Agnes Joy (2019) – Movie Review
12th July 2021 Written by Peter Walkden
Rannveig (Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir) is exhausted, overdue for a holiday and completely worn out from many elements of her life in the present day. Some of these elements include dealing with her family, which consists of her husband and only daughter, her workplace at a freight company and having to cater to the needs of her elderly and lonely mother. She feels distant from her husband at home, unable to have a decent conversation with him. As well as this, they consistently argue, and the two can’t share any romantic connection in the bedroom. Rannveig even begins to question whether her physical appearance can obtain attention from her husband.
Her daughter, Agnes (Donna Cruz), is a whole other story. Agnes is not happy with her parents being so distant from one another, nor is she happy with her parents attempting to force her into choices regarding her education and future. But while things for this family have been difficult lately, things are about to worsen as their new neighbour next door significantly tests the family further.
While key elements from this film might not seem relatable to all viewers- such as keeping a happy marriage- the concept of attempting to find peace and keep a happy household certainly is most relatable. Agnes Joy is filled with great performances, including Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir, who plays Rannveig and Donna Cruz as her adopted nineteen-year-old daughter.
Once the leading character is introduced and the dramas within the family are slowly revealed, I found myself entirely invested in these characters, even when their actions on screen are not always agreeable or wise. There’s something about these characters that makes you still care for them, hoping things will come better and that they will discover absolute joy.
Visually this film is reasonably pleasing, and everything on screen was terrific to view. The audio is another significant element that I enjoyed. The film is naturally dialogue-heavy, and at times the conversations on screen can be a little fast-paced and quick, so be sure to stay focused on the subtitles and screen. But short and quick lines between characters is not negative, instead succeeding in making dialogue feel natural, especially when leads have conflicts or arguments.
Overall, this is quite a touching and heavy drama film that focuses on one family attempting to find joy and peace within their lives. Even when characters make difficult and rushed choices, the audience will still find themselves caring and invested in seeing how things conclude by the film’s end. Performances are strong and, at moments, rather touching and naturally dramatic. Conversations and dialogue between leads on screen always feel genuine. Agnes Joy is quite an impressive drama film and successfully touches on heavy family-related themes.
Agnes Joy (2019) is Available during the Australian Scandinavian Film Festival (Dates Below*)