A young writer named Espen Arnakke tells the story of his escape from the small Danish town of Jante. Espen boards a ship headed to Newfoundland, but the harsh conditions on board makes him... See full summary »
A young writer named Espen Arnakke tells the story of his escape from the small Danish town of Jante. Espen boards a ship headed to Newfoundland, but the harsh conditions on board makes him jump ship, and he ends up in the little town of Misery Harbour. There he meets the girl of his dreams. But his passion shifts to jealousy when one of the men from the ship mysteriously appears in town, and sets out to make Espen's life a misery. Written by
"Misery Harbour" is the story of the young Dane Espen Arnakke's (Coster Waldau) life, which he tells us about through a book he is writing some years later, read by his friend Jenny (von der Lippe). About his rather miserable adolescence in the Danish town of Jante, his escape from there on board a ship on its way to Newfoundland, his life in Canada, and how one person can spoil so much for another, John Wakefield (Graham).
Directed by Nils Gaup ("Ofelas", Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film in 88), it is a visual delight, accompanied by some great music, which suits the atmosphere perfectly. The storyline is also fascinating, showing how Espen gets to learn that the norm from his hometown, basically saying that you aren't supposed to believe you are anything, exists in other places as well. The acting is solid throughout, especially by Stuart Graham, who manages to keep a certain nerve to the cruel character he plays until the very end.
Overall, I must say I was impressed (and it's not often I say that about a Norwegian production), and if you bump over it, you should see it.
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