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Reviews for February 3rd, 2016


Directed by Grímur Hákonarson

      Kiddi (Theodor Juliusson) and his estranged brother Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjonsson) work as sheep farmers who live next to one other on a remote farm in Iceland. They enter their sheep into an annual contest for Best Sheep, but this year, Kiddi's sheep suffer from scrapie, a terminal disease that's also infectious. In turn, the local veterinarian officials mandate that all the sheep in the valley should slaughtered to prevent the disease from spreading further. Kiddi and Gummi do everything in their abilities to prevent the slaughter of their sheep, though, while the other farmers cave into the authorities.

      To merely describe the plot of Rams wouldn't be doing it enough justice because the film hooks you in with its atmosphere along with its humanism, subtleties and gentle warmth. Writer/director Grímur Hákonarson should be commended for knowing when to trust the audience's intelligence as well as patience. The slow pace might take some audience members a little time to get used to, but it's worth the wait---in other words, those whom are patient will be rewarded the most.

      Aesthetically, Rams looks quite mesmerizing with its picturesque, breathtaking cinematography. Many shots have the eligance and beauty of paintings which makes you want to freeze the frame just to stare at the landscape. Most important, though, Hákonarson grasps the importance and power of quiet moments; this isn't a very talky film. He also peppers the drama with some light touches of dry, quirky humor without going overboard into the comedy department. That delicate balance of drama and comedy, attention toward humanism, along with the compelling, complex and poignant relationship between Kiddi and his brother Gummi turns Rams into one of the best films of the year thus far.

Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by Cohen Media Group.
Opens at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Questions? Comments? Please click here.

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