Bleak and anti-glamorous realism down on the farm with a few high points
I went into The County expecting it to be more of a comedy than it actually was. To be fair I expected bleak, dry and dark comedy because Iceland is like that. There is also some kind of similarity between New Zealand isolation stories and the Icelandic ones. It does feel like rural Iceland and rural NZ are quite similar and so I expected the tone to a bit dark.
Well that part was correct only a bit bleaker than I had expected. The earthy anti-glamor realism of thick jerseys and overalls plus dollops of cow muck and milk are a bit hard to watch without an involuntary wince or two.
I knew the lead character was a widow before I went to see the film and so was surprised to find the husband alive for the first part of the film. I think the editors could have missed that section and I was somewhat distracted to see the supposed corpse breathing in the body ID scene. The impression is that they are people of few words. When the lead character makes a pointed post on Facebook the group dynamic changes and the conflict from that drives the movie forward. It does feel a bit compressed though from a narrative perspective.
I know it is is a script but the villains of the film are cartoonish and very very stilted. By the end of the film there are some rays of hope although there are some realistic outcomes as well. Not as great at say "Woman at War" or "A White,White Day" but it has its charms.
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