Wednesday 6 March 2024

REVIEW: Northern Comfort (2024 Film) Starring Timothy Spall

Review By Jon Donnis
"Northern Comfort" takes audiences on a turbulent yet humorous journey into the depths of human fears and foibles against the backdrop of a stranded group facing their fear of flying. Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar SigurĂ°sson in his English language debut, the film unfolds with an intriguing premise: a motley crew of individuals, each grappling with a fear of flying, embarks on a course designed to confront their phobia head-on. However, their journey takes an unexpected turn when a test flight to overcome their fears lands them stranded in Iceland, courtesy of a turbulent flight and a partial engine failure.

As the characters find themselves stuck in a luxurious Icelandic hotel with a looming storm threatening to cancel all flights, "Northern Comfort" dives into the depths of their anxieties and quirks. Timothy Spall shines as Edward, portraying his struggle with fear and uncertainty with raw authenticity, while Lydia Leonard's portrayal of Sarah adds layers of complexity to the ensemble cast. Ella Rumpf, Sverrir Gudnason, Simon Manyonda, and the rest of the cast contribute their own eccentricities and idiosyncrasies, creating a tapestry of comedic and heartfelt moments amidst the chaos.

The film's strengths lie in its ability to create an immersive atmosphere of tension and claustrophobia, aided by a strong score that amplifies the characters' fears and insecurities. Clever camera angles enhance the sense of confinement, plunging viewers into the cramped confines of the hotel and the characters' unraveling psyches. However, "Northern Comfort" falters in its execution of humour, with some jokes feeling forced or falling flat due to the Icelandic interpretation of English comedy.

Despite its occasional missteps, "Northern Comfort" offers a compelling blend of wit and whimsy, weaving together moments of absurdity and poignancy against the backdrop of its unconventional premise. While not without its flaws, the film ultimately delivers an entertaining and fun viewing experience, earning a solid score of 7 out of 10. For those willing to embrace its eccentric charm and quirky characters, "Northern Comfort" promises a memorable journey through the stormy landscape of fear and laughter.

Out on Digital now at