Rent Phoenix (2018)

3.3 of 5 from 66 ratings
1h 26min
Rent Phoenix (aka Føniks) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Living in a modest apartment in Oslo, teenager Jill (Ylva Bjorkaas Thcdin) has long acted as the responsible adult in her small family. Caring for her loving but mentally unstable mother Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) and younger brother Bo (Casper Falck-Lovas), she looks forward to her 14th birthday - just two days away - when her estranged father Nils (Sverrir Gudnason) has arranged to visit. As Jill prepares for his arrival, tragedy strikes and she keeps it a secret; nothing will ruin her special day.
Ylva Bjørkaas Thedin, , , Casper Falck-Løvås, , , , , Ingeborg Engø, Gard Tony Sønsthagen, Idun Daae Alstad, , Nils Janson, Pär-Ola Landin, Konrad Agnas, Grete Sexe,
Gudny Hummelvoll
Camilla Strøm Henriksen
Verve Pictures
Norway, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
86 minutes
English, English Audio Description
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
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Reviews (1) of Phoenix

social drama meets gothic horror - Phoenix review by PD

Spoiler Alert

The first half of this debut film by Norwegian writer-director Camilla Strøm Henriksen is a really gripping social drama-meets-southern gothic horror. It centres on the travails of a teenage girl, Jill (a really good debut performance by Ylva Bjørkaas Thedin), who has been forced into early adulthood by the collapse of her parents’ marriage and the subsequent depression that has sent her mother Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) into a drunken torpor. Much of the early action is really effective since it takes place solely inside the dark family apartment, where Jill looks after and protects her (amazingly stoical given what he has to put up with) younger brother Bo from her mother’s destructive urges. The sheer suffocating claustrophobia of the family 'space' is very well done, with some psychological depth to some scenes, whilst the impending visit of their dad, Nils (Sverrir Gudnason), who is due to play a gig on Jill’s birthday, offers Jill hope of relief and release.

Unfortunately in the second half, when we move outside the home, the tension of the first half is dissipated somewhat, and the surreal horror elements don't work nearly as well in the bright and superficially beautiful flats and 'posh' restaurants, with the result that the suggestion that the emotional wall that Jill has had to build up to handle the whims of her mother may also be stamping on her own mental development doesn't hit home nearly as much as it should. Meanwhile, the film is left with nowhere to go somewhat with the consequence that the ending is convenient rather than satisfactory. Nevertheless, it's a strong debut from Henriksen in which the understated performances are very well-handled.

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