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‘Woman at War’ Review: An Actual Crowdpleaser About Climate Change

‘Woman at War’ Review: An Actual Crowdpleaser About Climate Change
An artful fable that examines what it really means to save the world, Benedikt Erlingsson’s “Woman at War” is the rarest of things: A crowd-pleaser about climate change. Combining Paul Schrader’s dire urgency with Roy Andersson’s droll brand of despair — to cite two other filmmakers whose work has wrestled with the maddening, quixotic idea of a single person trying to redeem an entire planet — Erlingsson has created a winsome knickknack of a movie that manages to reframe the 21st century’s signature crisis in a way that makes room for real heroism.

Halla (Halldora Geirharosdottir) is a 50-year-old choir director with a song in her heart, a smile on her face, and a second life as Reykjavik’s peskiest eco-terrorist. The film’s playful and surprising prologue introduces us to Halla as she uses her bow-and-arrow to topple some of the power lines that stretch across the
See full article at Indiewire »

Woman at War Trailer: A Middle Aged Activist Is Torn Between Motherhood or Sabotage

Magnolia Pictures has released the first full-length North American trailer for Woman at War. The Icelandic comedy drama-thriller was released back in May of 2018 in Europe, but it won't be hitting North American theaters until March 1st, which is perfect because Benedikt Erlingsson fans are going to want to check this one out. The full-length trailer, which was released today, is quirky and full of thrills, stunts, and comedy. Upon its debut at Cannes, critics were knocked out by what Erlingsson was able to pull off with his latest project.

Woman at War centers on Halla (Halld&#243ra Geirhar&#240sd&#243ttir), a fifty-year old independent woman. However, behind the scenes of her seemingly quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist, who is not afraid to take matters into her own hands. In the activism world, she is only known by her alias "The Woman of the Mountain.
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Woman At War’: Jodie Foster To Direct & Star In English Version Of Iceland’s Oscar Entry

  • Deadline
‘Woman At War’: Jodie Foster To Direct & Star In English Version Of Iceland’s Oscar Entry
Exclusive: Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English-language remake of Woman at War, the spirited and eccentric eco-thriller that Iceland has officially submitted for the Foreign Language competition at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.

Foster will reinterpret the role of Halla (played in the original film by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a genial middle-aged music teacher hiding a secret life as an outlaw environmental activist with a grudge against the local aluminum industry that is despoiling the pristine Highlands of Iceland. Halla is escalating her one-woman campaign of sabotage when an unexpected letter arrives with news: her adoption application has been approved and a baby girl is awaiting her in the Ukraine.

It’s nature vs. nurture, so to speak, as the unlikely eco-avenger finds herself questioning her political convictions and destiny even as government agents hunt for her and an orphaned child awaits to fulfill Halla’s dream of motherhood.
See full article at Deadline »

'Woman At War' triumphs at Lübeck Nordic Film Days

'Woman At War' triumphs at Lübeck Nordic Film Days
Benedikt Erlingsson’s Icelandic title gathers momentum on award-winning run.

Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson’s eco-warrior tale Woman At War, which premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week earlier this year, continued its prize-winning run at the Lübeck Nordic Film Days in northern Germany over the weekend, clinching four awards worth a total €25,000.

Its Colombian-born supporting cast member Juan Camilo Roman Estrada attended the awards ceremony in Lübeck’s historical theatre to accept the Ndr Film Prize, the Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic fiction film, the Interfilm Church Prize and the audience award.

It was the first time in the 60-year
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Woman At War' wins lucrative Nordic Council Film Prize

'Woman At War' wins lucrative Nordic Council Film Prize
Director Benedikt Erlingsson’s second feature scoops $53,000 prize.

Tonight at a ceremony in Oslo, Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson became the first director to win the Nordic Council Film Prize for both his first and second feature films.

This year’s winner was Woman At War, with Erlingsson sharing the $53,000 cash prize with co-writer Ólafur Egill Egilsson and his fellow producers Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc from France’s Slot Machine.

Woman At War, which premiered at Cannes Critics Week and is Iceland’s submission for the foreign-language Oscar race, is about a middle-aged woman who becomes an eco terrorist to
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Philippe Lesage’s ‘Genesis’ Sweeps Spain’s Valladolid Festival

  • Variety
Philippe Lesage’s ‘Genesis’ Sweeps Spain’s Valladolid Festival
Madrid — Making good on the largely overlooked achievement of debut feature “The Demons,” Québécois Philippe Lesage’s “Genesis” swept the 63rd Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, winning its top Golden Spike, director and actor on Saturday.

