Life in a Fishbowl (Vonarstræti), 2014.
Directed by Baldvin Zophoníasson.
Starring Hera Hilmar, Thorsteinn Bachmann, and Thor Kristjansson.
The lives of a struggling single mother, a former athlete trying to scale the corporate ladder, and a once-acclaimed author turned full-time drunk intersect in surprising ways.
All three stories begin on a dark rainy night situated in car. A young woman in her early twenties walks into a bar and goes up stairs to sexually service a client; she returns home to a babysitter who is looking after her child. The single mother goes to bank where she is behind payments for a loan. The mention of a drunk talking to the daughter segues into the second story.
A bearded drunk gets pulled over and taken into custody for driving while intoxicated; the next scene deals with him sitting in the office of his publisher going a manuscript for his latest book titled Life in a Fishbowl which is an autobiographical tale. The talented writer who is too fond of alcohol walks by the preschool playground where he speaks to the child of the single mother before he is sent on his way by a young man who intervenes.
Talking in a car are a handsome couple who head into a bar where at a company party is being held; the husband is revealed to be a retired soccer star who has become a rising star of the bank. The athlete turned banking executive cross paths with financially strapped single mother on board a yacht at another corporate gathering and they have a brief affair. Most of the intersecting between the storylines occurs between the single mother and the author who developing a friendship which allows both of them escape the confines of their daily lives.
It is an ambitious project by filmmaker Baldvin Zophoníasson (Jitters) who is able to retain the human element throughout as well. A tiresome narrative cliché is that of a female character who has to engage in prostitution so to support herself and the writer being an alcoholic is old news. Plot is not a defining element as Life in a Fishbowl is about individuals going on a journey to redefine themselves. Despite having to do a number of sex scenes Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina) is able to shine to give a soulful performance.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★★★/ Movie: ★★★