Festival Review: Virgin Mountain / Fúsi (2014)


Beautifully paced and scripted, Dagur Kári’s Virgin Mountain is the deft tale of an ageing mummy’s boy, who finds both love and himself.

Home Alone

by Mark Wilshin

Virgin Mountain

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

After relocating his films to Denmark and then New York City, Dagur Kári returns to the Iceland of Nói Albinói with another tale of an outsider looking for escape from a dismal existence and love. Still living with his mother, forty-something Fúsi (Gunnar Jónsson) works as a baggage handler at Keflavik Airport – where he’s occasionally bullied for his hefty stature. Keeping himself to himself, he spends his money on remote-controlled cars and toy soldiers for his war games, restaging the Battle of El Alamein on an elaborate miniature battlefield in his lounge. But it’s not until his mother’s latest flame buys him a line-dancing lesson for his birthday, that Fúsi meets Sjöfn (Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir) – a florist with her own problems. Charting the journey from arrested development to egg-frying carer, Virgin Mountain is the delicate story of an innocent soul finding love and independence. Akin to Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse or Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said, it’s by no means original, but Virgin Mountain is still an enjoyably accomplished portrait of a force of nature blossoming into life.

Virgin Mountain is now showing at the London Film Festival

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