Life in a Fishbowl
Directed by Baldvin Zophoníasson
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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★★★★ review by Still Here🏳️🌈 on Letterboxd
People bumping into each other like in a fishbowl. Very Nordic atmosphere. Closest comparison can probably be made to Aku Louhimies' "Paha Maa" but I honestly think that Zophoníasson does it much better. The film has more character; its acting is pretty much top-notch and it's easy to see that these actors and actresses could be something great. Hera Hilmar does powerhouse performance but the soul of the film is Þorsteinn Bachmann, easily capable for anything. As somebody cleverly noted, instead of using countryside landscapes as many other Icelander, Zophoníasson's films focus on cities and their people. The development of the film started in 2005 and later there were three separate stories that came easily together. Very dark but never loses its humans out of sight. Filmmakers who ran through my mind were Louhimies, Yang, Cassavetes and even Bela Tarr (when Bachmann recites his poem in a bar and camera zooms on him, music playing on the background).
I'm really excited to see to which direction the director will develop. Film is full of potential and it pretty much reaches up to it but it could have gone deeper.
And the director decided to share with us about his next project first in the world. Yeah! It's a story about two drug-addict women and their love relationship, it's based on true story and the actual diaries so something powerful must be coming up...
★★★★ review by Thorsteinn on Letterboxd
ég er orðinn virkilega hrifinn af stílnum hans baldvins.
hann er með virkilega gott auga fyrir skotum og kvikmyndatöku, og persónurnar sem hann skrifar eru raunverulegar og áhugaverðar.
ég var ekki alveg jafn hrifinn af vonarstræti og ég var af lof mér að falla, en hún er samt sem áður frábær. mér fannst hugmyndin um þessa 3 söguþræði sem tengjast hægt og rólega ótrúlega flott.
persónurnar eru djúpar og virkilega áhrifamiklar. þær eru allar með sín vandamál sem tengjast á mjög skemmtilegan máta.
hera er mögnuð sem eik og hún algjörlega selur erfiðasta atriði myndarinnar.
þorsteinn bachmann leikur líka mestu afatýpu í heimi. ótrúlega vel gert að ná að leika 30 árum yfir sinn eigin aldur.
það eina sem ég hef út á að setja er sölvi. hans persóna og saga virðist svo ótengd hinum. sagan hans tengist ekki við hinar fyrr en seint og þá sjaldan.
hann passar bara svo undarlega inn. eik er að glíma við erfið mál úr æsku. móri er í vítahring yfir gömlum mistökum. sölvi er fyrrum fótboltastjarna turned bankamaður og hans helsta vandamál er að hann er með leiðinlegan yfirmann sem vill að hann haldi framhjá konuni sinni. one of these things is not like the other.
annars bara frábær. baldvin heldur áfram að gera góða hluti.
★★★★ review by Mårten Larsson on Letterboxd
Icelandic writer-director Baldvin Zophoníasson’s 2nd feature film is dark but great. The screenplay, co-written with psychologist Birgir Örn Steinarsson, is strong and nuanced. The acting from Hilmar, Bachmann and Kristjansson is solid.
★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd
This is a multi-character drama featuring three intersecting stories telling of the pressures of contemporary life in post-banking crisis Iceland. Móri is an author suffering from the consequences of the death of a child. Eik is the daughter of wealth and power whose childhood was ruined by sexual abuse. As a consequence, she has turned to sophisticated prostitution. Sölvi is a former athlete working in the corrupt banking system. Their stories intersect in a complex tapestry which is very plot heavy. The film was involving enough. Its glossy production and fine direction made it stand out. But I just couldn't make myself relate to any of the strangely unsympathetic characters.
★★★½ review by Juan Carlos Ojano on Letterboxd
Goes from tacky to involving to intense. Evocative pacing, visuals in building mood even if story falters.
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