The Northman (Robert Eggers – 2022) A-

Robert Eggers does not make movies that are easily accessible or “mainstream”. So, this one by his standards is definitely his most accessible film. A simple plot about vengeance based on ancient Norse myth, straightforward storytelling and pacing, and no talking fish, mermaids or devil goats (see The Witch and The Lighthouse for reference to those things). Amleth (apparently this myth was one of the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Hamlet) is a prince who vows to avenge the murder of his father by his uncle and to free his mother who the uncle took as his wife. He escapes as a child, is raised by a bunch of raiders and as an adult pretends to be a slave to be sold to his uncle. That’s where most of the movie takes place as he plots, acquires a sword and at the same time falls in love with another slave named Olga. That is not to say this is a purely conventional movie. It is an excellent piece of art from this master movie maker with great performances from Alex Skarsgard as Amleth, Nicole Kidman as his mom and Anya Taylor-Joy who has the cool name of “Olga of the Birch Forest”. It is still plenty weird and has some awesome brutal at times and beautiful at times imagery. It blends the mythological with the real world and has some shocking surprises in its toolbox.

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