30 August 2014 | henribey
A good mix of litterature and accessible filmmaking
I've just recently seen this film at the Montreal World Film Festival and I was truly fascinated by it. The premise is a bit preposterous: A Norwegian film director (played by the movie's actual director) has to make a film or else forfeit a subsidy he received for the purpose of making a movie (if only these things happened in real life!). In London, he attends almost unwillingly a performance - in English - of a lesser-known Ibsen play, The Lady of the Sea, which, on a whim, he then decides to film in Norway, with the British cast. The filming occurs in a remote northern part of Norway, in summer, when the sun shines practically 24 hours a day. As moviegoers, we're constantly shifting between scenes of the actual Ibsen play and lighthearted scenes when the Norwegian film director, the British play director, the film crew and the cast interact among each other. But there comes a point where the distinction between the two settings is completely blurred.
I had never heard of this play by Henryk Ibsen and was thoroughly pleased at the opportunity to learn about it. I was also immensely impressed by the acting, particularly that of the English actors, who certainly deserve to be much better known. Finally, I think the Norwegian setting is truly spectacular. This is an intelligent and cultivated bit of movie-making. Well done!