Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Backyard Village (2020) plays at Santa Barbara’s Nordic Cinema Competition

Brynja doesn't want to go home. Her mother who abandoned her 35 years earlier has returned to Iceland. She then takes up residence in a guest house in a development called Backyard Village. There she meets an Englishman named Mark who is trying to get over a tragedy.

A warm and fuzzy movie, this is an utterly charming film that gets under your skin and carries you along. That the film works as well as it does is entirely due to the cast headed by the marvelous Laufey Eliasdottir and Tim Plester who make you feel that they aren’t characters on the screen but real people you know.  I really would like to spend an afternoon with them which says a great deal.

I have to hand it to director Marteinn Thorsson​ who has crafted a film that looks simple, at times it seems like he just let the camera run while Laufey Eliasdottir and Tim Plester were in front of it, but there is more going on  as Marteinn Thorsson perfectly shifts POV to give the maximum emotional impact.

Honestly this film really impressed me. I had no intention of covering it, but something told me to watch it. I’m so glad I did since this film is one of my great finds. It’s a must see at Santa Barbara IFF Nordic Film Competition or where ever you can find it.

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