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Insomnia (Criterion Collection) (1997)

Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Gisken Armand, Maria Bonnevie, more...
Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion Collection
Genre: Foreign, Scandinavia, Cops, Neo Noir, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 97 min.
Subtitles: English
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Norwegian filmmaker Erik Skjoldbjærg makes his directorial debut with the psychological police drama Insomnia. Swedish homicide detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) and his partner, Erik Vik (Sverre Anker Ousdal), arrive in a small Northern Norwegian town to help the local police investigate the murder of a teenage girl. When Jonas finds the girl's backpack, he sets a trap for the killer near a remote shed. While waiting to make an ambush in the morning fog, Jonas accidentally shoots Erik. He knows it was only an accident, but he decides to keep it a secret because he could lose his job. Jonas chooses to carry on with his investigation while trying to cover up the evidence of Erik's death. Meanwhile, he's unable to get any sleep due to the constant sunlight of the Norwegian summer and his increasingly guilty conscience. His only help comes from highly intuitive local police officer Ane (Maria Bonnevie), who begins to form her own doubts about Jonas. As he continues to lose his grip on the case at hand, he becomes dangerously close to the suspects, Jon Holt (Bjørn Floberg) and Frøya (Marianne O. Ulrichsen). Filmmaker Christopher Nolan directed the English-language remake of Insomnia in 2002 with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

Peter Cowie essay (spoilers) - Criterion site

Insomnia - website for U.S. remake directed by Christopher Nolan

Review of remake with good comparison to the original - Andy Klein

You might also enjoy:

Obviously, the very different Hollywood remake is worth checking out for comparison's sake

Good Evening Mr. Wallenberg
One of Stellan Skarsgard's many other fine roles is this Scandanavian Schindler's List

GreenCine Member Reviews

Respectable Psychological Thriller by MarcAndreas January 17, 2008 - 11:24 AM PST
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Incredibly psychologically revealing look into personal deviations likely of those in uncomfortable/threatening situations. Very insightful look at what drives people to take certain actions in just such a situation.

Also contains subtle undertones of a statement by the Norwegians against the Swedes, based primarily on their perceived cruel indifference during key points of the Second World War.

Ideal for any Norwegians who happen to agree with the above statement, as well as anyone as equally fascinated with the psychological aspect of film as I.

Watch the original by SRhodes May 24, 2002 - 1:23 PM PDT
6 out of 8 members found this review helpful
I saw the original version of Insomnia on DVD a few months ago and have also seen the US remake which opens today (May 24th).

Both are well worth seeing. It is particularly interesting to contrast how Stellan Skarsgaard and Al Pacino play the detective and Bjorn Floberg and Robin Williams play the writer. In the original version, both characters are more sexual - particularly the detective.

Andy Klein does a good job of comparing the two in his review of Christopher Nolan's version as does John Powers in an essay for LA Weekly (both contain some spoilers).

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.28)
178 Votes
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