Cineuropa’s Jörn Rossing Jensen reports on Icelandic Box Office hit Life in a Fishbowl:
“This film will surprise people and put Baldvin Z’s name on the map,” said Icelandic producer Ingvar Thórdarson of Life in a Fishbowl, the director’s second feature, which has been this year’s most successful local release: so far, Sena Distribution has recorded 32,614 admissions, or 10% of the country’s population.
Inspired by true events, and scripted by Z and Birgir Örn Steinarsson, Life in a Fishbowlfollows three people who have a lasting effect on each other: a young, successful writer who finds himself in a stormy marriage, divorces his wife after the death of their daughter, isolates himself from the outside world and drinks himself to death in 20 years; a young, single mother, who has a job at a nursery school and works as a prostitute on the side to survive financially; and a former professional football player, now climbing the ranks in the world of banking, while his family falls apart.
“The best Icelandic film in history,” proclaimed the country’s leading daily, Fréttabladid, after the 16 May opening, when the Thorsteinn Bachmann (The Deep), Hera Hilmarsdòttir and Thorvaldur Kristjánsson starrer first beat US blockbusters Godzillaand X-Men: Days of Future Past, then A Million Ways to Die in the West and Edge of Tomorrow in the local charts.
The drama was produced by Thórdarson and Júlíus Kemp, for The Icelandic Film Company, with Finland’s Solar Films, the Czech Republic’s Axman Production and Sweden’s Harmonica Films; Thórdarson and Kemp also staged Baldvin Z’s (the Z standing for Zophoníasson) feature debut, Jitters (2010), which had a similar reception from local audiences.