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4 out of 5 stars

A darkly humorous drama about two Icelandic sheep farmers doesn't sound like a winner – but this is an unexpected treat


Time Out says

Stoic men in patterned knitwear communicate with each other through grunts and brusque gestures. But they pour affectionate sweet nothings into the woolly ears of their prized sheep. It’s hard to imagine a film more archetypally Icelandic than ‘Rams’, the tale of two feuding brothers forced to end their 40-year standoff when disaster strikes their tiny farming community.

The brothers, Gummi and Kiddi (Sigurdur Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson), nurse a grudge that is almost as old as the black mountains that loom over their squat little farmhouses. And when Kiddi’s prize ram is diagnosed with scrapie (don’t ask), his first reaction is to hit the schnapps and fire off a few potshots at his brother’s house. The more cunning of the pair, Gummi has a plan.

The humour here is almost as muted and downbeat as the colour palette of murky, half-lit greys and greens. And the score largely consists of the death throes of an asthmatic accordion. But this low-key charmer of a movie packs an unexpected emotional punch once the brothers finally manage a rapprochement of sorts. Wendy Ide

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 5 February 2016
  • Duration:93 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Grímur Hákonarson
  • Cast:
    • Sigurður Sigurjónsson
    • Theódór Júlíusson
    • Charlotte Bøving
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