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Sparrows (2015)
  • Director:
    Rúnar Rúnarsson
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Rúnar Rúnarsson
  • Cast:
    Rade Serbedzija,Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson,Arna Magnea Danks
  • Time:
    1h 39min
  • Year:
A coming-of-age story about the 16-year old boy Ari, who has been living with his mother in Reykjavik and is suddenly sent back to the remote Westfjords to live with his father Gunnar. There, he has to navigate a difficult relationship with his father, and he finds his childhood friends changed. In these hopeless and declining surroundings, Ari has to step up and find his way.
Credited cast:
Rade Serbedzija Rade Serbedzija - Tomislav
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson - Gunnar
Arna Magnea Danks Arna Magnea Danks - Bassi's onkel (as Arnoddur Magnus Danks)
Atli Oskar Fjalarsson Atli Oskar Fjalarsson - Ari
Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir - Vera
Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir - Kristjana
Jarkko Lahti Jarkko Lahti - Darijo
Pálmi Gestsson Pálmi Gestsson - Diddi
Kristbjörg Kjeld Kristbjörg Kjeld - Grandmother
Eva Sigurdardottir Eva Sigurdardottir - Dance Competitor
Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir - Ösp
Víkingur Kristjánsson Víkingur Kristjánsson - Dagur
Rakel Björk Björnsdóttir Rakel Björk Björnsdóttir - Lára
Elín Árnadóttir Elín Árnadóttir - María
Valgeir Skagfjörð Valgeir Skagfjörð - Bassi

Sparrows (2015)

Official submission of Iceland for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017.

A incredible film with brilliantly executed shots and solid performances by the actors that will leave a great impact on you. I like to call this film an "exhaler", because when the film is over, you will have to exhale deeply because you are so overwhelmed by its amazingly done third act.

The third act is without a doubt the strongest part of this film, where you will be siting on the edge of your seat in excitement thanks to the beautiful long shots and the very minimal use of dialogue.

Sparrows is a brilliant drama with solid performances, and incredibly long shots that are handled perfectly and leaves a massive impact on you. Definitely worth a watch. Or two. Or three.
Sparrows is an Icelandic coming of age movie about the teenage boy Ari, who is forced to move in with his estranged father when his mother goes to work in Africa. At first it looks like it goes well, after he reluctantly has accepted the move from the city to a rural fishing community, with all that this involves. Soon he starts to hate it. And from then on it goes down. The film grows darker without me telling more about this, not to spoil any. The film is not for those who wants a happy-go-lucky story, because it isn't.

The film is beautifully shot, and the actors are all doing an outstanding job, Atli Oskar Fjalarsson playing Ari in particular. The father, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, and grandmother Kristbjörg Kjeld is also outstanding, as well as Rade Serbedzija, who plays Timislav at his working place. Top notch, and once more another great film from Iceland.

The film is Rúnar Rúnarsson's second feature after the acclaimed "Eldfjall" ("Volcano"), and again he shows a great talent. It's also the second time main actor is in one of his films. Atli Oskar Fjalarsson also played in his "2 Birds" from 2008, as a kid.

The trailer gives an OK view of the film without telling too much, and not the dark parts. So then you're warned.
Note, my 3/10 stars is mostly based on how much I enjoyed the movie. For craftsmanship it gets a full 10/10. It's beautifully made, I just didn't enjoy the content.

Sparrows is an Icelandic coming of age story about a teenage boy who moves in with his estranged father when his mother goes to Africa. The beginning of it seems average enough, but the later half of it gets darker as the boy experiments with sex and drugs. For me, this really put me off and made me want to stop watching. I liked a couple of his actions at the end which showed forgiveness and an acceptance of responsibility, but the whole thing just felt rather depressing.

If you are like me and tend to dislike gritty shows about the darker aspects of life (drugs, alcoholism, rape), don't watch this. However, if you do like gritty realism, go for it.
It's a movie that we've seen many times. I do not know why these types of films always have to be so extremely slow. They abuse of a slow tempo. It has plans that will last several seconds when no two would be worth.

It is a film that can tell us a hard story, which we have seen many times, but not so it is less harsh. The problem is that it tells us in a way that keeps us away. Get him to never empathize with the movie.

The actors are very well, but there are moments that try to squeeze both a situation that takes you out. When you make a close-up of an actor of several seconds and spare half, you go from what expresses you to saturation. Of course, I can not empathize with anyone and that is a problem.

The photograph does not exist. I think he has not used any bulbs. It is okay that the photograph is cold, it would fit the film very well, but it is that this photograph is not cold, it is white.

The director, I do not know if he does not know how to use the flat sizes, but he puts general plans in too many moments and only manages to get you out of the story. It abuses the slow tempo, which only has to be used sometimes.


One thing that I like is the moment he gets into bed with the girl. It is an incredible act of love, so that she does not suffer. The problem is that it is very badly rolled, you only feel it if you put yourself in its place, not because of what you see and it transmits you if not if you think about what it would feel. However, he does it with the father and that is repetitive and he pulls me out.

I like the way the moment the lady gets into bed with him. Use the mirror in a smart way. It is a way of counting, without offense and with delicacy. It is a very nice plan, since you see everything and it is very well composed. That is to use the camera to narrate, in this case the blur thank you.