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Kristin Lavransdatter Review


Bad
Liv Ullmann takes a 1000-page novel and turns it into a 187-minute movie, with predictable results.

Hardly known for her directorial abilities (though Faithless was passable), Ullmann's work here is pretty much rock bottom. Sigrid Undset's novel is a historical epic, following one Kristin Lavransdatter across a life in medieval Norway. Her dad is a wealthy landowner and wants to marry her off to the son of another local wealthy man. But Kristin has eyes on a lower-class man. These two tussle, Kristin ends up in a convent, then falls in love with a knight. The original fiancee tussles again with the new guy, and it all ends in hopeful despair. With elements of Moll Flanders and Romeo and Juliet (and not the good elements, mind you), Kristin tries to muddle a story together where one barely exists. How Undset got 1000 pages out of this is a mystery to me.

Continue reading: Kristin Lavransdatter Review

Insomnia (1997) Review


Very Good
Very dark and perplexing, this Nordic thriller features a Swedish investigator sent to Norway to investigate a strange murder. He gets tangled up in it too when he mistakenly shoots his partner, all in a remote city inside the Arctic Circle, where the sun never sets. With atmospheric lighting and a zippy pace, Insomnia is strangely compelling especially once you figure out the intricacies of the oddball plot (those Scandinavians aren't known for long, explanatory scenes). Being remade in English, Hollywood-style.
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