“Lamb”, a lamb in the cradle

The Icelandic countryside, its desolate landscapes, its changing weather. There, in the middle of nowhere, a couple of herders and farmers live surrounded by sheep and potatoes. One night, a lamb that we guess strange through their astonished eyes is born. They take him inside to warm him up and give him the bottle. Is he puny, born prematurely, in danger of death? After about forty minutes, we will discover what makes it abnormal. Maria and Ingvar are breeders, here they are parents, again, as if to ward off the death of their daughter. And outside, a sheep is crying over the lamb that has been torn from it …

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Lamb is an astonishing film, and it is besides the Price of the originality which it was awarded last year when the Cannes Film Festival selected it in the Un Certain Regard section. But does originality make a good film? In view of the outcome of this closed session with four characters (the dark brother of Ingvar will disembark to, like the spectator, wonder what he is witnessing), one can doubt it.

On another Icelandic film:
Sheep and men

Because here is the big problem of this tale flirting with the fantastic and the Norse mythology: if the photography is superb and the casting to match (with an excellent Noomi Rapace playing for the first time in Iceland, where she partly grew up) , the story crumbles little by little, until giving way to the sirens of a grand-guignolesque final which, coming to explain what we have seen, leaves the bitter impression of having been taken for a ride. All that for that, we say to ourselves, even though the film has undeniable qualities.

Lamb, by Valdimar Johannsson (Iceland, Sweden, Poland, 2021), with Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, 1:46.

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