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Aberdeen (2001)

Stellan Skarsgård , Jean Anderson (II) , Hans Petter Moland  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Anderson (II), Lena Headey, Charlotte Rampling, Louise Goodall
  • Directors: Hans Petter Moland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000060MU8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,770 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Aberdeen" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with director Hans Petter Moland

Editorial Reviews

An achingly beautiful film, Aberdeen has an outrageously sentimental premise: Kaisa (Lena Headey) is asked by her fatally ill mother (Charlotte Rampling) to bring her estranged father Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård,) to visit before her mother dies. Kaisa finds Tomas--a jobless drunk--at his home in Norway, and basically drags him on a road trip back to Scotland, over the course of which they're forced to grapple with their past. This could be a recipe for maudlin sap, but instead--thanks to sharp incisive writing, unexpected characters, and performances that encompass humor, brutally honest self-destructive behavior, and subtle gentleness--Aberdeen is bracing, constantly surprising, and deeply engaging. The entire cast (including the always solid Ian Hart, of Backbeat and Hollow Reed) is incredibly good. Highly recommended. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Charlotte Rampling, Ian Hart, Lena Headey, Stellan Skarsgard - Director: Hans Petter Moland

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars performance driven March 15, 2005
By EriKa
Stellan Skarsgard seems uncannily gifted at pulling off any kind of role asked of him. His range is astounding, but no more so than here in this small, probably little seen gem in which he plays an unemployed drunk who cannot get through a day without getting completely hammered, not wanting to face the realities of his life, apparently. He is, however, jolted back into reality when his estranged daughter Kaisa shows up at his doorstep in Norway insisting that he must accompany her to Scotland to visit her mother and his ex-wife (an always skillful Charlotte Rampling, even in smaller roles), who is dying in hospital. Kaisa is an intelligent, sarcastic businesswoman who, despite sharp tongue and tough exterior, has plenty of her own demons, which certainly helps her match her sarcastic, bitter, drunk father measure for measure when she has to. He agrees to go with her, but getting there turns out to be a gargantuan task when he won't stay sober long enough to fly; they must take a ferry, and Kaisa, impatient by nature, has to take command and babysit this giant drunk lump. She tries to keep it together, be different from him (unsuccessfully, as she too succumbs to a chemical path). Her frustration and the uneasy relationship between them is palpable, and both actors imbue their characters with equal parts strength and vulnerability without making the audience feel sorry for either of them. Though it seems in the end that they are not who they think they are, they still turn out to be two sides of the same coin-stubborn, self-destructive individuals adrift in the world, who remain bound together by their sameness. The sheer drama-ugly, pathetic human drama-that ensues as the girl tries to transport her father is bitter and realistic. The question remains why he decides to make a monumental sacrifice for her at the end? Because he feels obligated or because he knows, whatever blood ties they may have, they are in fact the only two people who understand each other?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie I won't quickly forget... April 6, 2005
If you like independent and/or foreign films in general, I think you'll really like this film. The director says (in an interview on the CD) that Hollywood would not hire him to direct an action film and that's fine -- and that his films reflect his Norwegian character (restrained, among other things, unless alcohol is involved).

This film deals with addiction and a fractured family. Kaisa, a young woman successful in a career but estranged from her father and not seeing much of her mother, gets a call from her mother. She's in the hospital in Aberdeen (Scotland -- this is a town connected with North Sea oil drilling) with cancer, and doesn't have a lot of time left. She wants Kaisa to find her father (in Norway -- he works on oil rigs) and bring him to her. Kaisa reluctantly flies to Norway to retrieve her father. He is a heavy drinker -- very heavy drinker -- and not the easiest person to escort back to Scotland. Flying turns out to be not-an-option, so they end up taking a ferry and then driving. As the trip from Norway to Aberdeen unfolds (and this is most of the film), their characters and relationship are unfolded for us. Kaisa doesn't have it as nmuch together as she first appears to, and her father isn't exactly as hopeless as she thought, either.

Kaisa is riveting, as is her father -- and a young man they meet along the way who helps them. The acting is outstanding. At first the film seemed odd and I wasn't sure what I thought of it, but as time passed, I became engaged with the characters and their struggle.

