What begins as a richly textured portrait of loss gradually descends, with dreamlike pacing, into something more offbeat and shocking in Hlynur Pálmason’s follow-up to his award-winning debut Winter Brothers (ND/NF 2018). A bereft former police chief (Ingvar Sigurðsson in a Cannes award-winning performance), whose golden years are spent between caring for his granddaughter and remodeling a house, starts to suspect a local man of having had an affair with his late wife. As past memories take on different shades of meaning, his suspicion turns obsessive and imperils those around him. With breathtaking cinematography by Maria von Hausswolff, Pálmason (Godland) finds seemingly boundless ways to conform the elemental delights and solitude of Iceland’s east coast with the volatile nature of its grief-stricken protagonist.

“In looking to portray grief without the sentimentality, we referenced A White, White Day for its exploration of grief through obsession and rage told through a stark, poetic visual language that evokes equal parts psychological tension and heartbreak.” —Lulu Wang