Top positive review
Fully integrated Norwegian citizen of the year
20 February 2016
Impressed by Stellan Skarsgard’s performance in BBC’s River I looked for more of his work and came across this marvellous off-beat darkly comedic Norwegian crime thriller where he plays Nils Dickman, an introverted, mild-mannered, hard-working middle-aged snowplough driver employed to keep the roads passible in a beautiful rural part of the country. Despite being an immigrant Swede he is liked and respected by his community, so much so they name him Citizen of the Year, an accolade which he accepts with quiet bewilderment (“I’m just doing my job”). However, his mundane life is torn apart when he receives news that his son has died of a heroin overdose. Refusing to believe that his son was a junkie Nils begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death and thereby becomes a catalyst for all that follows. What follows is a violent turf-war between an indigenous gang headed by a yuppie vegan known as The Count and a bunch of Serbian interlopers headed by Bruno Ganz’ softly spoken world weary godfather known as Papa. The movie is Death Wish meets Fargo meets Duel meets Lilyhammer, combining ruthless retribution with insightful amusing social commentary. Each henchman’s demise is sombrely acknowledged by a deadpan ‘death notice’ on the screen containing the character’s birth name, nickname and religious denomination. Another film I initially rented and will now purchase.