Main Cast: Michael Brostrup, Anders Hove, Elliott Crosset Hove
Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove) works with his brother in a limestone quarry and sells to miners the adulterated alcohol he makes. Relationships change when the mixture prepared by Emil is accused of poisoning one of them and the trust of those around him, including his brother, drifts away from him.
Icelandic director Hlynur Pálmason manages to construct a “lack of love story” and Emil is portrayed brilliantly by Crosset Hove, a simple man trying to gain acceptance in a hostile society that is constantly rejecting him. He is continually pushed outside of his community as he tries to reply to the repetitive question: “Why can’t you be like everyone else?”
With its picturesque, snowy, industrial scenery, Pálmason creates an organic film that is impressively vivid. Winter Brothers could quite easily have been a modern take on a famous brotherly tragedy or another attempt to depict the loneliness of life in a harsh and loveless community; but the director decides to subtly balance all of these elements and deliver something that is both naïve and sophisticated, scratching away at the truths about masculinity and isolation. It is an original, delicate, edgy work of art with a strong heart. A film-lovers treat.