Virgin Mountain (2015) Poster

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kosmasp19 July 2016
This is not everyone's cup of tea. The slow moving pace, the story itself do not cry for much attention. The story of out main "hero" could be described as a boring one. One that is very close to life. Which makes it also intriguing for some viewers of course, but not really commercial (to put it lightly).

It's acted superbly and has some nice touches on a character who just wants to do the right thing (being too nice at times and innocent to a degree he does seem dangerous to some). Not that our main character is just a mountain of love (no pun intended) and cannot get angry. But you do sometimes wonder how he takes all the things in, that are being done to him (bullying doesn't stop at school for some).

A weird little movie/tale for those interested in quieter forms of "entertainment"
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So moving but depressing too.
searchanddestroy-11 March 2016
I really appreciated this movie from Iceland. It reminded me TEDDY BEAR, a German movie I watched last week, speaking of a forty years adult, a bodybuilder, who lived with his widow mum and who looked for a female mate...Those two movies are quite nearly the same, except the two main characters are somewhat a bit different. TEDDY BEAR could me moving too but also less depressing, more optimistic. I loved the both anyway. I guess many stories like this happen in real life for many of us. I prefer this kind of features instead of the Hollywood style movies, where everything is fine in the end. I highly recommend this film to everyone.
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There comes a time for everything in life.
Reno-Rangan14 April 2016
By seeing the poster you will get a close idea of what this film is about. Still the movie delivers with a decent storyline. The title is a metaphor of what the movie is illustrating. There's nothing to inspire from it, its just based on the facts that was rendered very realistically. Like how the overweight people are seen by their co-workers and how they are treated in society for being different in character.

This is a very good movie about a 43 year old man named Fúsi, who still lives with his mother. As by himself the life is so wonderful for having a decent job and a faithful friend. But reminding himself for living in the world where people have a different thought for a guy like him is what he has to worry about. That bars him from socialising and makes him a weird person. But looks like he does not care much about it or those who bully him. A guy with a good heart, but not spotted by others.

There comes a time for everything. Two girls enter his life. A little neighbour girl Hera, who instantly become his playmate and Sjöfn, a woman of his own age with a mental issue. This so exciting part of the movie, like there's always someone waiting for everyone in the world to unite with. He has to choose between being a child like Hera or to grow up and move on in life with Sjöfn. After an incident he learns what's the best, but faces complications. That's where the remaining film turns its focus, but how the tale ends is not what something we would want to see.

"You are becoming a real chef. I guess she does not cook much."

These days the filmmakers try as much as they can to avoid the cliché, especially in the conclusion section. That's what I disliked in this, but still appreciate the original ending. Humanity had seen and still facing racism, issues related to gender equality, religious and LGBT discrimination, and many more. Along with all this, what this movie narrated is a very common matter to worry about from every culture and society. Like I said, it is not trying to educate us, but you can't ignore the seriousness of the film contents.

The scenes often filled with light humours. A little love story and a little play story, but overall about the life and its difficulties. This film is a glimpse of what it would be like being a different from others either by characteristically and/or by appearance. The film characters show their emotions, but sentimentally not appealing as it should have been. Usually that is what we all expect in a theme like this. I think for a narration like this that would have been so depressing. So it is not a tearjerker movie after all.

It was like 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' meets 'Terri'. A sensitive matter, a big concept in a small movie. A well written screenplay and beautifully performed, especially by the lead guy. Any professional actors would have played the role easily, but not as perfect as him. I don't remember of seeing any Icelandic movie in a long time, but I'm very pleased with this one. I would surely suggest it, before that, you should remember it is not a genuinely entertaining or a sincerely motivating film, but lies between them, that is kind of both I say.

