Powerful psychodrama from Norway

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 4




Eddie and Maria live in rural seclusion, scraping by on a small timber business and subsisting on home-grown vegetables. She is nervy and bird-like, he’s a gentle bear of a man. Although little is said, it’s clear that for this damaged couple, their home and the stoic simplicity of their existence is a refuge from other, wilder past lives.

Then a chance encounter brings Kullman into their world. A former acquaintance of Eddie, recently released from prison, he’s treated at first with hostility by Maria. The couple’s little world is disrupted and neither will be quite the same again.

This atmospheric Norwegian psychodrama is remarkably powerful, particularly given that the actors apparently improvised much of the dialogue. Director Marius Holst favours long, meditative takes and striking wide shots to build tension and create menace. With echoes of early Polanski, this first film contains some of the most fascinating performances that you’ll see all year from leads Maria Bonnevie and Kim Bodnia as Maria and Eddie. A totally absorbing experience.