The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

I enjoyed this more than "it works," but still, hard not to feel some begrudging admiration for a movie about the first person to have a bad time in vacation in Iceland. less wry and suspenseful than both The VVitch and The Lighthouse, though still laughably grim at times (and its dramatic irony funnier to me than, say, The Green Knight's stabs at humor). listen, since 2017, there have been dozens – DOZENS!! – of us rooting for the career of Claes Bang to take off. if you lived in the past, and you saw a guy who was 6'4", you would probably lose your mind! he's great in this, btw, and should more than earn him a place in the oft-discriminated upon category of "vaguely European actor" in American movies. like make him a villain in a Mission Impossible? why do I have to do everything around here? obviously I was reminded of the occasional slogs of both Witcher 3 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. this is like whenever you roll up to some new little town in one of those and you're like "oh god what the fuck happened here...??" but it's too late to fix anything. both those games – more the latter than the former – have a far too self-serious protagonist who you embrace as a guide more for the people surrounding them than the person themselves. Skarsgard has never been a great "in on the joke" type of actor and I'm not sure he ever will be. that basically works here, though I wish someone with even a spark of self-awareness was at the helm. (Tessa aptly pointed out that one of the best parts of Hamlet is Hamlet being like, "wait... am I literally stupid?" – far and away what makes Hamlet maintain its reputation as the best play of all time and any "based on Hamlet" adaptations sort of lame.) Anya Taylor-Joy in Lady Gaga House of Gucci mode. not sure what it says about me that I always think the solid hunks of bread in these types of movies always look so good. and the full-length wool tunics. bf pointed out that both Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie are here in the mix which is so sweetie... one for the "Eggheads," if you will. last thought is that Nicole Kidman is the coolest girlie alive <3

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