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Virgin Mountain warms, melts and crushes your heart.
Sergeant_Tibbs21 October 2015
Dagur Kári is one of the most talented Icelandic directors of the century. His gorgeous and tragic 2003 debut feature Noi the Albino is one of my favourite films, not just of its year or the last decade but all-time. He followed it up two years later with the very good but not quite as memorable Dark Horse, shot mostly in stark black and white. His first English-language film featured a L.I.E. reunion pairing Paul Dano and Brian Cox in The Good Heart in 2009, but unfortunately to tepid reviews. Back behind the lens and in Iceland, he returns to the roots of Noi, another titular film (the original title is Fúsi) about an outcast maturing onto the next step of his life. Trading a rebellious troubled teen for a 43 year old overweight man yet to move out of his mother's house, Virgin Mountain mostly conjures the same magic as it brings back a similar style of filmmaking. Coming home one day to find his mother having sex on the counter just adds insult to Fúsi's injury of his arrested development. In his forties and still a virgin, he's nestled deep in his routines, rarely drinking anything stronger than milk and still buying toys. At first the film feels like a cautionary tale on the other end of the scale of Noi, where that film is about someone too defiant, and this is about someone too closed off from the world. Virgin Mountain isn't interested in stopping there, however, pushing Fúsi further. He's an airport luggage handler who's never stepped foot out of Iceland nor taken a day off and faces bullying from his co- workers everyday, even when it appears that they're trying to help. He's not friendless however, as he has a friend who plays model WW2 scenarios with him, as well as a young neighbourhood girl who bonds with Fúsi out of their mutual loneliness. In order to remove him from his comfort zone, his mother's boyfriend gifts him line dancing lessons as a present, initially as a joke. He almost attends but chooses to sit it out in the car park. Upon hitting a blizzard, the film introduces an irresistible meet-cute where he gives a lift to another loner, Sjöfn, who in turn gives him a chance like nobody else does. It sparks an invaluable friendship which both opens Fúsi's heart and willingness to grow. However, the more he learns about her, the more it begins to test their hope. As it's revealed she suffers from depression, and ostensibly bipolar disorder from her ups and downs, he offers wonderful acts of kindness as he cares for her even though she pushes away and he perhaps oversteps his bounds. His understanding of her mental condition is the soul of Virgin Mountain, and it's a contagious sentiment. While an established archetype, we rarely often get overweight introverts leading films, and Gunnar Jónsson as Fúsi delivers it with such endearing sensitivity. Fúsi's few mistakes that get him into trouble are heartbreaking to endure as he's otherwise such an empathetic character. Kári's exquisitely written script has a keen sense of repetition to keep the film thriving on its limitations. As we revisit restaurants, Fúsi's car, the line dancing class, and Sjöfn's driveway, Kári creates a delicate shorthand to give emotional punches right away with subtle changes. Even when it hits story goals, it does it in an understated way that gives way to bigger character ambitions. I wish it didn't resort to certain clichés at times – most specifically the bullying – but it knows how to handle them with sincerity. Like Noi, it's photographed with a set of beautifully vibrant yet muted colours, though its composition isn't quite as controlled as the 2003 film, allowed to be a lot looser. The same goes for the somber soundtrack provided by Kári's band Slowblow, who also did the work for Noi. This might not be the most flattering love story, but it's human, and the hope extends beyond instant gratification. Virgin Mountain is lightweight, but deeply bittersweet and personal in every corner. This is the type of film America doesn't allow itself anymore. 8/10
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About solitude
tenshi_ippikiookami15 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Fúsi, the protagonist of... "Fúsi" (played in a great and touching performance by Gunnar Jónsson) is a grown man that, for whatever reason, has had no luck in his relationships: lives with his mother (and her visiting boyfriend), works at the airport moving luggage and his big hobbies are recreating World War II battles with a friend and listening to heavy metal in his car, looking to the immensity of the sea.

He is also being bullied at his job, and his mother and her boyfriend make constant comments about him being alone and not finding someone to be with. Not only so, but poor Fúsi has to suffer the way society works: for example, at his favorite restaurant, all the tables are always ready for two people.

When his mother's boyfriend gives him for his birthday a dancing class' pass, Fúsi is not particularly thrilled. He is forced and bullied to attend the first class, but decides to run away and hide in his car. And then... Life is full of surprises.

"Fúsi" is a touching and moving picture, with lots of very smart moments, a great direction and perfectly anchored by the amazing performance by Gunnar Jónsson. One look, one stutter or a raised eyebrow... He embodies the character and makes us understand Fúsi. The plot is really good too, even if it falls into a couple of cheap plot developments (the little girl that comes to live to the same building Fúsi lives in and the friendship that happens between them both). On a personal note, I would rather have had Fúsi and Sjöfn staying just as friends (it would have offered a different view of Fúsi and an interesting view of friendships between men and women even if there is some physical attraction). But that is a minor personal quibble.

"Fúsi" is an amazing movie. Totally recommended.
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On Solitude and Defiance
tributarystu23 March 2016
It was fitting that on watching this film, I was almost alone in the cinema, because isolation and solitude are powerful themes throughout Fúsi. So when you're out by yourself, in the middle of the day, to watch an obscure Icelandic movie showing at an archaic cinema that now uses a projector rather suited for private use, than public screenings, it all kind of falls into place and reinforces the emotional investment in the whole experience.

