White Night Wedding (Brúđguminn)

The narrative of WHITE NIGHT WEDDING flips between the two marriages of burned-out academic Jon (Hilmir Snær Guðnason): the one in the past, to unstable artist Anna (a magnificent portrayal of Bipolar disease by Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir), which ended in tragedy; and the one about to begin, to his former student, and the cheerful, wholesome daughter of his business partners, Þóra (Laufey Elíasdóttir).

… hard-core northern European family breakdown horror and sub-Father Ted hi-jinks …

One is left wondering what a dreary sap like Jon had going for him, to have these two very different, but both intelligent and capable women, marry him. The film jumps erratically between hard-core northern European family breakdown horror and sub-Father Ted eccentric locals hi-jinks. But Iceland is just about yummy enough that they get away with it.

The sparse but cosy, well-scrubbed and homely houses of Flatey glow gently in the long, long days of summer on the edge of the Arctic, a gift to film makers. Dialogue in Icelandic, probably the most beautiful of the Germanic languages, flows sweetly into the ear and the minimalist charm of landscape and interiors both delight the eye but BRÚĐGUMINN is less than the sum of its parts. In one sense it’s hard to see where a film-maker can go wrong pointing a camera at that lot but Kormákur manages somehow to miss the sweet spot. I do want to go to Flatey, though.

 

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