Irish Film Institute -LAMB


Director: Valdimar Jóhannsson

106 mins, Iceland, 2021, Digital, Subtitled

In line with government guidelines, all patrons must show proof of vaccination upon entering the cinema screen.

Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) are a young couple toiling on a sheep farm in the forbidding Icelandic countryside. An unspoken sadness hangs over them, the result of a tragedy that thwarted their hopes of starting a family. One day, following an alarming discovery in their sheep barn, they are presented with an unlikely second chance at happiness, though they will soon face the consequences of defying the will of nature, and accepting a ‘gift’ that wasn’t theirs to take. A shiver of folk horror runs through Valdimar Jóhannsson’s atmospheric debut film; the uncanny, fairy-tale imagery, and surreal narrative developments are grounded against the bleak magnificence of the Icelandic landscape, and through the naturalism of the performances, especially from a never better Noomi Rapace who brilliantly conveys Maria’s sadness and defiance.

Notes by David O Mahony

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