5 user 31 critic

Life in a Fishbowl (2014)

Vonarstræti (original title)
A Reykjavik pre-school teacher struggles to raise her daughter while selling casual sex to help make ends meet.
15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Hera Hilmar ... Eik
Thor Kristjansson ... Sölvi
Þorsteinn Bachmann ... Móri
Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson ... Gústi
Atli Oskar Fjalarsson ... Barþjónn
Jóel Sæmundsson ... Transporter
Ingvar Þórðarson ... Hannes
Laufey Elíasdóttir ... Aníta
Birgitta Sigursteinsdóttir Birgitta Sigursteinsdóttir ... Bank teller
Vigfús Þormar Gunnarsson ... Björgunarmaður 2
Kristín Lea Kristín Lea ... Agnes (as Kristín Lea Sigríðardóttir)
Ester Sveinbjarnardóttir Ester Sveinbjarnardóttir ... Doctor, excras
Elías Helgi Kofoed-Hansen ... Leikskolakennari
Agust Bjarnason Agust Bjarnason ... Groom's Entourage (as Ágúst Bjarnason)
Annalísa Hermannsdóttir Annalísa Hermannsdóttir ... Lena


Three tales of three people who have a lasting effect on one another. A young writer whose career is skyrocketing finds himself in a stormy marriage. He divorces his wife after the death of their daughter, shuts himself from the outside world and drinks himself to death over a twenty-year period.

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Release Date:

10 August 2014 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in a Fishbowl See more »

Filming Locations:

Reykjavík, Iceland


Box Office


EUR2,700,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)| Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Iceland to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. See more »


Mah Na Mah Na
Written by Piero Umiliani
Performed by Hera Hilmar
See more »

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User Reviews

Several plot lines coming together. Mixture disappoints. Characters not interesting enough to warrant the two hours running time. Not boring, just useless and unrewarding
15 July 2016 | by JvH48See all my reviews

Saw this at Noordelijk film festival 2015 in Leeuwarden (NL). Long winded way of storytelling, without enough substance and devoid of interesting protagonists, taking more than two hours running time. Starting as independent parallel plot lines, we see gradually more and more of the main character's lives intertwined, but it takes time to get hold of the big picture. Alas, it is all interesting enough to make an effort to piece it together.

The superficial viewer should look past the embedded morale that men always get away with their wrongdoings and that women always suffer. There is one instance (only one!) where we see hard work and honesty rewarded (the fresh banker) while his colleague (always talking about team playing) changes his report (luckily, the boss found out). Nearly at the same time he threatens the school teacher not to reveal anything about their encounter in "Florida", he also tells his wife that nothing happened and that she has to trust him. So his morale is dubious at least, though it may be due to panic. The other instance of rewarding good behavior is when the writer/poet who accidentally winds up as a rich man, shares some of his wealth with the part time call girl, but we have to overlook that his way of babysitting is irresponsible because of his drinking habits.

All in all, no saints and no angels in this movie, only real people with all kinds of faults combined with good features. Yet, none of these are unusual or worth devoting a movie about it, so I get stuck with a feeling of disappointment after sitting out more than two hours. It was not boring, just useless and unrewarding. Technically nothing wrong, well shot, and casting/acting was believable. Apparently I'm at fault, as nearly 1000 IMDb users awarded a 7.5 score on average.

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