The Sea | Chicago Reader

The Sea

The aging owner of the fishing concern in a tiny Icelandic village summons his children to discuss its future. He's hoping his youngest son, who's supposedly studying commerce in Paris but is actually writing songs, will take over the business. But the songwriter and his brother and sister all want to sell the firm. Socially oriented references to fishing quotas and the declining economies of Icelandic villages give way to dysfunctional-family drama, as the children justify their alienation and cruelty by trotting out past slights and traumas. Director Baltasar Kormakur uses his 'Scope frames to good effect to capture amazing Icelandic landscapes, but the camera goes limp during the climactic emotional blowout—unimaginative and static compositions leave the characters yelling at each other in a vacuum (2002). In Icelandic with subtitles. 109 min.

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