Aberdeen

on August 17, 2001 by Ed Scheid
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For an estranged father and daughter, a trip from Norway to Aberdeen, Scotland, has unforeseen consequences. After celebrating her promotion at a London law firm, Kaisa ("Onegin's" Lena Headey) receives a telephone call from her mother Helen ("The Wings of the Dove's" Charlotte Rampling) who lives in Aberdeen. Helen asks her daughter to bring Kaisa's alcoholic father from Norway to Aberdeen for rehab. Kaisa has not seen her father, Tomas (Stellan Skarsgard), for 10 years, and now finds him in a perpetual drunken stupor. Kaisa discovers that her mother had a different reason for trying to arrange the family reunion, and tenaciously attempts to get her father to Aberdeen.

Because the drunken and vulgar Tomas is refused a seat at the airport, he and Kaisa are forced to take a longer trip by car. The frigid Scandinavian weather reflects the chilly father/daughter relationship. Both have been bruised by life. Tomas and Kaisa clash both with each other and with most of the people they encounter on the way to Aberdeen. They are befriended by a truck driver, Clive ("The End of the Affair's" Ian Hart), to whom the emotionally distant Kaisa becomes drawn.

Hans Petter Moland, "Aberdeen's" Norwegian director, previously collaborated with Skarsgard on "Zero Kelvin" in 1995. The script, co-written by Moland, takes some unexpected directions. Moland brings to his film a sensitivity to the complexities of evolving relationships. The actors give distinctive performances: Skarsgard is exceptional, subtly showing the pain and self-loathing beneath Tomas' alcoholic haze as he's forced to confront his past, and Headey effectively conveys Kaisa's toughness and hostility as well as her emotional transformation. Rampling and Hart provide solid support. "Aberdeen" becomes an absorbing road movie as both Tomas and Kaisa discover more about themselves and each other. Starring Stellan Skarsgard, Lena Headey, Ian Hart and Charlotte Rampling. Directed by Hans Petter Moland. Written by Hans Petter Moland and Kristin Amundsen. Produced by Tom Remlov and Peter J. Borgli. A First Run release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 112 min

Tags: Stellan Skarsgard, Lena Headey, Ian Hart, Charlotte Rampling, Hans Petter Moland, Kristin Amundsen, Tom Remlov, Peter J. Borgli, Scotland, abuse, emotional
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