Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Stellan Skarsgård! This unusual actor -- he of the firmly under-stated performance and increasingly jowly visage (on poster, right, and in several shots below) -- has, to my knowledge, never given a bad performance, even in crappy movies like Angels and Demons or silly ones like Mamma Mia! (that explanation point is the film's). The fellow turns 60 this year and has 109 roles to his credit, but I doubt that he has ever been better than he is in A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN, the new Norwegian film cogently directed by Hans Petter Moland (shown below) and written -- very well indeed --
by Kim Fupz Aakeson.
A Somewhat Gentle Man is what you might call a deadpan gangster comedy, and you'd be right -- except Skarsgård is so quietly alive that he lifts the film out of that overused, deadpan genre. In it, he plays Ulrik, a guy who, in the first scene, is being released from prison by a surprisingly kindly guard who clearly cares about Ulrik and wishes him well.
Bjørn Floberg (above, right, whose sense of entitlement makes your typical American haute-bourgeoisie seem a piker by comparison) to Jorunn Kjellsby, who, as the landlady, balances buried pain and sadness with some terrific, over-the-top humor.
Strand Releasing, opens Friday, January 14 in New York City at the IFC Center. Further playdates, through March and as of now, include:
1/28 - Nuart Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
2/4 - Ritz at the Bourse - Philadelphia, PA
2/17 - Wadsworth Atheneum Museum - Hartford, CT
2/25 - Kendall Square - Cambridge, MA
3/4 - E Street Cinema 8 - Washington, DC
3/4 - Lagoon Cinema - Minneapolis, MN
3/18 - Varsity Theater - St. Louis, MO
3/25 - Chez Artiste - Denver, CO
3/25 - Ken Cinema - San Diego, CA