After doing time for a murder, Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgård) is released and heads back to his hometown where he’s hoping to start over… even though his old gang is still there. The third film that Hans Petter Moland did with Skarsgård depicts the challenges awaiting a gangster outside the prison walls. Many other filmmakers would have opted for a grim, earnest take, but this is a black comedy with unexpected charm, especially thanks to Skarsgård who’s marvelous as the uncomplicated Ulrik who tries to make his new life work, including juggling several women. Gray locations, but drastic humor (several characters are borderline caricatures) and funny dialogue.
2010-Norway. 113 min. Color. Produced by Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae. Directed by Hans Petter Moland. Screenplay: Kim Fupz Aakeson. Cast: Stellan Skarsgård (Ulrik), Bjørn Floberg (Rune Jensen), Gard B. Eidsvold (Rolf), Jorunn Kjellsby, Bjørn Sundquist, Jon Øigarden… Aksel Hennie.
Trivia: Original title: En ganske snill mann.
Last word: “[Moland and I] really enjoy working together. We’d been looking for something to do together, and then he called me and said, ‘I’m sending you a script. Take a look at it. A lot of producers say it’s a dark drama. I don’t think so.’ And, I read it and laughed. I thought it was a comedy and he thought that too, so we decided to do it. And I said, ‘But, we better do it in only a couple of months because I’m having a baby, so we’ve gotta do it before May 6th.’ So, he got the money together in six weeks, and then we shot for six weeks, and the baby was early and fucked up our schedule anyway.” (Skarsgård, Collider)