February 8, 2007

Snow, Ice and Romantic Reindeer

aberdeen.jpgSometimes what we see on screen gives Cinecultist bright ideas. In this Norwegan/British movie from 2000, Aberdeen that we watched a week ago, one of the main characters Kaisa (Lena Headey) stops by the side of the road to take a break during a hellish car trip with her estranged father (Stellan Skarsgård). Looking up, she sees a massive horned beast just above the highway and nearly falls over from fright. Laughing, Tomas says he can't believe she's so freaked out, it's only a reindeer. Even though she's a sophisticated London lawyer now, Kaisa spent much of her childhood with him in Norway and shouldn't be afraid of them. This scene has been on the Cinecultist's mind lately because we half expect to see one of those big guys in the middle of Second Ave, as we've traversed from our cozy apartment to the subway through the bitter cold. Seriously, the city should think about importing some of those majestic reindeer for the East Village, it would make this frigid weather much easier to bear.

Besides the similarities in weather from that movie and real life, Aberdeen has been nibbling on our mind ever since we watched it on DVD. It's a small movie, but it sticks with you surprisingly well. First of all, the acting by all of the cast members is really wonderful. From Charlotte Rampling, who only has a small part as Kaisa's dying mother, to the utterly humane Ian Hart, as Kaisa's reluctant romantic object, everyone is spot on. Of course those two are just small roles, the leads Skarsgård and Headey are both totally great as well. The more their story unfold, the more we can see how scarred and fucked up this father and daughter are, yet their neurosis never becomes over the top or unrealistic. As addicts (Tomas is a drunk and Kaisa sneaks bumps of coke in rest stop bathrooms), their behavior can be erratic to say the least,but that almost seems to make them worthy of the camera. Watching a great character study like this one, reminds CC that cinema is really made for the exploration of larger-than-life personalities like this family.

We fell for Skarsgård from his heart-wrenchingly brutal performance in Breaking the Waves, and this film is of a similar ilk. Add it to your rental queue, you won't be sorry. As for his lovely costar, we looked up on iMDB and discovered Headey is in the cast of 300, that historical epic-y movie about the battle of Thermopylae based on the Frank Miller comic. It comes out soon, Mar. 9 to be exact. Cinecultist is anxious to see more of her work, even if it's set in the sands of ancient Greece rather than the icy snows of modern Scandinavia.

Posted by karen at February 8, 2007 9:58 AM

Thank you for noticing such a wonderful film and for regonicing such a wonderful actress as Lena Headey is. Let's hope for more!

Posted by: justaXgirl at February 13, 2007 6:23 PM
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