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Northern Comfort

A group of people want to overcome their fear of flying in a training program. In the final test flight to Iceland, the travel group gets stranded.


A mother, a writer, and two social media stars meet on a plane – sounds like the beginning of a joke – but it’s Hafesteinn Gunnar’s new film. It has a promising beginning: a group of people want to overcome their fear of flying in a training program. While the characters in the film get a bit of substance, protagonist Sarah (Lydia Leonard) is primarily one thing: a mother. She wants to see her family, which is why she has to learn how to fearlessly fly. NORTHERN COMFORT is strongest in the confined space of the plane. All of the panic and ecstasy of the passengers is acted out here. But the film only briefly allows the audience to see this, until the plane lands in Iceland during a storm. While the stranded passengers are stuck in the snow, the film grinds to a standstill. The promising premise is only an excuse to keep the ensemble in one place and the film doesn’t quite not know what to do with them. Gunnar confidently accompanies these images with classical music - and in doing so he misinterprets the tone. The supposed tension of Vivaldi, Haydn, or Mozart promise something and disappears without a resolution when the music goes away. NORTHERN COMFORT seldom succeeds in break outing of its decals of the same color. For a short time, the social media aesthetic in portrait mode is used, and there’s a bit of drone footage of Iceland in the end. The tentative attempts to expose the cartoonish characters as such come off just as flat, the humor works from scene to scene without painting a larger picture, and so the film harmlessly lands between being a popcorn comedy and TRIANGLE OF SADNESS.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Northern Comfort
Island/Großbritannien/Deutschland 2023, 97 min
Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Black Comedy
Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
Author: Halldór Laxness Halldórsson, Tobias Munthe, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
DOP: Niels Thastum
Montage: Kristján Loðmfjörð
Music: Daníel Bjarnason
Distributor: Weltkino
Cast: Lydia Leonard, Timothy Spall, Ella Rumpf, Rob Delaney, Nick Blakeley
Release: 12.10.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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