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Overall Rating
4.5

Awesome61.54%
Worth A Look: 34.62%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 3.85%

2 reviews, 14 user ratings


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Noi the Albino
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by EricDSnider

"He's an albino AND he lives in Iceland! How worse can life get?!"
4 stars

The first images of "Noi the Albino" are of the title character, a 17-year-old Icelandic boy, digging him and his grandmother out of their home following a massive -- and, we gather, not infrequent -- snowstorm. Thus the isolation and claustrophobia of Noi's life is established, themes that will continue through this quirky, amusing little film.

Nói (Tómas Lemarquis) is an odd kid, too smart for school and hence uninterested in doing any work there. Teachers don't know what to do with him, his grandmother (Anna Fridriksdóttir) must fire a shotgun to rouse him from bed in the morning, and he spends much time at the gas station, drinking soda and flirting with the new employee, Iris (Elín Hansdóttir). He lives in a desolate, remote village that is perpetually snow-covered, and he is an albino with a shaved head. He practically disappears against the landscape.

The film, written and directed by Dagur Kári, does not have a plot in the traditional sense. Instead, we see the various aspects of Nói's life, his affable complacency, his courtship of Iris (to the dismay of her father, Oskar, played by Hjalti Rognvaldsson), and his relationship with his absentee father, Kiddi (Throstur Leó Gunnarsson), who is one of those convivial movie alcoholics and an unrepentant Elvis fan. In a sweetly amusing gesture, Nói's grandmother sends him to the town fortune-teller (who is also the town auto mechanic) for guidance.

All of the humor is deadpan, sometimes so subtle you'd miss it. Until the film's finale, in which Kári pulls off a change in tone so abrupt that few American films ever try it, the pace is low-key and unflustered, like Nói himself.

There is a bleakness about the film, a sort of hopelessness, where we must reassure ourselves with the fact that, though we may occasionally be directionless or complacent, hey, at least we're not stuck in a tiny village in Iceland. We can find humor in Nói's situation for as long as we don't identify too strongly with him. People who actually live in remote Icelandic hamlets probably would not find the film very entertaining at all.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8141&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/18/04 20:33:45
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/11/10 ryan I thought it was very beautifully shot and had themes that many people can relate to. 4 stars
11/26/06 cz contrast of white & use of color & light remarkable besides great acting 5 stars
6/19/06 mark h Amazing, perceptive and thoughtful film. A gritty and yet romantic view of the world. 5 stars
9/13/05 anna gunnthorsdottir a great movie & historically very accurate. 5 stars
7/31/05 Lisa B. I enjoyed this movie, but it's definitely not for everyone. 4 stars
5/22/05 Jan Willem Great film 5 stars
2/25/05 Bernard Barnet Everything about the film is exactly right throughout. A moving experience, not just wh 5 stars
8/12/04 l martin fabulous film. 5 stars
5/31/04 monika wow. 5 stars
3/21/04 Bingo was his name-o Good film, really enjoyed it. 4 stars
2/17/04 B really interesting 5 stars
12/06/03 mary duffy I loved it. Oddness justified 5 stars
11/28/03 Anna Amazing 5 stars
11/19/03 kim coleman it was dumb 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Mar-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Oct-2004

UK
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