Director: Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
Starring: Kristbjörg Kjeld, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Gunnar Eyjólfsson, Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir
Duration: 84 min.
An ambitious filmmaker has his eyes on an Oscar nomination despite the fact that his latest film is an absolute flop in his native Iceland. At the same time, his energetic and quick-witted mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer´s. With his own troubles suddenly seeming petty, he tries to show her his love by accompanying her on her journey into the night.
Mamma Gógó is a semi autobiographical film written and directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson and it was Iceland's official submission to the 83rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
Both sad and funny, it is the story of a struggling film director and his elderly mother, who is slowly losing her battle with Alzheimer's. With a first rate performance from veteran actress Kristbjörg Kjeld, who handles the comedy and the melodrama brilliantly and an equally strong showing from Hilmir Snær Guðnason who seems to have starred in every Icelandic film in the last decade and featuring the breathtaking scenery that every Icelandic film is blessed with, the film however never decides whether it wants to be serious or funny and for me at least fails to make a strong impact.
There are also a couple details that I can't decide whether if their inclusion is clever or lazy, such as the fictional director's flopped film within a film also dealing with old people. The repeated appearances by the spirit of her dead husband played by Gunnar Eyjólfsson, or the use of footage from Kjeld and Eyjólfsson's performances in the 1962 film 79 af stöðinni to flashback to their younger days. Perhaps a bit of both.