7.3/10
11,975
94 user 68 critic

Insomnia (1997)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 29 May 1998 (USA)
In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.

Director:

Erik Skjoldbjærg

Writers:

Nikolaj Frobenius (screenplay), Erik Skjoldbjærg (screenplay)
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ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maria Mathiesen Maria Mathiesen ... Tanja Lorentzen
Stellan Skarsgård ... Jonas Engström
Sverre Anker Ousdal ... Erik Vik
Gisken Armand ... Hilde Hagen
Kristian Figenschow Kristian Figenschow ... Arne Zakariassen (as Kristian Fr. Figenschow)
Thor Michael Aamodt Thor Michael Aamodt ... Tom Engen
Frode Rasmussen Frode Rasmussen ... Chief of Police
Bjørn Moan Bjørn Moan ... Eilert
Maria Bonnevie ... Ane
Marianne O. Ulrichsen Marianne O. Ulrichsen ... Frøya
Bjørn Floberg Bjørn Floberg ... Jon Holt
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Storyline

In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle, a Swedish murder investigator is brought in to find an elusive killer. But when the officer accidentally kills his own partner and covers it up, a double sided game of cat-and-mouse ensues. Written by Daniel Jos. Leary

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Den som synder, sover ikke. [He who sins, does not sleep.]


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Insomnia homepage

Country:

Norway

Language:

Norwegian | Swedish

Release Date:

29 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bezsennosc See more »

Filming Locations:

Nyksund, Norway See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,366, 31 May 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$221,173, 13 December 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was remade in 2002 by Christopher Nolan with the same title See more »

Goofs

When Jonas takes Frøya to the dump to see where Tanja was found, the site is so very tidy. No flies, the bones are not oxidized nor discolored, and everything looks staged. Dumps usually have a nasty smell and the actors do not seem to notice much of an odor. See more »

Connections

Remade as Insomnia (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Hos Tanja
Music by Alanïa
Rune Lindbæk/Ole Mjøs/Thorbjørn Brundtland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tight as hell
22 January 2002 | by zetesSee all my reviews

It is hard to believe that this is Erik Skjoldbjaerg's first film. It seems like a pro job to me. Very rarely do you get thrillers crafted this well. Almost everything is perfect. The script is as taut as possible. I saw no holes, anyhow. The plot is believable and you will never see the best twists coming. Even if you are the type who sits there and constantly guesses what's coming next during thrillers, I doubt you could. The film does a lot to avoid plot cliches. And if I'm wrong about that, if I was just blinded by other aspects of the film, it won't really matter. The characters are very well written. Especially the main character, played by Stellan Skarsgard. He is certainly one of the best actors working today and this may just be his greatest performance yet. He owns the film. The cinematography is effective. It's bleak and cold. The camera moves assuredly, and it's always where it should be. The music is perfectly subdued. The direction in general is simply amazing. The mise-en-scene is marvelous. I love the settings of the film, the threatening, rocky terrain, the broken and rusty buildings, everything. This is a must-see film. One of the best films of the 1990s. 10/10.

P.S.: Christopher Nolan, the man who created the equally impressive thriller Memento, is set to direct the American remake of this film. I personally loved Memento (though I think I'd choose Insomnia over it if I had to), and I wish Mr. Nolan all the luck. I'm sure he knows what a challenge it's going to be. And I certainly pray that he isn't satisfied with simply copying the original. He could do so and mostly get away with it - Insomnia is quite underseen. I sincerely hope that he will make it his own. I already recognize one piece of the film that has to change if the setting is moved to the U.S.: Skjoldbjaerg brilliantly uses the midnight sun in this film. I doubt it would be successful if the setting were, say, Alaska. I don't think Americans would buy it. Nolan is going to have to compensate for the loss of the midnight sun.


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