Under The Tree

(Undir trénu)

In a long-simmering feud between two couples who reside in identical cube houses in the suburbs, lines are drawn and tempers flare from the very first scene. A tree on the front lawn of Inga and Baldvin’s house is casting a rather large shadow on that of their neighbours, Konrad and Eybjorg. Despite repeated requests from the latter, the elderly Baldvin has not gotten around to trimming the tree, and his witchy wife, Inga, has no intention of doing the neighbours any favours. Her catty-to-obscene comments about Eybjorg, Konrad’s athletic, young second wife, always get a laugh.

Poster for the darkly funny Icelandic drama Under The TreeVery casually we learn that behind Inga’s bitterness lies a recent tragedy involving the death of their eldest son. The retired couple, and their surviving son, the bumbling ne’er-do-well Atli, are struggling to come to terms with this disaster.

Inga is very much in her element taking revenge. At first, her mild-mannered, sensible husband resists being drawn into her obsessions, but when his tires are slashed, he gets Atli to sleep in a tent on the lawn to keep watch, leading to an unexpected climax that has the audience torn between laughter and tears.

– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

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