equipment needed to help them survive.
  • Danger — Thin Ice: Alex stands up and brushes her feet against the snow, seeing a small part of ice. Before she can step off, the ice gives way and she falls through.
  • Determinator: Both Alex and Ben.
    Ben: We're not going to die. Not today.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Alex didn't inform anyone when she charted a small plane, meaning that when it crashes it will take much longer for anyone to figure out what has happened, let alone come to her rescue.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Alex is engaged to a man named Mark and is actually catching the flight to get to her wedding on time. However, Ben is her main love interest and Mark is barely in the movie. At the end of the film, Alex reveals she couldn't go through with marrying Mark because she had fallen in love with Ben.
  • Disposable Pilot: Walter dies after the plane crashes on the mountain.
  • Fight to Survive: Alex and Ben have to combat sub-zero temperatures, blizzards, lack of food/water/shelter, and maneuver down the mountain, where there is no guarantee that they'll find help.
  • Frigid Water Is Harmless: Strongly averted. When Alex is submerged in sub-temperature water, she loses consciousness for a few days.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • Alex and Ben's plane was cancelled, so they decide to take a small plane. That plane crashes on a mountain, and the pilot didn't fly on the flight path, meaning that no one knows that a plane has crashed.
    • Ben almost falls off a mountain side, and Alex almost gets mangled by a cougar.
    • When they make their way down the mountain, Alex falls in a frozen dam, and Ben has his leg caught in a bear trap.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Alex and Ben sleep together after being in the cabin together.
  • Hollywood Healing: Averted. Alex injures her leg and is seen limping for all the film.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Literally, for Alex.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Said almost verbatim by Alex.
  • Ironic Echo: "The heart is just a muscle."
  • Longing Look: Ben lovingly stares at Alex in the cave.
  • Mountaintop Healthcare: Realistically, this was avoided. When they find a cabin, it is filled with very little supplies to use.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Alex, when she realizes that it was her idea to take the plane, and that she didn't tell anyone.
    • When Ben realises that he angered Alex to leave by herself.
  • No Antagonist: The only antagonist in the film is the elements. Although Alex was the one who persuaded Ben to take the small plane, she would have had no clue that it would have crashed, leaving them stranded.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Ben and Alex discuss urinating, especially because Alex needs help due to her injured leg.
  • Polar Madness: Of course.
  • Rescue Romance: Ben falls for Alex, that seeing Alex's fiance causes him to cry in his room. Alex feels the same way, but because Ben didn't reply to her messages due to her marriage, she doesn't know that he reciprocates. At the end, however...
  • Scars are Forever: Ben's hands were so damaged that he can no longer perform surgery.
  • Scar Survey: After gaining consciousness, Ben surveys Alex and himself for any injuries and scars.
  • Scenery Porn: Naturally, there's gorgeous scenes of mountains.
  • Shoot the Dog: Strongly averted. The dog survives.
  • Snow Means Death: Thankfully averted.
  • Snow Means Love: While amongst the snow, Alex and Ben fall in love.