KISSED BY WINTER (VINTERKYSS)
(director/writer: Sara Johnsen; screenwriter: Ståle Stein Berg; cinematographer: Odd Reinhardt Nicolaysen; editor: Zaklina Stojcevska; music: Ståle Caspersen; cast: Anika Hallin (Victoria), Jade Francis Haj (Darjosh), Göran Ragnerstam (Filip), Kristoffer Joner (Kaj), Fridtjov Såheim (Stein), Linn Skaber (Wibeke), Mina Azarian(Darjosh’s mother), Michalis Koutsogiannakis (Darjosh’s father); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Asle Vatn/Christian Fredrik Martin; Friland AS; 2005-Norway-in Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles)
“A wonderfully accomplished understated first feature drama on dealing with loss of life by Norwegian writer-director Sara Johnsen.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A wonderfully accomplished understated first feature drama on dealing with loss of life by Norwegian writer-director Sara Johnsen (“All That Matters is Past”/”Upperdog”), in her directorial debut. Swedish actress Annika Hallin comes through with a brilliant sensitive performance. Johnsen and co-writer Ståle Stein Berg make it seem like a whodunit, but it turns out to be a moving portrait on grief, moral torpor and redemption. Workaholic Swedish doctor Victoria (Annika Hallin) lives in Oslo with her husband Filip (Goran Ragnerstam) and their son Sune (Axel Zuber). During a hockey match, her son collapses and dies. When hubby blames her for neglect, they separate and she gets work in a clinic in a remote small town in Norway. A missing troubled young boy, Darjosh (Jade Francis Haj), is killed by a snowplow clearing the roads. Victoria suspects foul play since the boy was barefooted and had puncture marks on his feet, and investigates on her own when the police close the case as an accident. Victoria meets the boy’s guilt-ridden Iranian immigrant parents (Michalis Koutsogiannakis, Mina Azarian), who live in a refugee hostel, and discovers the father was abusive to his son. She also meets the suspect snow-plow driver (Kristoffer Joner), who is upset his wife left after he built a dream house for them. The two grief-stricken subjects begin a tender romance, where he offers her unconditional love. The boy’s tragic death is not so simple, and the story in a gentle way turns on the suffering faced by the three families over their loss of a loved one. In the end, Victoria regains her confidence and returns to Oslo to face her husband and challenge his severe contentions while asking for forgiveness.
REVIEWED ON 7/4/2016 GRADE: B