IFFBoston: The Higher Force

28 April 2009, 6:08 am

The Higher Force (Stóra planið) is certainly not your typical gangster movie. David (Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon) is a singularly feckless hoodlum in a gang ineptly led by Magnus (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson). David would really rather be a poet, and he’s haunted by an old secret. His new landlord Harald (Eggert Þorleifsson) claims to be a crime figure himself — but maybe he’s really just a schoolteacher. Then again, maybe he’s connected to the darkness in David’s past.

The Higher Force shows refreshing disregard for genre conventions. Some of it plays out as you might expect, but director Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, novelist Thor Thorsteinsson (and a surprisingly large array of co-scenarists and script consultants) throw a goodly number of curve balls. Mostly this is very gentle as gangster films go, with very funny performances from Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon and the other members of his crew. But the light tone sometimes shifts abruptly.

The Sopranos‘ Micheal Imperioli appears in a small part. I’m just guessing, but I wonder if he might have taken the role partly because the presence of his name on the project might help this unusual and charming film reach a wider audience. Even if that played no part in his motivation, I hope it has that effect.

2 comments on “IFFBoston: The Higher Force”

  1. 2fs

    “David” may be a hoodlum…but is he a beast?

  2. villain

    A teddy bear, maybe? . . . I debated using that word, but it really is the mot juste.

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