The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

Marina Antunes [Film Festival 10.14.10] Iceland movie review comedy

Year: 2010
Director: Valdís Óskarsdóttir
Writers: Valdís Óskarsdóttir
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 5 out of 10

With all of the information kicking around on Iceland, the country remains a mystery to me as, apparently, does the comedy – but we’ll get to that in a second.

For his second turn behind the director’s chair, editor turned director Valdís Óskarsdóttir returns home to tell the comedic story King’s Road. Junior returns home after three years abroad in hopes that his father can help him sort out some financial problems which won’t go away, hence Junior’s arrival with his “friend” Rupert in tow.

It’s immediately apparent that King’s Road isn’t exactly a “normal” town. If you can even call it a town. It's a trailer park in rural Iceland. Perhaps it’s the thin air or the fact that the town seems removed from civilization but it’s populated by a quirky group of individuals, each stranger than the last. There’s the crossing guard/ticket writer whose brother is always around but only able to cross the road when a car is coming. Then there’s Junior’s father who himself is in hiding after a brush with the law and his girlfriend who is bored and ignored. Junior’s grandmother walks around with a dead seal (we later come to see the importance of the seal) and often spends her afternoons in a hotboxed car owned by the town punk rockers. Adding to the strange brew of characters are the stranger bits of comedic gold which pepper the story. And yet, something about King’s Road just doesn’t click.

Though some of the jokes are hysterical and had me holding my side as I tried to stay upright in my seat, others fell a bit flat despite some brilliant performances. Daniel Brühl plays the role of straight faced Rupert who seems both unimpressed and annoyed by the eccentricities of the people and events that unfold around him but he’s determined to get his money at any cost and his own actions are cause for more than a a handful of amusing moments.

So what’s at fault? It may well be this reviewer’s sense of comedy but it could also be the fact that a majority of the good jokes are beaten to within an inch of their lives. Though I found some of the situational comedy hilarious, most of it turns to tediousness pretty quickly. Take the crossing guard. Though I enjoyed how his story unfolded and the new twist added by a third individual, the gag itself got old after the second time it’s used and sadly, that’s the case with quite a few of the gags. The ones that really work are the few that come and go with barely a mention (the “Why don’t you just buy a printer?” bit right at the film’s opening still makes me snicker).

In the end, King’s Road suffers from a case of over stretching much of its laughs but a few are so effective it’s a shame they’re buried in a film few people will likely see. I’d love to see a collection of greatest King’s Road moments but as it stands, the film is a too much of a grind to recommend wholeheartedly. Maybe Óskarsdóttir’s next comedy will be better. I’d be game for giving him another shot.

You might also like


Anonymous (12 years ago) Reply

FYI: Director is female. Icelanders don't have family names, instead their last name is the name of their father plus their own gender. Oskarsdottir is Oscar's daughter. If / when she has children they'll have a different surname based on the name of their father and their own gender.


Anonymous (11 years ago) Reply

exactly, thank you. Marina, you're a massive ignorant, you didn't even bother researching the director properly. Your review blows.


Czmych (9 years ago) Reply

Did Marina make her homework or she didn't it doesn't really matter as the one most important fact she has got right: in spite of fabulous actors and a handful of jokes this movie sucks.


agentorange (9 years ago) Reply


Leave a comment