Agnes, the beautiful housekeeper of the sheriff of a small Icelandic county sees a chance to get herself and her young daughter away from her brutal employer when she falls in love with the... See full summary »
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Hilmir Snær Guðnason,
Hanna María Karlsdóttir
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Agnes, the beautiful housekeeper of the sheriff of a small Icelandic county sees a chance to get herself and her young daughter away from her brutal employer when she falls in love with the local homeopathic doctor. When she moves in with him, however, she discovers another side to him when his lechery makes him several enemies amongst the other townsfolk. Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you judge a film by its title then the gentle name of Agnes belies the surprising amount of violence in store for you. But this is Iceland , a Danish outpost in the 1820's and law and order is maintained with an iron hand by the county sheriff. Agnes (Maria Ellingsen) has lost her job as a housekeeper and without a job she has nowhere to live. Natan(Baltazar Kormakur) bids for her at a public auction. Thereafter she becomes his property. Although the county has no doctor, the untrained Natan dispenses various herbal concoctions to desperate and dying locals. Iceland as depicted has rocky volcanic outcrops and incredible lush green slopes, waterfalls and here and there a thermal spring. Early in their relationship the herbalist and his newly acquired lover cavort about in the steamy water. The story becomes interesting as the lovers come to distrust each other. He lusts after other women and she seeks protection from his brother. The brother is an expert axeman. I held my breath when Agnes holds a small piece of wood upright so that he can split it down the centre.When money is stolen from the Sheriff's home (a tense moment here) Agnes becomes one of the suspects. I enjoyed the dramatic moment when Agnes supplies evidence in condemnation of Natan but she is immediately accused as an accessory. Caught in a trap with little hope of escape Agnes has to face the local court (all men) and the penalty is severe. There's some real drama here. The final scene is real "edge of the seat" stuff as we watch the executioner prepare his shining axe. And when you realise that the executioner is her friend, the emotions run riot. Also, her young daughter is praying for her mother in the local church. Will Agnes die or will a miracle save her? Quite a compelling film set in the past and in a land unknown to most of us. A competent all round production.
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