The Northman

The Northman ★★★½

I liked the Northman a bit more than I thought I would. Although Eggers is known for atmospheric and nightmarish period pieces like The Lighthouse and The Witch, they've been rather limited in scale with a small cast, where this is a full-blown Hollywood epic, which I thought might get away from him. And it kinda did. (We can pretend Focus Features is a small indie studio but we all know it's owned by Universal.) But the Northman has a lot of authenticity that can only be the Eggers vintage touch.

I guess while the film looks amazing and they went all in on the Old Norse detail, it lacks a certain depth and could've used some quiet moments among all the revenge-fueled bombast. Biggest surprise: I was all set to be annoyed by Nicole Kidman's plastic celebrity sort of ruining things, but she rocked it as Queen Gundrun and brought some complexity to the role, which a lot of the other characters lack. Most intrusive thought: I kept thinking "deep in the halls of Sto'Vo'Kor" almost the entire movie.

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