A mom dying in Aberdeen, Scotland, asks her coke snorting, nympho, London lawyer daughter to get her estranged, alcoholic dad in Oslo, Norway, to Aberdeen. He's drunk at the airport, so they travel together by car and ferry.
Kaisa is a Scot, a successful London lawyer, who snorts coke and has one-night stands with strangers. Her mother calls from Aberdeen with some story begging her to fly to Norway and collect her alcoholic dad whom she hasn't seen in years. The impatient Kaisa reluctantly agrees. The story is a ruse: mom is dying and wants her ex and her daughter together again. The trip gets complicated (dad is too drunk to fly and the hot-tempered Kaisa gets them banned from the airline): they go by ferry then car, needing a great deal of help along the way from a sweet lorry driver named Clive. Will they reach Aberdeen before mom's death, and will Kaisa find any stability within herself or in others?Written by
Superlative performances, great storyline - one of the best of the year
Showing as part of the European Film Festival currently in Brisbane, Aberdeen is a strong, narrative driven movie of a daughter sent to Norway by her dying mother to bring back her father so that the terminally ill mother can see him and her for the last time before she dies.
All the performances in this stellar outing are first class. Stellan Skarsgård as the alcoholic, former oil rig working father is simply outstanding. He plays a man losing a battle with the bottle so convincingly that it makes you seriously wonder whether he has personal experience on which to draw from for his performance.
Charlotte Rampling plays the cancer-stricken mother; even though she spends the majority of the movie talking over the phone from her hospital bed she brings to the character a dignity that is totally believable.
Ian Hart plays a English truck driver who stumbles across the daughter and father returning home from Norway and helps them out. With his shaved head I hardly recognised this veteran actor - but he again puts in another superlative performance as he comes to grips with the dynamics at play in this unique family
But the standout performance is that of Lena Headey, playing the daughter entrusted with the task of bringing her errant father to Aberdeen. She's also someone battling with their demons - she is a drug addict, nympho and does not take to trusting people easily. Having to bring home her father (whom she hates) to a mother (whom she also hates) is yet another thing to speak poorly of and bemoan her lack of a life.
I thought Lena was a relative newcomer to the acting scene - but a cursory look at IMDB revealed a wealth of acting gigs that I was not aware of. But 'Aberdeen' has to be one of her first leading roles; she is one to look out for in the future.
She won the Silver Iris award for Best Actress at the Brussell Film Festival last year.
The movie is described as a 'dark road movie'. Now when I watched it it didn't appear particularly dark - perhaps that says more about what I class as 'dark' in a movie than the tag line writer for these movies! It certainly is 'real', and 'gritty'.
If you get a chance to see this one when the festival rolls into town (some states haven't got it yet so you may still get a chance) you wouldn't go far wrong with this as one of your choices.
9 out of 10.
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