A gruff, working-class retiree relearns what makes life precious in
the small but heartrending "Volcano," the feature debut of Icelandic
helmer Runar Runarsson. With well-rounded characters and an overall tone
reminiscent of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, the realist drama shows that
tender sex is not incompatible with senescence.
Although witnessing the
indignities of aging and infirmity won't be everyone's cup of tea, the
poignantly performed pic strikes grace notes that feel both universal
and uniquely Icelandic. Fest travel should segue to select ancillary
After 37 years as a feared school janitor, the future looms like
an empty void for Hannes (Theodor Juliusson). From a more conservative
time, when a man was king in his home and expressions of affection were
limited to women and Christmas, he's alienated from his adult children
(Thorstein Bachmann, Elma Lisa Gunnarsdottir) and young grandson (Agust
Orn B. Wigum).
After wife Anna (Margret Helga Johannsdottir) suffers a
sudden stroke, Hannes must summon long-repressed emotional resources.
Shot in grainy 16mm, non-showy tech package evokes a keen sense of
nostalgia. Transcendent music from Sigur Ros' Kjartan Sveinsson soars at