One of Spain’s top three or four festivals, and a bastion of auteur cinema, Valladolid closed its official section Friday with an out-of-competition sneak peek screening of a preliminary version of Til Schweiger’s “Honey in the Head,” still to totally finalize post-production, starring Nick Nolte as a grandfather suffering Alzheimer who is taken off by his 10-year-old daughter to Venice where he lived the love of his life with his wife. Initial local press reactions speak of a “brilliant” performance from Nolte. Matt Dillon, who plays Nolte’s son was in Valladolid to accept an Honorary Spike for his career.

Valladolid’s main competition Audience Award, the prize many distributors are most interested in,
See full article at Variety »

Denmark selects 'The Guilty', Iceland picks 'Woman At War' as foreign-language Oscar candidates

Denmark selects 'The Guilty', Iceland picks 'Woman At War' as foreign-language Oscar candidates
Screen’s regularly updated list of foreign language Oscar submissions.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards are not until Tuesday January 22, but the first submissions for best foreign-language film are now being announced.

Last year saw a record 92 submissions for the award, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of nine. This was cut to five nominees, with Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama A Fantastic Woman ultimately taking home the gold statue.

Screen’s interview with Mark Johnson, chair of the Academy’s foreign-language film committee, explains the shortlisting process from submission to voting.

Submitted films must be released theatrically
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Oscars: Iceland Selects 'Woman at War' for Foreign-Language Category

Oscars: Iceland Selects 'Woman at War' for Foreign-Language Category
Iceland has selected Woman at War (Kona fer i strid), directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, for consideration in the best foreign-language film category for the Oscars.

The pic is focused on an ecological activist who sabotages her country's electricity grid in a bid to preserve its breathtaking landscapes.

"An impressive follow-up to his strikingly eccentric debut, Of Horses and Men, Icelandic auteur Benedikt Erlingsson's second feature-length fiction, Woman at War, is another skillfully crafted, surreally told tale of man and nature — or in this case, woman and autre — but one with more emotional depth and sharper political undertones,"...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Women on the Verge at Tiff: abandoned wives, kindergarten teachers, and activists

by Nathaniel R

Why does anyone make movies about men? No, really. Female characters are inherently more fascinating. That's not only because they're allowed a wider range of feeling onscreen due to repressive gender norms which discourage men from embracing a full range of emotion, but because women's stories are more infrequently told and, thus, fresher. Herewith four recommended movies about women on the verge of either nervous breakdowns, or major crimes. 

Wildlife and Widows

Chris has already reviewed these intense dramas about abandoned wives here and here. We'll have plentiful opportunities to discuss them during Oscar season but I just want to second his surprise rave of Wildlife  because it's spot-on. I'll admit, though, that I'm ever so slightly cooler on Widows than I initially thought. I attended the very starry premiere (seriously that cast!) and the screening and movie were both so electric that I was like 'favorite of the fest.
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Woman at War’ Film Review: Goofy Icelandic Ecoterrorism Thriller Is a Beautiful Hoot

  • The Wrap
‘Woman at War’ Film Review: Goofy Icelandic Ecoterrorism Thriller Is a Beautiful Hoot
From the start, “Woman at War” lets you know that you’re in for a ride that will be as arresting visually as it is offbeat conceptually.

The Icelandic film, which premiered on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, opens with gorgeous shots of the rugged Icelandic countryside, where a woman short-circuits a string of power lines with only a bow and arrow.

The middle-aged ecoterrorist then flees across the gentle hills, as music from a small combo plays in the background — literally in the background, because when she stops to catch her breath, we see the three musicians who are playing the score standing on the heath behind her.

Also Read: 'If Beale Street Could Talk' Review: Barry Jenkins Delivers Stunning Romance With Aftertaste of Injustice

That’s a wry touch that continues through the film: When Halla, played by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, gets some news on the phone that makes her emotional,
See full article at The Wrap »

Venice: Directors, Screenwriters Call for EU to Back New Copyright Law

A group of 165 European directors and screenwriters has signed a declaration at the Venice Film Festival calling on the European Parliament to pass new legislation that will overhaul copyright law for the online world.

