Hanna Maria Karlsdottir

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101 Reykjavík Review

Dark and dry (much like Iceland itself, I guess), the Nordic film 101 Reykjavík offers a strange look at modern relationships: In this case, a love triangle among a disaffected Icelandic twentysomething named Hylnur (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), his mother (Hanna María Karlsdóttir), and their bisexual lover (Spanish vixen Victoria Abril).

It's a strange and distant tale that would only appear on Jerry Springer in America but comes off as quirky and cute when presented from the cold Nordic perspective. Hylnur still lives at home, and when mom brings in her flamenco instructor Lola (the Kinks' famous song of the same name -- about a she-male -- plays throughout the film and in the most bizarre of contexts), things get dicey. One drunken night, Lola and Hylnur get it on -- and Lola ends up pregnant. And guess what: Mom and Lola want to keep their baby.

Continue reading: 101 Reykjavík Review

101 Reykjavik Review


A vivid and energetic dark comedy about a lifeless and lazy remnant of Generation X, the Icelandic import "101 Reykjavik" begins with its anti-hero tromping to the top of a mountain in the snow where he plans to smoke a cigarette and freeze to death because life has become too much for him to cope with.

Scruffy layabout Hlynur (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) is so willfully aimless and irresponsible that he can't cope with much of anything beyond living with his mother and surfing web porn all day. So the chaos he brings upon himself by impregnating mom's wild lesbian girlfriend (Spanish actress Victoria Abril) is way too much -- I mean it would require energy, resolution and, god forbid, responsibility!

With a firm hold on the film's pungent sense of humor, director Baltasar Kormakur sets this stage then rewinds to trace Hlynur's path of ambition-free self-destruction, deftly crafting a self-deprecating sympathy for the guy along the way. Hlynur knows he's a zero ("My face is just sort of a frame around my glasses," he says in the movie's running commentary) but then, he thinks he lives in a world of zeroes and he's the only one with the courage to admit it and embrace it. Dragged to a family Christmas dinner -- where the elder generation enthusiastically watches a video of last year's Christmas dinner -- Hlynur opines "I'd rather go to a funeral. One less idiot."

Continue reading: 101 Reykjavik Review

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