written and directed by Dagur Kári
by Walter Chaw Dagur Kári's Noi the Albino (Nói Albinói) is a film about emptiness, really--a terrific picture crouched in the centre of a blasted Icelandic winter, with its titular hero, Nói (Tómas Lemarquis), too smart for the isolation. When the beautiful Iris (Elin Hansdóttir, wow) comes to work in the town-of-maybe-100-people's convenience store, Nói finds himself for perhaps the first time motivated for long enough to aspire to something larger. A Steve Earle song directed by Jim Jarmusch, the picture is deadpan hilarious and haunted by the oppressive power of dark and chill, which presses down on the characters with a smothering insistence. Kári's direction is understated and the performances he elicits from his cast of newcomers are the perfect pitch for the low timbre of the film. A look at adolescence as yearning and blue as The Ice Storm, Nói Albinói is tragedy punctuated by repeated glances into a ViewMaster: a vehicle for escape like the picture on Barton Fink's wall, with the box Nói's underground bunker, Zippo-lit protection from natural disaster and the life of the mind. Originally published: October 9, 2003.