Fúsi, a 43 year old man-child, but without the usual derogatory connotations of the term, is a tinkerer who lives with his mother, reenacts WW2 battles with his neighbour and works at a hapless job, where he is constantly bullied. Yet, what looks like a bleak and joyless existence, washes over Fúsi like a warm shower on a winter's day. His outlook on life is inhabited by a neutral positivity informed mostly through how naive and passive Fúsi seems most of the time. And all this is tested once he meets a woman who appears to take an interest in him, enabling him to be the nurturer he is at heart.

This story really hit a nerve, as I'm sure it has for many people who have ever felt alone, or love-stricken or stranded. It is a vicious portrayal of the world, which is only redeeming because Fúsi is the kind of character that takes it all in his stride. Otherwise, it gently treads the line of tragedy, but never crosses it. And surely, Fúsi is an idealized altruist with autistic tendencies, but he's still someone you can identify with, because you recognize the gestures, the emotions and the triggers within and around him.

However, the film does tend to be stereotypically simplistic in its bleakness. Whether it is the abuse Fúsi faces, his run in with the law, the relationship with his mother, these occasionally serve nothing more than to amplify traits in the character, respectively "the world", which are all too apparent to begin with. Not to mention that his romantic conception of what is acceptable really pushes the suspension of disbelief to places it should never be pushed. Yet, it is in the romance that the film manages to stay true to itself and believable, hyperbolic gestures aside. Because, hey, we've all been there and sometimes it does play out in your mind the way it all unfolds here. Or thereabouts.

So there it is, an Icelandic experience of philosophical proportions, that is quite certain to leave you ruminating at its conclusion. And empathizing, which is always a good muscle to engage.
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Iceland's feminist view on the epitome of manhood : the white knight
William-of-Baskerville2 February 2019
Good gracious, based on the accolades and positive reviews I expected a warm and fuzzy movie about a simplistic man with a heart of gold, instead I got a depressing expression of Icelandic orgiastic feminist view on the ultimate ball-less icon of a man : the white knight. But unlike in chivalric tales, this one is even trodden further in the mud than I thought possible. Has no redeeming qualities, even the cinematography and music are depressing.
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A film from Iceland that is both heart-warming and unsentimental
sarajevo-23 September 2015
This was the closing film of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and my favorite of the films I saw. I want to recommend it to everyone, but it isn't getting much worldwide distribution other than festivals, despite winning an audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival. It is the story of a huge childlike man - huge in body, huge in spirit. At the beginning his childlike nature seems negative, but he proves to be profoundly beautiful in his loving innocence. Refusing to be hurt, refusing to withdraw from rejection, he is one of the most amazing heroes I have seen. The film is not sentimental - everything does not turn our 'right', but his goodness and hope remain intact as he opens out to the world. We saw the film in a huge open-air theater, and the audience clapped and whooped and whistled when a girl finally jumped him. A friend said her face got sore from smiling so much! See this film!
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"Thanks for not killing me"
Imoinda24 May 2021
Dostoevsky had a genuinely good person as protagonist in The Idiot in order to explore how such a person would get by in contemporary Russia. This movie does the same thing with modern day Iceland, but it could be set anywhere in the world.

Fúsi is 42, fat, almost friendless and lives with his mother. When he gets bullied at work, he turns the other cheek. When a lonely child asks him to play, he obliges. When a woman at his dance class asks for a lift, he drives her home. Her laconic "Thanks for not killing me" is possibly one of the best lines in the film.

We get to see a friendship evolving throughout the film, and Fúsi makes an impressive personal journey.

A gem of a movie - watch it if you haven't already.
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A Virgin Nature of a Giant Soul
halavurta20 June 2015
Glaciers of Iceland melt with warmth of Icelandic cinema. Virgin Mountain is distant but full of love, steady like a paint of cold colors but earnest and sincere same as Fusi who is naming movie. Embracing Fusi is a complicated state for audiences. It is so easy to love and to be one with him but he reminds us people who are same as him around us and who are ignored by us. It gives an amount of heartache scaled with moral compass of every individual viewer. Besides it, the empathy we feel for him gives us a hope to be better person.

Fusi may be the most naive man in the world. He has not evil inside and everything is so simple for him even sometimes he can't see the consequences of his actions. He doesn't get mad against people who are unfair to him, he even doesn't know what revenge is. Everything he knows is helping other and acting for the common good. But beyond of his fragile look, he keeps a solid persona as same as his size. He is like a virgin nature which welcomes the torrid heat of sun and the fruitful spaciousness of rain with same excitement. After all a smile on his face is a relief in our souls.

