There’s really no way I wasn’t going to love Nietzchka Keene’s The Juniper Tree. One: Keene was born in Boston. Two: The film stars Björk, and I really like Björk. (I’ll repeat this so as to impress the importance of the statement on you: I really like Björk.) Three: It’s set and shot in Iceland, and Iceland is one of my favorite countries on this whole goofy-ass planet. Four: I like fairy tales.
It helps that the story of The Juniper Tree‘s production is fascinating, and its road to a United States theatrical release equally so but also kinda tragic. What kind of movies would Keene be making today if she was still alive? What kind of movies was she denied a chance to make in the course of her long and yet too short career? Why do so many movies made today on much larger budgets and with more advanced technology look like absolute garbage compared to this? Why can’t all movies be this good?
I wrestled with these questions, and plenty others, in my review of the film, which you can find at Paste Magazine.