101 Reykjavik

"Good"

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."

So when his mother's free-spirited young "friend" from Spain comes to stay with them, Hlynur finds her a sexy and stimulating break from the self-imposed drudgery of his existence. They hang out, get drunk and -- whoops.

"101" boasts a catchy synth-industrial soundtrack by Damon Albarn (from Blur) and Einar Orn (from the Sugarcubes), and a vivid sense of place that builds a necessary personal warmth into the glacial setting with, for example, arguments that take place inside cars that are sliding about on icy roads.

Kormakur -- who adapted the screenplay from a novel of the same title -- also plies the picture with richly morose character traits that should make his hero unlikable (giving cigarettes to kids, avoiding every girl he's slept with at the incestuously small local pub). But Gudnason's richly ironic performance is appealingly caustic in spite of the Hlynur's utter lack of purpose and gross irresponsibility.

Abril ("High Heels," "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!") provides plenty of personality as well with her bewitching but egoless sexuality. And the film is rounded out by distinctive performances from Hanna Maria Karlsdottir as the mother and Olafur Darri Olafsson as a clingy girlfriend Hlynur has lost interest in.

"101 Reykjavik" is forgettable sex farce fare and has nagging problems, like a sloppy time-line, that keep it from soaring. But it is a funny look at modern love through the eyes and culture of a slothfully detached and uniquely 21st Century male archetype.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st June 2000

Distributed by: Menemsha

Production compaines: Zentropa Entertainments, Filmhuset AS, Liberator Productions, Troika Entertainment GmbH

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Lola, Hilmir Snær Guðnason as Hlynur, as Berglind, Þrúður Vilhjálmsdóttir as Hófí

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.