Greystones Film Club: Driving Mum

WINNER, Grand Prix, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2022
WINNER, Best Original Score, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2022 

Hilmar Oddsson’s darkly comedic road movie is a bewitching 1980-set odyssey of self-discovery and acceptance across the beautifully photographed landscapes of Iceland.

Middle-aged and disappointed, Jón (Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson) spends his days knitting and listening to the radio with his domineering elderly mother (Kristbjörg Kjeld) on their rural Icelandic farmstead.

With his life overtaken with looking after his home and his mother’s needs, Jón’s isolated world is upended when she suddenly passes away. But with her having left him a series of instructions to follow upon her death, Jón sets out on a journey across Iceland to honour her final wishes – including being buried in Eyrarbakki, her home village.

Strapping her into his Ford Cortina, and with the beloved (and scene-stealing) family dog Brezhnev in tow, Jón sets off on his strange odyssey. With his late mum still relentlessly nagging him from the back seat, he meets a variety of peculiar and charming strangers en route, and encounters some ghosts from his past too. 

Beautifully filmed in crisp black and white, Driving Mum is a heart-warming, emotional film with a fantastic central performance from Gunnarsson. Driving Mum has been praised for its ‘transparent, simple, but bold film language, with its graceful sense of humour’, whilst critic Wendy Ide described it as ‘a road movie from beyond – and before – the grave’.

Directed by Hilmar Oddsson. Iceland/Estonia 2022. 112 minutes.  

In Icelandic with English subtitles. Cert: 18

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