Veteran filmmakers, including Mike Leigh, Paolo Sorrentino, Agnieszka Holland, Pawel Pawlikowski and Margarethe von Trotta, and newcomers such as Laszlo Nemes (Son of Saul, Sunset) and Benedikt Erlingsson (Of Horses and Men, Women at War) signed the so-called Venice Declaration, calling on the European Parliament to adopt the legislation that “puts authors at the heart of copyright and of the European cultural and creative industries, including ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Cannes Critics’ Week Title ‘Woman at War’ Sells to Europe, China (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Beta Cinema’s war effort has paid off with a raft of global deals for Benedikt Erlingsson’s “Woman at War.” The Cannes Critics’ Week entry has been acquired by Pandora for Germany and Austria, Teodora for Italy, Avalon for Spain, Scanbox for Sweden, Norway, and Finland, and Imagine for Benelux.

Further afield, Beta has sealed a China deal with Huanxi. In Australasia it has been acquired by Hi Gloss Entertainment/Limelight Distribution. The Icelandic picture had already been taken by Magnolia for North America and Picturehouse for the U.K., meaning that Beta Cinema has sold one of its key Cannes titles to most major territories.

“Woman at War” is Erlingsson’s second film after the critically acclaimed “Of Horses and Men.” It tells the story of a middle-aged woman, Halla, played by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, and her mission to protect the highlands of Iceland. Her environmental quest and efforts
See full article at Variety »

The Cannes – Oscar Connection: How Strong Will It Be This Year?

The Cannes – Oscar Connection: How Strong Will It Be This Year?
We now know what Cate Blanchett’s jury thought of the films that screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival: “a very strong year,” she said at the jury’s festival-ending press conference. And we know what buyers thought of the festival lineup: not bad, judging by the deals.

But what will Oscar voters think?

That’s always a tricky question, because the connection between the world’s most prestigious film festival and the world’s most celebrated film award can fluctuate wildly. In 2011, for example, three of the films that screened at the festival — “The Artist,” “The Tree of Life” and “Midnight in Paris” — landed Best Picture nominations, with “The Artist” winning.

But the success rate hasn’t approached that since then, although 2016 had an impressive across-the-board showing: One Best Picture nominee (“Hell of High Water”), the Best Foreign Language Film winner (“The Salesman”), six other nominees in the Best Actress,
See full article at The Wrap »

Cannes Winner ‘Woman at War’ Bought by Magnolia for North America

  • Variety
Cannes Winner ‘Woman at War’ Bought by Magnolia for North America
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Icelandic comedy-drama “Woman at War” after it premiered at Cannes Critic Week.

The film, Benedikt Erlingsson’s follow-up to “Of Horses and Men,” is a modern-day fable about an Icelandic activist taking on big industry. It won the Sacd prize, which recognizes a screenplay from the French writers guild, and also won the Critics’ Week Grand Rail d’Or.

Variety’s Jay Weissberg said in his review, “Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice?”

Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir stars as woman who single-handedly declares war on the local aluminum industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic Highlands she loves…until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.

“‘Woman at War’ is a blast,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “Director Benedikt
See full article at Variety »

Picturehouse Scores UK Rights To Cannes Buzz Title ‘Woman At War’ One Day After ‘Capernaum’ Pick-Up

  • Deadline
Picturehouse Scores UK Rights To Cannes Buzz Title ‘Woman At War’ One Day After ‘Capernaum’ Pick-Up
Exclusive: One day after the acquisition of Nadine Labaki’s Cannes Competition entry Capernaum, UK buyer Picturehouse Entertainment has scored another of the festival’s best-reviewed movies in the shape of Critics’ Week hit Woman At War.

Picturehouse’s Clare Binns and Paul Ridd negotiated the deal with Thorsten Ritter of Beta Cinema. Benedikt Erlingsson’s (Of Horses And Men) Icelandic feature received raves last week and its German sales outfit has received plenty of interest.

The generically diverse movie, part comedy, part social-commentary, part action-thriller, revolves around a woman who goes on an environmental mission to protect the highlands of Iceland. Halldóra Geirhađsdóttir (Of Horses And Men) takes the lead role with cast also including Icelandic musicians Davíð Þór Jónsson, Magnús Tryggvason Eliasen and Ómar Guðjónsson, who play a Greek choir that represents the protagonist’s inner demons. Erlingsson co-wrote the script with Ólafur Egill Egilsson (Trapped).

