Land Ho! may be a shameless advertisement for Iceland's tourism industry, but it's actually a good movie. How is this possible? Because of its two stars: Earl Lynn Nelson, a man who has little experience in acting, and Paul Eenhoorn, an Australian-born local actor who is a nominee for the 2014 Stranger Genius Award in film. Nelson plays Mitch, and Eenhoorn plays Colin; both actors are oldish, both are relatively unknown on the national stage, and both manage to pull an incredible-looking rabbit out of a very unremarkable hat. The rabbit is their performance, and the hat is the plot. The film opens in what appears to be a rural home. Colin and Mitch are sitting in a room talking about life. Colin is dealing with the death of his wife; Mitch is dealing with a divorce. (Colin's dead wife is the sister of Mitch's ex-wife.) Concluding that sitting around and thinking about the past and its losses is getting them nowhere, Mitch (whose personality is on the loud side) tells Colin (whose personality is on the quiet side) that now is a good time for a trip to the cold country of Iceland. Mitch offers to pay for the tickets and the stay, and Colin reluctantly accepts the offer. Colin and Mitch are not the ordinary odd couple. They only fight once, and it's over nothing; they generally get along. And so the movie is not about Colin being the quiet type, or Mitch being the loud type, or how Iceland is such a great place for American tourists. It's about how the vulgar disruptions of a dirty old man can be useful and even necessary in certain situations. In most situations, they are not, but during this trip across a stark and sometimes desolate country, they are.
by Stranger Senior Staff Writer Charles Mudede
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