Virgin Mountain promises a good time for watching even though relatively dark and slow shootings. Good balance with dram and comedy keep viewer's eyes open and modest acting of Gunnar Jónsson makes movie reliable and striker. This festival movie reflects the real soul of Icelandic cinema in a very successful way.
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Made me think and funny
susieaw29 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best films I have seen for a while, and I still keep thinking of it days after. Sad and also funny. Makes you think how you judge people. My friend complained it didn't have an outcome at the end, but I don't think it was like a straightforward Hollywood film, as the events changed his life. I joked to my friend that maybe there should be a sequel, to see how he enjoyed his Egypt holiday, are Icelanders like us British when we go to the Mediterranean where you go red on first few days and then skin peels off rest of week. Was his girlfriend sectioned or if not, was she happy in her shop. Did he get the image of his mother's boyfriend in the kitchen out of his head.
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A hidden gem full of surprises
El_John12 November 2015
Looking at the plot synopsis, 'Virgin Mountain' may seem like a typical Kevin James movie: Fusi is a 43 year old, overweight virgin who still lives with his mother, plays with toys and is bullied by his co-workers. His daily life is dominated by routines. Every morning he eats cereals, goes to work, visits his favorite restaurant and calls a radio station to wish for the same song to be played. It is after he breaks his routines that he meets the women he falls in love with.

The big difference to movies like 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' or 'Zookeeper', is that the humor does not result in 'fat guy falls' or 'fat guy has the intellect of a 12 year old', but rather of Fusis naivety and his incapability of social interactions. A lesser movie would make Fusi look like an unsophisticated low life, but Director Dagur Kári still manages to take his character seriously and creates a beautiful character study about an misunderstood, warm-hearted giant.

The numerous comedic elements are skillfully mixed with dramatic components and Gunnar Jónsson conveys all emotions to the audience with his brilliant portrayal of Fusi without relying on a ham fisted, overly emotional score. On the contrary, the score is subtle and fits the cold, but beautiful cinematography of the film.

Sadly, the movie is not without its flaws. The bullies seem more like 6th graders than grown-up men and there is one particular scene that depicts him slightly to naive, which makes him dumber than he actually is.

Nevertheless, these are just minor flaws and don't really hurt the great experience that this movie is.
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a HUGE little Masterpiece.
vynzente10 September 2016
Brilliantly. Magic. Real and Genuine. Quality, intimate and soulful. Magnificent play of the actor, great scenario, more than superb shooting. Makes you think what people have on Earth unadulterated by modern system. Clean, good and with a huge hearts. I have know these people are my friends and / or acquaintances. They are absolutely natural in thought. Without prejudices, without hatred, violence, greed, anger or a desire to ruin. With wonderful souls and force, that emanate without realizing... I recommend it to every connoisseur of true cinema and quality productions! Indispensable for any sane and stand on solid ground man.
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A Story of a Huge man with a Huge Soul !
giordanogamer23 January 2018
A film about the loneliness of a 47 year old man who goes through various bad situations that are very related to most of our experience in this cruel and monotonous world. Intimate and soulful. Beautiful masterpiece !
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What a movie!
LinPijuk17 August 2015
This is a story about the meaning of life. If you wonder what it is, see this movie and you will learn that the meaning is to be good and do good deeds. It is a story of an overweight 40-something man.He still lives with his mother, and is obviously a virgin. One can say that he is unbelievably childish and naive, but it is his soul that is pure, exactly like children's, that makes this guy (who is on the surface unlovable) a true hero of modern times. He responds to bullying with kindness, to indifference with his eagerness to help. As the movie progresses, you will fall more and more in love with this guy and this movie. Although set in freezing Iceland, this movie will warm you hart like not many other.
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Melancholic feel-good movie
amanda-2535118 July 2016
A sad and warm, somehow comical story at the same time. A minimalistic and very honest portrait of how even a little romance can brighten up a life when everything seems grey and cloudy. There is something about Icelandic movies and Icelandic music that just have that special paradox of melancholy and joy at the same time. This is a film about how small adventures in the everyday routine life can change the world of one person. It puts life in perspective and leaves you with a ambiguous feeling of satisfaction and wistfulness all at once. Something like a rainy day. It makes me realise that the most important things are the relationship we build and the chances we take in life. I feel a need to see a continuation, yet I don't think there will ever be one.
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A gem of film!
liai8722 April 2015
I just went out of the Tribeca Film Festival's screening of this movie. EVERYONE that came out of the room had the same expression: WHAT A GEM! Even at the time of giving our vote for the Audience's award, which went on a scale from 1 to 5, we all had the same thought. A five is not enough!

Although a little slow in the beginning, later on you are thankful for that as it is crucial to the development of the character.

It is a BEAUTIFUL film. The photography, the acting, the story. Everything was so subtle and fluid, without much paraphernalia.

Great storytelling, great depth in the characters, great acting.
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