The Killing (opens in new tab)’s Sofie Gråbøl (opens in new tab) swaps her iconic jumper for a priest’s collar in claustrophobic psychological drama The Hour of the Lynx, which delivers an intriguing variation on the usual Scandi crime formula.
Gråbøl’s pastor is grappling with doubts about her vocation when she gets an invitation to visit a high security psychiatric unit and speak to a troubled young inmate (Frederik Johansen) who has attempted suicide. Locked up for committing a violent double murder, the patient has been sharing his cell with a cat as part of a behavioural experiment run by Signe Egholm Olsen’s psychiatrist. Can Gråbøl’s priest break through to the disturbed young man before the project is shut down?
The overuse of flashbacks is a little frustrating, but as the film slowly reveals its secrets – including the meaning of the enigmatic title - the slow-burning narrative becomes more compelling. Incidentally, the Swedish play on which the film is based was previously adapted for TV in 1991 with Sylvestra Le Touzel, Simon David and Eleanor Bron in the leading roles.
Certificate 15. Runtime 89 mins. Director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
The Hour of the Lynx is showing on Sky Cinema Premiere from Wednesday 31 August and is available on DVD from Arrow Films.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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