Pål Jackman's first feature since Detektor (2000) is a perceptive, fittingly low-key and - last but not least - brilliantly funny film about a 60-year-old grumbler who detests the sun, his life and most people around him because he left the love of his life behind thirty years ago, and has spent the rest of his life ruing his mistake and resignation. He curses the world and shoots at the sun from his old rusty boat - the boat in which he was destined to return to his love, but which now is used as a bar for old, lonely souls.
Despite the lifeless and pessimistic atmosphere surrounding Eivind, there always seems to be a little spark hidden deep inside him. A glimmer of hope materializing now and again through a devil-may-care attitude which alternately despairs and livens up the people around him. Sundquist's masterful performance, his best since Søndagsengler, is the key to this nuanced portrayal. And the interplay between him and his unlikely new pal Kris rekindles the old man's hope and lust for life. Kris mirrors Eivind thirty years ago and they find a common denominator in the promise of unknown waters - they feel it is a less risky romance than what they have right before them.
The question is whether Eivind's ship has sailed (or rather should have sailed), and whether Kris is able to learn enough about himself to make up his mind. In the meantime, the two find that a simple friendship and an old docked boat can be a satisfactory adventure. The brilliant simplicity of the story combined with Pål Jackman's delicate direction make Jernanger one of the best Norwegian film's of the year.