This year's Venice Film Festival includes the Icelandic film Under The Tree (Icelandic: Undir Trénu). It premiered there yesterday and received very positive reviews from the press. RÚV reports.
Of particular note was the actress Edda Björgvinsdóttir, who reportedly cried joyful tears upon hearing the reviews. They praised Edda's performance, with one describing Edda as "the scene-stealing Björgvinsdóttir, who spits acrimony and expletives with such force and assurance that she instantly thrusts the character into the annals of memorable screen matriarchs."
Edda herself, however, didn't expect any of this praise. "I never imagined them so much as covering our film or foreigners even writing anything. And them talking about myself was the last thing on my mind. I couldn't say anything. I just started crying. Everything breaks inside you and I'm constantly fighting the tears. I just saw the film and nobody cried as much as I did. This is one of the strongest films I've ever seen. Really. And I was so relieved not to have seen it before."
Asked whether she expected her performance to win her international fame, Edda wasn't sure. "Maybe there will be a great change. But you know how it is out there. There aren't many roles out there for women who've reached this age."
The film has already been nominated for the Orrizonti Price, with director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson stating that it's a high honor. "There are thousands of films competing and only nineteen are nominated for the award. And it helps with promoting our film."
Under The Tree is a film about a young man whose wife catches him watching an old sex tape of himself and his ex-girlfriend, and kicks him out of the house, preventing him from seeing their four-year-old daughter. He moves into his parents' house, who are in the middle of an argument with their next door neighbors, due to their large tree preventing the neighbors from being able to sunbathe. Soon enough, the arguments escalate, with pets disappearing and rumors of a chainsaw-wielding man about.
The main cast features Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir and Sigurður Sigurjónsson. The film premieres next week in Iceland.