Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: The story of Freya, a beautiful woman who returns from America in 1953 to settle down with distant relatives in a small fishing village outside Reykjavik. [Cinema Guild]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 88
    An uncommonly engaging comedy with ripe tragic undertones.
  2. It's no easy trick to invite viewers into an utterly bleak setting populated by the dissatisfied and small-minded. But a droll script and generally deft direction make the Icelandic chill surprisingly inviting.
  3. 75
    Solid acting anchors "Laughter," but it's Margret Vilhjalmsdottir and Ugla Egilsdottir as Freya and Agga who carry the load.
  4. 70
    Mr. Gudmundsson has created a sleek, light and entertaining work, with a few contrasting pockets of darkness and mystery.
  5. 67
    Funny weird and funny ha-ha go hand in hand in this small Icelandic town, apparently: It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Beautifully shot against Iceland's frozen landscape, the film is nearly as spellbinding as its strange heroine, whose essential mystery Gudmundsson preserves until the film's final frames.
  7. 50
    Scenically beautiful, rhythmically uneven comedy.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. MaryLeeD.
    Jul 3, 2006
    Very well done. Great cinematography. Arresting plot. Humorous yet darkly compelling.
  2. ChadS.
    Jan 24, 2006
    The photography here is so crisp, the tone so chipper, when a bit of nasty business occurs in "The Seagull's Laughter", it seems to have been flown in from another movie. Iceland seems to be playing the role of Ireland in one of those cute smalltown Irish comedies like "The Snapper" and "Waking Ned Devine". Iceland doesn't seem like a bad place to visit as seen through this filmmaker's lens. When Freyja(Margret Vilhjalmsdottir) complains about the environs as being unlivable, we'd better believe her if she existed in the diegesis of Baltasar Komasur's "The Sea", or "101 Reykjavik". Nice ending, though. As Agga, Ugla Egilsdottir looks a lot like Christina Ricci, and we wonder if her narration was trustworthy. Expand

See all 3 User Reviews