A little trip to Reykjavik
In the rich section Cinema of the Future: Sturm und Drang, the Rotterdam Festival screened a new version of A little trip to heaven [+see also:
film profile], re-cut and shortened since the Toronto Film Festival. This is Icelandic actor/director b>Baltasar Kormákur's s third feature, after 101 Reykjavik and The Sea [+see also:
film profile] .
Insurance agent Abe Holt (Forest Whitaker) is sent to the small town of Hastings on a routine inquiry following the accidental death of a client with a million-dollar policy. The inquiry proves more difficult than expected, as the circumstances surrounding the accident are highly suspicious. And Holt is soon intrigued by the client’s beneficiary, the mysterious and attractive Isold (Julia Stiles), and her enigmatic husband (Jeremy Renner).
Forest Whitaker excels as always, this time in the role of a sensitive and destabilised man. A thriller that relies heavily on atmosphere, A little trip to heaven is not set in any particular era and seems to float away from any known reference point. Although the story takes place in Minnesota, it was shot in Iceland, the director’s homeland, unveiling apocalyptic and grandiose landscapes, sublimated with superb photography. "I was strongly influence by the Coen Brothers’ early films, such as Blood Simple and Barton Fink", the director admits. "They are films that entertain audiences while simultaneously preserving the art form." Without taking sides, the film attempts to delve into human integrity in the sombre world of life insurance. Even though it does not have the force of his excellent previous films, and the screenplay is perhaps lacking in rigour, A Little trip to heaven establishes the original artistic personality that is Baltasar Kormákur.
The film was produced by Palomar Pictures and the director’s production company, Blueeyes Productions.
(Translated from French)
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