Troy Patterson
June 11, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Insomnia (Movie - 1997)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Stellan Skarsgard
director
Erik Skjoldbjaerg
distributor
First Run Features
author
Erik Skjoldbjaerg, Nikolaj Frobenius
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Foreign Language

We gave it an A-

In the Arctic, in the summertime, the sun never sets. Hence Insomnia, the title of director Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s deft debut. Skarsgard — the twitchy sweathog of Ronin, the frosty mathematician of Good Will Hunting — plays a crack investigator gone to north Norway to solve the murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl who had a sneering cheat for a boyfriend and a crime novelist for a sugar daddy. For all his tough perfectionism, the cop is no match for the maddening light, and after he mistakenly shoots his partner, the cover-up of one killing converges with the uncovering of another. It would overstate the case to call Skjoldbjaerg a humanist Hitchcock, but only by a little: He’s made a thriller tense with tingly fear and obsessed with every sense of the word guilt. A-

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