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The County(Héraðið)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Iceland

2019

1h 32m

Director Grímur Hákonarson

Starring Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann

Genre Comedy, Drama

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Inga is a dairy farmer living in a county co-op that restricts and bankrupts her business in rural Iceland. After the tragic death of her husband, she begins to stand up against the corruption and injustice rampant in her community. A comedy-drama about labor struggles, strength, and resilience in the face of bureaucracy.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

70

Variety by Alissa Simon

Once again showing a keen eye for detail, Hákonarson naturalistically presents the rigors of farm work, the plainness of his solitary protagonists’ lives and their affection for their cows.
80

Screen Daily by Allan Hunter

Egilsdottir makes Inga a very sympathetic figure, playing her with the bone weary resolve of someone who recognises that she has nothing left to lose.
75

The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

The County shows that it only takes one person to beat the drum for change to occur. But it also posits just how sinister the opposition can be when its livelihood of means is threatened in the process. I think Hákonarson could have gone further with this aspect of the film because there’s some real suspense built as far as who should be blamed for the tragedy that sparks Inga’s crusade.
80

The Observer (UK) by Mark Kermode

The drama may be down to earth, but that doesn’t stop the film – or indeed its protagonist – from dreaming big, and daring to look beyond the horizon.
85

Slashfilm by Marshall Shaffer

Don’t expect any inspiring schmaltz from The County, but for those looking to understand the global nature of the struggles faced by those who dare to resist all-encompassing economic organizations, this movie delivers the goods.
67

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

Hákonarson alternates between crowd-pleasing defiance . . . and a downbeat assessment of how much change is realistically possible, never fully committing to either mode. The result feels less complex than just wishy-washy.
80

Time Out by Phil de Semlyen

Egilsdóttir centres it all wonderfully as the lugubrious Inga, bemused to find herself slowly transforming into a champion of the underdog.
80

Empire by Sophie Monks Kaufman

It's a credit to Hákonarson's poised execution of his own bare-bones script that both worst- and best- case scenarios seem possible once Inga finds allies in the community.