|Index||5 reviews in total|
Falcons is an absorbing film, set in Iceland. It debuted at The Cannes
Festival and it's North American Premiere was at The Toronto International
Simon (Keith Carradine) has been in prison in the USA for a long time. On release, he travels to a small town in Iceland, ostensibly to visit his elderly aunt who is not well. He becomes a close friend of a very free-spirited, charismatic and beautiful young woman, Dúa (Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir). She believes in astrology, loves animals, is naïve, optimistic and not strongly attached to material possessions; he is just the opposite. The local sheriff is very jealous of their relationship, which leads to serious problems that require their escape. The only items that they can escape with are his car and her caged Icelandic Falcon, a rare and valuable bird and a protected species. On their first stop she gives, to charity, the money that they need to escape. He is now determined to sell the falcon to enable them to survive, which is anathema to her. The film has a powerful, bittersweet ending.
The film is predominantly in English but has some subtitles: when Icelandic is spoken. The story is simple and compelling; the acting is excellent and the scenery is beautiful. I was never bored for an instant. This is Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir's third film and the first to be released outside of Europe. She is very lovely and absolutely delightful. I hope that she makes many more films and that they will find their way to North America, where we need some more free spirits that are past the sophomoric stage.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After leaving prison, ex-con Simon (Keith Carradine) returns to his
mother's homeland of Iceland with the intention of ending it all.
But instead of suicide, he finds free-spirited artist Dua, takes a stand against the creepy local police chief who's harassing her and winds up helping her smuggle a rare falcon to Hamburg, a venture hampered by their opposing ambitions for the bird (he wants to sell it to a wealthy Arab for a small fortune, she doesn't) and Dua's tendency to give away their money and transport at every opportunity.
It's a slow-burning story of relative freedoms heading towards a fairly inexorable end but this inevitability, combined with the stark, mythic beauty of the Icelandic landscape, only adds to the atmosphere of pathos and to Carradine's sad, subtle performance.
I saw this film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival.
Mawkish and heavy-handed, this film was (almost) saved by two things:
the cinematography capturing the incredible beauty of Iceland, and the
luminous Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir. Keith Carradine plays an ex-con who
travels to Iceland "to forget." Instead he meets a woman who might be
I saw Fridriksson's excellent Angels of the Universe two years ago, which was adapted from a book. This time, for his first English-language film, he chose to write the screenplay himself. I wanted to like this more, but the story was just too trite.
I saw this film in 2003 when I was given the video...I fell in love
with it from the first moment on. The story was not so much my cup of
tea...but it was told with beautiful pictures.
An Ex-Con who comes to Iceland willing to commit suicide gets solved by his daughter but in the end he has to die for her (in a way). There are just some dialogues --- or better: monologues of Keith Carradine's character Simon --- that come across too "simple".
Even though he is said to be the star of the movie it is actually Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir. She makes the character of Dúa shine and gives her a slightly mysterious note. The true beauty of this movie lies in Dúa and in the Icelandic scenery of which she is a re-presentation.
I expected more. In a way I was disappointed with the film. I find the actors good, especially Keith Carradine and Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir. Ingvar E. Sigurðsson (K-19) was also good as a rather stupid and agressive policeman. What is not good enough is the story, its too flat and almost nothing comes unexpected.
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