Is he the village idiot or a genius in disguise? 17 year old Noi drifts through life on a remote fjord in the north of Iceland. In winter, the fjord is cut off from the outside world, ...
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Hilmir Snær Guðnason,
Hanna María Karlsdóttir
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Is he the village idiot or a genius in disguise? 17 year old Noi drifts through life on a remote fjord in the north of Iceland. In winter, the fjord is cut off from the outside world, surrounded by ominous mountains and buried under a shroud of snow. Noi dreams of escaping from this white-walled prison with Iris, a city girl who works in a local gas staion. But his clumsy attempts at escape spiral out of control and end in complete failure. Only a natural disaster will shatter Noi's universe and offer him a window into a better world. Written by
Gérard Lemarquis, who plays the French schoolteacher, is the father of 'Tomas Lemarquis', who plays Noi. Gérard Lemarquis is a French schoolteacher in real life, and the director 'Dagur Kari' was one of his students. See more »
In the scene where the psychiatrist examines Nói, the former behaves strangely negligent. No health care professional would administrate an intelligence test by giving the subject scarce instructions, since these are part of a standardized protocol. Instead, he would give detailed instructions asking the subject if he has understood them and should be present during, at least, a portion of the test. See more »
Take an alienated, bald, Albino teenager named Nói (Tómas Lemarquis) in the frozen fjord of northern Iceland and blend together an estranged ineffectual father while a grandmother who does not say much is raising him and the story is destined to be tragic and dark. Although Nói is well intentioned, he lacks motivation and is prone to having spells of exceptional bad luck. He is disruptive at school if he bothers to show up at all. Ultimately he is expelled and his alcoholic dad finds Nói a job working for a priest in a graveyard. As the scenario unfolds, he woos another somber and beautiful teen named Iris (Elin Hansdóttir), who works as a gas station attendant and café clerk. His relationship to Iris appears to be the only thing going well in Nói 's life; still it is just a fragile illusion.
It is winter in Iceland, such that the fjord is cut off from the outside world, while surrounded by an ominous mountain, and buried under a shroud of snow. Beautiful shots of glaciers and chilly seasides allow the tedium of this desolation to be a lot more tolerable. If you have ever been in a dead town out in the boonies somewhere, this one is even more comatose by comparison. It is hardly surprising that everyone is so somber and alienated from one another during the dark three-hour days of winter.
Please remember that this is not simply another typical bored teenager film--underneath it all Nói seems to have real promise, although his motivation is virtually non-existent. The walls of snow and ice surrounding his village give the illusion of a natural prison. Nói's desperate plans to break out fail miserably during a ludicrous failed bank robbery and an aborted car theft, further adding to his despair.
The movie directed by Dagur Kári is largely bleak and sometimes slow moving, yet it is temperamental, seductive, and distinctive. There are no cheap thrills, sexy scenes, car crashes, or violence, however the cinematography and the unfolding human drama draw you in like bees to honey and hold you there to it's amazing finish. It is not until a natural disaster so totally shatter Nói's universe that the film begins to offer the hope of a new beginning for Nói.
Nói is completely believable for anyone who ever recalls being a teenager. He is the embodiment of a disturbing reflection of the aspirations, naivety and unmanageable emotions many teens feel at that age. This film kept me enthralled and touched in equal measures right down to its startling climax. This movie is a must see for anyone who appreciates that life is different when you are just 17.
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