Iceland’s Oscar submissions are rough but rewarding

Where do atrocities come from that transcend causation and become mere malice without meaning?In terms of the nature vs. upbringing debate, are we born mean, or do our children develop this along the way? It’s a two-decade-long attempt to civilize creatures that can be cruel and selfish. beautiful existence It portrays much of its cruelty, but is ultimately compassionate in understanding its mechanics.

Best recent international feature film from Iceland oscar, beautiful existence feels like Director Terrence Malick Harmony Colin Script.An aesthetically gorgeous film that follows a group of violent boys who gradually befriend a victim of abuse, taking the viewer on a very dark but ultimately hopeful journey into adolescence. Affected but different from darkness youth classics favorite assist me When kids, beautiful existence It throws the viewer some interesting curveballs and denies just one thing.

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Beautiful Beings is about being bullied and being bullied

Altered Innocence

beautiful existence Starting with Bali, a horrific abuse victim, it expands its reach to include a trio of a violently fallen boy and his family. Bali (Áskell Einar Pálmason) is a bad-haired kid who likes to collect bugs and doesn’t know what to say when put in place. When he stood up, he was beaten so badly that he lost an eyeball and was forced to wear a temporary mask. He often leaves and his father is in prison. 15 minutes beautiful existence Enough to make you hate the world.

By shifting from a bullied bar to a group of quasi-bullies and their families, the film announces its intention to explore the social dynamics of violence and the ways in which it is socially conditioned. These are not the bullies who tormented Bali badly. Instead, they are his three popular boys, Addie, Connie, and Sigi, who are always in the middle of trouble. They ran into Bali while he was cutting himself, sipping what appeared to be toilet moonshine from a plastic bottle. Having no sympathy, they coerce him into chugging all the alcohol at once, laughing.

But like a little bit of magic, there are moments of empathy that seem virtually miraculous in the hellish world the film has presented so far. (Birgil Dagur Bjarkasson) decides to help him get home. Addie’s friends reluctantly tag along. They are a group, after all. Witnessing the messy mess of Bali’s home only deepens this sudden streak of sympathy for Addie, who returns alone the next day. Friendships grow in misfortune.

A beautiful presence supported by an attractive young cast

Beautiful Beings movie from Iceland featuring masked boys
Altered Innocence

from here, beautiful existence We spend most of our runtime getting to know these characters. talented young actorKonni (Viktor Benóný Benediktsson) is a short-tempered and tough guy who always gets into fights, but he is kinder than anyone else and very protective of his loved ones. Siggi (Snorri Rafn Frímannsson) is a joker, friendship totem the low man on his pole and often the butt of Konni and his Addi jokes. As such, he tends to dislike Bali befriending him and being treated with a little decency. He is kind of a scumbag, but the filial and social reasons for this are being explored. beautiful existence Do it with all letters.

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Addie is handsome and equally tough, but the most receptive of the three.Addie is a strange man and through his story beautiful existence introduce the surprise elements of magical realism.

Altered Innocence

After her divorce, Addy’s mother became deeply involved in New Age thinking, rich dream culture of Iceland. She has certain abilities like astral her projection or she might be a little crazy.But when Addie begins experience surreal dreams And a kind of telekinesis, it’s almost an extension of the nature vs. upbringing debate — are his mother’s New Age beliefs affecting him, or is he inheriting something? ?

beautiful existence not go all stranger things Instead, I prefer to use the pseudo-supernatural aspect as a subtly fantastic backdrop to a grounded, grim narrative.It’s a wise decision, one that invites and allows interpretation beautiful existence You could actually eat that cake and eat it (at least, a little illogically optimistic, until the hopeful and appropriately beautiful ending).

beautiful images

Altered Innocence

until the last performance beautiful existence A rather loose character study of these boys and how their lives are often dictated by abuse (both sides of the fist). It has some impressive sequences and the great cinematographer Sturla Brandt Groveren (Another Round, Victoria, Innocents).

The outdoor sequences are dreamy yet rustic, full of urban decay and cloudy, rain-soaked landscapes. The indoor scenes are often claustrophobic, highlighting the discomfort of some families and the sad hustle and bustle of life in Bali. This is Grøvlen’s yet another visually cohesive masterclass in cinematography.

Related: 7 best cinematographers of all time

Filmmaker Gudmundur Arna Gudmundsson’s script is very astute, loosely inspired by his own youth and dreams. He silently explores the mechanisms of violence in social fabric, its causes and consequences, and how it evolves in cycles. He never judges or looks down on young characters (or good young actors). In fact, his better understanding of this violence and cruelty creates empathy for them.

Beyond the Violence of Beautiful Existence

Altered Innocence

in a way never seen before, beautiful existence In fact, they find a constructive, optimistic side to their seemingly cruel behavior and what so many people have dubbed “toxic masculinity.” It is possible, but there is an unspoken affection hidden under the bruises, and some examples of bullying involve approaching someone, experiencing human contact, and feeling someone actually reacting to you. These things can mean a lot to someone whose home or school system is broken, neglected, or completely abandoned. .

So there is a certain sweetness inherent in their kicks and fists. While they are far from inspirational, this is not a movie about how “bad” these kids are or how awful their lives are. I want people to look beyond their ugliness and realize that they too are beautiful.

From Join Motion Pictures, in collaboration with Bastide Films, Film i Väst, Hobab, Motor and Negativ, beautiful existence will be released by Altered Innocence January 13th. Iceland’s Oscar submissions are rough but rewarding

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