A Woman
See full article at Deadline »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Woman at War’

  • Variety
Cannes Film Review: ‘Woman at War’
Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than “Woman at War,” Benedikt Erlingsson’s gloriously Icelandic (for lack of a better adjective), near-perfect follow-up to “Of Horses and Men,” featuring an environmental activist modestly taking on the world, one electric pylon at a time. Commentators will be tumbling over themselves trying to define what kind of movie this is: comedy, musical, social drama, politically correct issue film. It’s all those except the last; political correctness implies one-dimensional preaching that narrowly cuts off conversations, whereas, whereas “Woman at War” deftly centralizes a profound humanity from which vital issues are comfortably suspended. Bound to be one of the hot sellers at this year’s Cannes, the film is likely to do bang-up business worldwide.

“Of Horses and Men
See full article at Variety »

Woman at War review – pylon-slayer faces adoption challenge in quirky Icelandic eco-drama

Benedikt Erlingsson’s follow-up to Of Horses and Men is a well-performed and stylish oddity, even if it relies too heavily on self-conscious comic effects

The Icelandic actor-turned-director Benedikt Erlingsson achieved cult status with his tremendous 2013 film Of Horses and Men, in which horses were the facilitators and objects of passionate human love. Now he comes to the Critics Week sidebar of Cannes with this well-turned, well-tuned oddity, that brings Erlingsson’s career as a feature director to its Difficult Second Album moment. It is confidently and rather stylishly made, with the same eccentric poise that distinguished his equine success, and the same sweeping sense of landscape. There is a very good performance from Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir as Halla, a fortysomething choir conductor. Erlingsson shows a great flair for ideas, scenes, tableaux. But is it all encumbered with quirkiness? Is the quirk-imperative something that weighs it down?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Benedikt Erlingsson Set to Reteam with Slot Machine on Female-Driven Project (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Benedikt Erlingsson Set to Reteam with Slot Machine on Female-Driven Project (Exclusive)
Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson, whose sophomore outing “Woman at War” is world premiering at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, is set to reteam with French producers Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc on an untitled timely feature driven by women.

The film will take place during three different time periods, the antiquity, the ’70s and 2077, and follow women involved in battles over gender equality in show business. Slot and Leblanc are producing via Paris based Slot Machine.

Erlingsson said it will be his most ambitious and expensive project to date. Slot, who is part of We Do it Together, said, “gender equality has always been an issue in show business, even during the antiquity.”

Erlingsson’s latest film, “Woman at War,” is one of the most feminist movies hitting Cannes this year. The movie is a female-powered action comedy about Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a middle-age woman who embarks on an environmental mission to
See full article at Variety »

‘Wildlife’ With Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan to Headline Cannes Critics’ Week

  • Variety
‘Wildlife’ With Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan to Headline Cannes Critics’ Week
The Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, the parallel section dedicated to directors’ first and second films, will open with Paul Dano’s drama “Wildlife” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan.

“Wildlife,” which world premiered at Sundance and was warmly received, was written by Dano and Zoe Kazan and is based on a novel by Richard Ford. Set in the 1960s, in the small town of Great Falls in Montana, “Wildlife” is told through the perspective of a 14-year-old boy who sees his mother taking her life in her own hands after his father takes a risky job in the nearby mountains and leaves them to fend for themselves.

Charles Tesson, the sidebar’s artistic director, described “Wildlife” as a “director-driven film in the vein of Jeff Nichols’ films.”

“‘Wildlife’ has a timeless dimension, as well as a social bent because it deals with the struggles of the white working
See full article at Variety »

Goteborg works in progress line-up includes Sonja Henie biopic

17 projects selected for festival showcase.

A strong crop of works in progress projects are set to be presented at Goteborg’s Nordic Film Market, which runs Feb 1-4.

Source: Maipo Film

Queen Of Ice

The selection includes new films from Benedikt Erlingsson (Of Horses and Men), Michael Noer (R), and Anne Sewitsky (Happy Happy).

Presentations of clips by the directors/producers will be made to the industry attendees in Goteborg.

Erlingsson will present his new film Woman At War, an “arthouse action film” about an Icelandic woman on an environmental mission. Noer will discuss his new Danish period drama A Better Life starring Jesper Christensen as an 1850s farmer. Sewitsky will unveil footage of her Sonja Henie biopic Queen Of Ice.

The 17 projects are:

Swoon, dir Mans Marlind and Björn Stein, prod Kristina Aberg (Swe) Bergman, dir Jane Magnusson, prods Mattias Nohrborg, Fredrik Heinig, Cecilia Nessen (Swe) Happy People, dir Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm, prod Jakob Høgel (Den
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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