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3.8 out of 5 stars
24
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 January 2008
Reykjavik 101 is the story of twenty-something Hilmir, who still lives at home with his mother whilst enjoying, through lack of interest in anything more meaningful, a life of drinking, casual sex and social security in Europe's party city, Reykjavik. The 101 in the title refers to the central postcode of the city which Hilmir never seems to have any desire to venture beyond. Hilmir's secure little bubble is soon to be burst, however, by the arrival of his mothers news `special friend', fiery Spanish dance teacher Lola.

Having read and hugely enjoyed the book of Reykjavik 101, it is inevitable though perhaps ill-fated to compare the two. The book is much more of a slow burner, as it rambles through Hilmir's mind as he ponders the meaning of life, filtered though an irreverent pop-culture view of the world. Morally he is an ambiguous and rather cold character, sometimes verging on the cruel.
The screen adaption cannot resist making Hilmir somehow more sympathetic, more human, and also tweaking the ending to be more upbeat, more outgoing.
This is not a movie that invites contemplation, no sooner has it shown you one thing than it is racing on to another without much time for consideration of what all this might mean. Some might say this conveys Hilmir's life of endless parties and bars: to me it makes for a rather choppy narrative that could do with slowing down and thinking a little more.
The photography is generally very good; Iceland's snowy peaks are captured in all their beauty. The musical score by Damon Albarn and Einar Orn Bendiktsson works well, though you may come away with the cover version of pop song `Lola' stuck in your head.
See this movie if you want something a little quirky and off the beaten track. It is fun, interesting and different. But do yourself a favour and go to the source by reading Hallgrimur Helgason's excellent novel on which this is based.
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on 20 July 2016
Funny, contemporary and would watch it again
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on 17 November 2015
Quirky, interesting and very darkly amusing
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on 19 January 2010
Enjoyed this film - don't know why I missed it when it first came out. Good to see a more realistic presentation of Iceland - rather than the hyped up version we all were fed in the early 2000s.
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on 19 April 2002
This video is really enjoyable. Both Lola and the nordic anti-hero are great. Fatalism as a joke and black humor all over the film. It is a pity that the book is not available in English. But the film makes justice to it.
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on 3 February 2013
many years ago i spent several years teaching in a small community in the canadian arctic; i fell in love with the land, the snow, the ice and of course its people.
then years later along came sigur ros, embodying for me in music what i had felt at the edge of the arctic ocean.
i became fascinated with how such a small country could be home to not only such incredible music, but to be an inspirational environment for non-native musicians such as nico muhly and brian eno.
and then i discovered icelandic cinema, quirky, sensual, yet every bit reflecting the issues we are all dealing with in every nation, in every community all over the world.....as such, it is not providing a new insight in humanity, as an apparently aimless young man , drifting from one drunken party to another , faces the facts of life.
it is touching and full of humour, often understated.
for those among us who are not fluent in icelandic, the english subtitles went a little too fast, but then, the characters had a lot to say.
sick and tired of the pappy hollywood fare? try this movie, you'll like it
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on 14 May 2006
Not one to give away the plot, all I can say is that this film is an absolute gem and I can't recommend it highly enough. Be prepared to fall in love with the 2 main characters as well as Iceland!! BUY IT!!
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on 17 March 2016
great
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on 16 April 2006
This is a warm and entertaining comedy about life in urban Iceland. It's not a terribly deep film, but it has an engaging nordic charm and eccentricity. Definitely worth watching if you're in the mood for something light but reasonably intelligent. The opening shot is a particular stroke of comic genius.
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on 13 January 2013
The book 101 Reykjavik is better, funnier than the movie also because the movie ends 'well', rather than - like the book - continues being a funny statement against the boredom of being a middle class person.

On the other hand the movie shows the beauty and power of (Icelandic) women, pictures of Reykjavik and glaciers. And you wouldn't like to miss these either, don't you?
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