My only comment is that the drive from London to Aberdeen doesn't take nearly as much time as they seem to take in this film, even taking into account some delays. There were a few other points that left me with questions about the script. I'd chalk it up to literary license and it didn't detract at all from the film.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Painful, touching film about bruised family relationships September 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The situation: Kaisa, one tough lady (for good reason, as the film makes clear later on) is asked by her dying mother to bring her father back for one last visit. Kaisa has her work cut out for her, because her father is a difficult case- drunk, surly and bitingly sarcastic to boot. He's more than an equal match for Kaisa...and that's saying a lot.
This situation could make for simple sentimental pap in the hands of the wrong director but here it turns out to be a very believable and watchable movie - although it won't be to everyone's taste. The relationship and years of bad feelings between Kaisa and her father lead to moments which are sometimes painful to watch. If you want a fun, escapist movie, far engaged from hard reality, don't pick this one up. But if you're willing to watch a movie with some bite to it, you should find this one well worth watching. An extra bonus: The music is absolutely wonderful, not the sort of usual background music that tries to tweak the viewer's emotions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Better Nordic Movies February 4, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is an excellent movie. As noted by other reviewers, the soundtrack is excellent, and the acting is first rate.
Skarsgard never seems to miss in any film, but in Aberdeen, his performance as a lost alcoholic groping towards recovery is so good it is on a par with fellow Swede and Cannes Film winner Per Oscarsson's stunning and seminal 1966 performance as a starving writer in Henning Carlsen's Hunger.
Lena Headey is remarkable as the talented yuppie with a host of skeletons in her closet. It should also be noted that Ian Hart's performance as the humble, self effacing truck driver Clive is great. He functions as the perfect match and foil to both Skarsgard's and Headey's characters. The final scenes of the movie are powerful, and reminds me a lot of some aspects of the personal life of the great Danish director, Lar Van Trier, who won much deserved accolades for his near perfect execution in Breaking the Waves.
Like many Nordic films, Aberdeen isn't shy about nudity as viewers should be aware that there are numerous sexual scenes and frontal nudity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Two actors burning up the screen.
This is a tough continually evolving road story full of hurt and dysfunction. Father and Daughter both are awakened in a manner to their mutual destructiveness. Read more
Published 16 months ago by glezzery
4.0 out of 5 stars "Aberdeen" - Good Acting & Scenery
Watched "Aberdeen" the day it arrived and enjoyed it. Some good acting and scenery. Sometimes get a little tired of films or books where mother/father/sister/brother is... Read more
Published 18 months ago by P. Munroe
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual!
Great acting - once again fantastic Lena Headey. Stellan Skarsgard is great as the father and together they take an elightening journey to discover so much about each other. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Marian
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Movie!
What a great movie. Lena Headey does a marvelous job and really shows her fine acting skills. The story is compelling and gutsy in its raw, stirring, emotional journey. Read more
Published on March 28, 2008 by CR
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting & writing
It started with infatuation of Diana Rigg, Olivia Newton-John, Sheena Easton and Nicole Kidman. Now, Lena Headey is the heir apparent to my list of fantasy women with British... Read more
Published on June 23, 2007 by R. Mayo
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a hidden treasure, but not nearly serious enough; a...
This is one of the more disappointing movies I've seen in recent years. I was expecting an intense and/or intimate study of the relationship between these two characters but there... Read more
Published on February 11, 2007 by ThrillSeeker1982
4.0 out of 5 stars Road Trip to an Unexpected Place
The premise of "Aberdeen" is outrageously sentimental; however, Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter (Criterion Collection Spine #59); Under the Sand), with her trademark dry... Read more
Published on November 10, 2006 by Stephanie De Pue
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Acted And Superior Character Development. A Must See.
This is an exceptionally well acted movie. Lena Headey has a pure break out performance that shows she will have a long career in film, as breathtakingly beautiful as Headey is her... Read more
Published on September 9, 2006 by calartgrl
4.0 out of 5 stars Observant and Convincing
"Aberdeen" puts a new twist on the "Rainman" road trip story, but instead of a young man and his autistic-savant brother, we have a young woman and her drunken father. Read more
Published on July 30, 2005 by FLbeachbum
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